Colloque : “Fashioning Dress: Sewing and Skill, 1500-1850”

François-Alexandre-Pierre de Garsault, Art du tailleur : contenant le tailleur d’habits d’hommes, les culottes de peau, le tailleur de corps de femmes & enfants, la couturière & la marchande de modes, imp. de Delatour (Paris), 1769 (np).

Type : colloque.
Date : 19 mai 2017, 9h-18h.
Lieu : University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Milliners, mantua-makers, tailors, stay-makers, dressmakers, and embroiderers – both professional and domestic – made up an a diverse, knowledgeable, and skilled workforce. Their handiwork lay behind the creation of magnificent court robes and elaborate embroidery, as well as shirts, shifts, aprons and petticoats. This conference aims to investigate the skills, techniques, and methods involved in manufacturing clothing – both for men and women. It also engages with the innovative methodology of garment reproduction, and will investigate questions around the usefulness of this approach, and how to present and disseminate such research findings.

The keynote and conference papers will be followed by an interactive workshop, during which participants will have the opportunity to examine reproduction garments at various stages in the making process, and to try their hand at contemporary sewing skills.

This conference is organised by Dr Serena Dyer (Associate Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick and Curator of the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture). For enquiries, please email or


9.00-9.30              Registration

9.30-11.00           Session One

Panel One: Skill and Needlework, OC0.05

Ariane Fennetaux: ‘Work’d pockets to my entire satisfaction’: the skill and work in needlework

Vivenne Richmond: Stitching uniformity? Needlework instruction manuals in nineteenth-century elementary schools

Cecilia Candréus: Gender, craft skill and professionalism in the trade of embroidery c. 1650–1800

Panel Two: Construction and Reconstruction, OC1.03

Susan North: Epidemiology and Sleeve Seams:  can the construction of a shift explain population growth?

M Faye Prior & Anni Shepherd: Making and Using Reproductions at York Castle Museum

Sophie Pitman: Material knowledge and textile literacy: reconstructing the clothing of early modern London

11.00-12.00        Keynote (OC0.01)

Chloe Wigston Smith: Title TBA

12.00-13.00        Lunch

13.00-15.00        Session Two

Panel One: Tailors and Tailoring, OC0.05

Sarah Howard & Alison Carter: A Provincial Tailor’s Account Book, c. 1795-1810

Adelina Modesti: The Account Books of Lorenzo Gabbuggiani (1651 – 1734), Principal Tailor at the Grand Ducal Medici Court

Cecilia Aneer: The Language of Craftsmanship: 17th Century Tailoring Practices through Objects and Documents

Alison Larkin: Tambour and Twist: Analysing Embroidery on Men’s Clothing in the Later Eighteenth Century

Panel Two: Methodologies of Reproduction, OC1.03

Carolyn Dowdell: Making History: An Exploration of Reproduction as a Research Methodology

Sarah Bendall: Sewing “deform’d” fashions: Understanding Women’s Experiences & Challenging Historical Myths with Historical Dress Reproduction

Hilary Davidson: ‘The dreadful epoch of Mantua-making’: Research and Reproduction in Regency Dress Construction

15.00-15.30        Coffee

15.30-17.00        Session Three

Panel One: The Mantua Maker and Women’s Work, OC0.05

Rebecca Morrison: The Ingenious Mistress of Dissimulation: Or how to cut a gown the eighteenth-century way

Sarah Birt: Creative Women’s Work: Exploring Skill and Occupational Identities in Early Modern England

Emily Taylor: A profusion of confusion: How maker’s adapted to new styles in women’s dress c.1785-1815

Panel Two: Making Small Things, OC1.03

Nicole Pohl: Knitting Needles, Knotting Shuttles, & Totums & Cards & Counters’: The Bluestockings and Fibre Arts

Alice Dolan: Institutional Garment Provisioning: A Case Study of the Foundling Hospital 1758-1772

Alicia Kerfoot: The Fabric of Footwear: Needlework, Reproduction, and the Stitched Layers of Narrative in The History and Adventures of a Lady’s Slippers and Shoe

17.00-18.00        Sewing Skills Workshop, OC1.03

For information about registration, see the official website of the event:

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Moïra Dato (25 avril 2017). Colloque : “Fashioning Dress: Sewing and Skill, 1500-1850” Groupe de Recherche en Histoire de l'Art Moderne. Consulté le 15 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

Moïra Dato

Post-doctorante en Histoire de l'art textile à l'Université de Berne.

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