Read on to see where Mela is up to: "This week I started the slightly scary task of pitting in stitches to secure the pleating that we had put into the petticoat last time. Both sides are different and one is pleated a lot more regularly than the other but I tell myself that I must stick with how the fabric wants to fold and not impose my own needle to neaten and make things look even and symmetrical. It is very hard to get the needle through even one layer of this fabric let alone several together, so a good thimble technique is required. At the end of the day I had completed one side of the petticoat, stitching down to make them sharply pleated, as they would have been. It has been a busy day with visitors today as well and I wave at them from behind the glass. I have also managed to find time to get out and give two short talks. Whenever I’m out of the room, on a break, I am greeted with: ‘Oh look it’s the lady who was sewing!’, this gives me the opportunity to have little conversations about the project with all sorts of people who are all so interested in the mantua and the beauty of the fabric."
A Dress Fit for a King - Project progress
On the first floor of the mansion you can find our new exhibition, 'A Dress Fit for a King'. This exhibition is designed to offer visitors to reflect on the life of women in the eighteenth century and notably the life of Ann Bangham, wife of Berrington's original owner Thomas Harley. The main feature of this exhibition is an original eighteenth century dress which was owned by Ann.
Now, thanks to all of the support from our visitors, we have engaged conservator Melangell Penrhys and replica costume maker Michelle Barker to reconstruct the dress and ensure visitors will be able to see it for years to come. Watch the videos and hear about Melangell and Michelle's work.
Keep your eyes on this article as we update it with notes from the conservators, and stay in the loop with how the restoration project is coming along and their progress.