Volunteering at Petworth, the sewing group

Image showing pattern pieces being cut

Over the years Petworth has had a sewing group, making historically accurate costumes for display and for volunteers to wear during special weekends where the Costume Interpretation team help bring Petworth to life dressed as characters based on people who lived and worked at Petworth House and Park.

After a break a new group has formed to make costumes. The sewing team bring vital skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for creating the costumes for the much-loved Interpreters who help to transport the visitor back to the 1820s.

This year Petworth is pleased to welcome Cerina Nichamin to the group, a past contestant of the Great British Seeing Bee, series 2. Cerina lives in Hampshire and originally trained as an Archive Conservator for the National Archives in the 1990’s and then went on to set up a cooking education business. Cerina is also a keen artist, working in oils. 

With time to spare, Cerina approached Petworth to volunteer. ‘I started my volunteer journey by being a Room Guide, using all the support material available to the volunteers. I am not an Historian, and I ask visitors to be patient with me when I can’t answer a particular question, but my fellow volunteers are always be able to help out, I’ve chatted to some who have been volunteering for decades!

Cerina learnt to sew as a child, having daughters rekindled her love of sewing. ‘It’s meant I’ve spent years making ballet costumes, tutus and plenty of fancy dress outfits – and I’ve loved every minute of it…sewing has always been an enjoyable hobby for me and after applying for the Great British Sewing Bee on a whim, no one was more surprised than me, to have made it through the rigorous interview process!’

Come and join the Petworth House stitchers for tea and biscuits, conversation and a shared hobby. Volunteering at Petworth will interest and inspire you as well as provide an opportunity to meet new and fascinating people, surrounded by history, art and parkland.

‘I love it!’ Cerina Nichamin, Petworth Volunteer

The sewing team meet every Monday from 10:30 – 1:30pm and encourage new people to join them. This year they will be working on creating new costumes as well as mending and alterations of the existing wardrobe. They will also be asked to apply their imaginations to Petworth’s Christmas theme, Mischief and Disguise 2016.