Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Costume Design Center Open House

Friday, October 25 was this year's annual open house at the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center, where I work.  From 9:00-4:00 we were open to the public, completely free of charge.  We had dressed all of our mannequins in costumes produced by the CDC, and set up displays of accessories and special projects all over the building.  My job for the day was to demonstrate handmade buttonholes and covered buttons.  I'll blog about my part of it soon, but for now here are all the pictures I took on my break!

Caution:  There are a LOT of pictures!  

Pregnancy stays!  How cool is that?

Fly fringe being made and various styles of fly fringe:

Children's uniforms from London's Foundling Hospital, recreated as part of the Threads of Feeling symposium:

I loved this little girls' dress with leading strings:

Just look at that embroidery.  Even the buttons are embroidered!  

We do way more than just the 18th Century!

I'm glad I wasn't making these buttons!  

I took a lot of pictures of hats...

Portrait of Martha Washington next to Colonial Williamsburg's interpretation

Stacy, I took this one for you.  ;)  

I was fascinated by the shoe-making display, and could have spent all day studying the shoes!

Demonstrating needle lace
Just a tiny portion of our fabric collection
I believe this gown is for our Lady Dunmore.  The mannequin started the day completely dressed, but became a useful prop for explaining the layers of a woman's court gown.  
Pinking irons!  I want one of my own...
A lovely taffeta Brunswick showing off the style of trim produced by pinking irons
And just for a teaser, here's a shot of the covered buttons I've been working on:


  1. What a lovely exhibit! Thank you so much for sharing your pictures for those of us who live a little too far away to go see it in person. :)


    1. You are most certainly welcome! If you ever do get out to Williamsburg, it's well worth a visit. Next year will be the 80th Anniversary of the Costume Design Center!, (I believe) so next year's open house will probably be even more extravagant!