Costuming Work Experience
in South London

Create the Mood

Work experience placements for experienced sewers wanting to find out more about costume-making
and third year textiles and costume/theatre design students.

You can:
make new historic costumes and learn about different historical techniques
maintain antique clothes and textiles
research and design items
attend events where costumes are worn
travel throughout the UK
do historic embroidery
work in unusual fabrics
learn to do it without patterns

Placements can be one day a week or two weeks solid, or whatever suits you. At the end, you will receive a reference if you wish.

You must be flexible in outlook and willing to try your hand at anything that is required. You must be something of a perfectionist and be willing to undo something and redo it to get it correct. Historical costuming does not involve a lot of actual sewing and some sewing will be hand-work as sewing machines were not used by ordinary people until the early 20th century. You will be expected to ask questions and suggest different techniques and design ideas.

You can gain experience in most historical eras and may request a particular project if you have something specific you would like to learn or practise. Otherwise you will work on whatever project is being undertaken at the time of the placement. If you live outside London you will have the opportunity to visit museums and art galleries.

Each stage of the work will be explained and you are encouraged to write notes and ask questions so that you are clear about what to do. Your work will be supervised, but you will also be left to work on your own. You will be encouraged to discuss each stage of the project.

Previous work experience students have been involved with film work, dyed fabric, fitted costumes, designed patterns from examining historical portraits, made a stylish cushion, made a turban, worked in fabrics they have never used before, learned how to do different syles of Victorian pleating, and undertaken maintenance tasks such as laundering an Elizabethan ruff

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last updated 11 December, 2012