Dresses and Quilts

Plans for my excursion to Winchelsea and Colac changed when I saw how popular the exhibition of fashions from the Dressmaker at Barwon Park was.


Instead of viewing this first and then going on to the Quilt Show I did a flip. This also meant I could catch up with Vireya who was already in Colac.

Colac Quilters have between 40 and 50 members and they did themselves proud.The display of quilts was delightful, beautifully staged and some really pretty pieces.  One friendship group were making quilts to celebrate the 70th birthday of each member until they realised the younger ones would have to wait too long and may miss out altogether. So they got one at a less auspicious birthday. I was taken by some clever piecing using a flower fabric on one quilt and the charming embroidered gate on the row by row year quilt.

After lunch and some time visiting old haunts in Colac it was back to Barwon Park.

The exhibition will go to Ripponlea at the end of April, it is well worth a visit if you are a fan of Marion Boyce’s costume making. Each character has their own look, which then undergoes a transformation. The dull hues in Molly’s outfits required significant distressing of fabrics. The faded beauty in the wool shawl has been achieved by blending the wool threads. There are no short cuts at all in the dresses, each one is carefully constructed for the actor, who had to wear heavy duty corsetry to achieve the silhouette. This was fine in the fitting room, but challenging in the heat on location.

Tilly Dunnage’s Singer Sewing machine is a 201k2, the one on display is from 1938 – yes I checked the serial number!

Barwon Park is a beautiful National Trust property, it has been open to the public for about 10 years, I intend to return to see it as a furnished house.  The beautiful carpets give a small hint to how it looks without the tableaux and imagery from the film.


One response to “Dresses and Quilts

  1. Wow, I never even noticed the carpets! I was looking up at the ceilings and cornices and missed the beauty under my feet. Will have to go back another time myself.

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