31 May 2010

Bank Holiday

Hope everyone had a great Bank Holiday/Memorial Day weekend! I've been so busy again this week I haven't had much time to blog, but I have squeezed in some sewing that I will share in future posts. First I want to share my bank holiday, which was spent at Chatsworth, the estate of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. If you ever get the chance, GO VISIT..it was amazing!

It may be somewhat familiar, as part of the movie The Duchess with Keira Knightley was filmed here. She played the somewhat scandalous Lady Georgiana Spencer who was queen of society and fashion of the time.

Lady Georgiana Spencer

Besider oogling at the family jewels and artwork, I found the wardrobe display of Deborah Mitford (11th Duchess of Devonshire) to be particularly interesting, as I have an interest in historical fashion. She married in 1941 and her wedding dress was made from 80 yards of tulle! Can you imagine?? (Unfortunately it wasn't on display, but I found this picture on the net..although you wouldn't guess it from this picture)

Image from dailymail.co.uk
The display said that the Duchess bought all of her clothes from either agricultural shows or Paris..how funny is that! Much of the clothing on display was from famous couturiers but there were some casual sweaters from the shows. The plaque below this dress stated that the printed silk dress (blue and white) was made by her friend Oscar de la Renta (that must be nice!), which she wore for a 2009 Vogue magazine photo shoot. Most of the others on display were Givenchy or Balmain.

Oscar de la Renta and Givenchy dresses

I got this really great book from the gift shop:

Order online from vandashop.com

If you are into historical fashion you will love it! It has close-ups of the intricate detailing that often made up the garments of this time period with line drawings so you can see how they are put together. The only frustrating part is that they do not show pictures of the entire garment, but nonetheless it is a great resource if you are into couture detailing. There are also companion volumes for Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Fashion in Detail, which I most certainly plan on purchasing!

Now it's time to get some sewing done, and hopefully things will calm down a bit so I can catch you up on my projects this week!


  1. Hi Ruth,
    What a lovely blog you have! I found you through Sew Retro. I look forward to following your sewing journey. My daughter lives in the UK and we coming this Fall for the birth of our first grandson. Where do you buy fabric in the UK?

  2. Ruth Ellen,
    Loved this post and the photos of Lady Devonshire's estate and wardrobe! Am delighted you are getting to visit different places. Send me some book titles concerning vintage clothing and styles so I can look for them for you! Love you, Mum

  3. Welcome to the blogging world. I look forward to seeing what you make.


  4. Thanks for the comments Mary and Trudy! Mary, what part of the UK will you be visiting? I know lots of amazing places in London and a few others scattered about England, so there may be some near where you will be. I can send you names and web addresses in an email if you like, just let me know!