Last year I made a trip to the theatre & performance galleries at the V&A with my friend Holly, which we had actually tried to visit several times before, with no success. Whilst at the V&A we obviously spent quite a bit of time looking around the shop, which houses some really exquisite things. I fell in love with some floral cotton dressing gowns that were in the section of clothes linked to the Horrockses print exhibition that had recently been on in London. I balked at the price however, which led to a brief obsession with the idea of making a lightweight summer dressing gown. (A lot of the original, ideological reasons for my being drawn to craft are linked with not being able to afford designer items myself – being of very modest means – and the want to create something better suited to myself).
I found the perfect fabric for my bud of an idea at Shepherd’s Bush (since I didn’t actually like the print of the one at the V&A that much!), a beautiful cotton print made for export to Japan. I drafted up the dressing gown pattern based on the construction of the Japanese hippari. I was originally thinking of making it like a kimono but decided that the long sleeves would be impractical, besides not having purchased enough fabric.
The performance galleries were interesting to look at if somewhat smaller than expected. I didn’t really learn anything, but then I am studying the subject at degree level. Of course the best part was the dressing up box.