[My sincerest apologies for failing to credit the person who sent me the link to this story, I misplaced the email.] Kind benefactor sent news of the restoration of a beetle wing gown worn by Ellen Terry who played Lady Macbeth in 1888. Restoration of the gown took five years and wings of 1,000 beetles. Predictably, the beetles intrigued me most (and in case you fret as I did, the jewel beetle wings are shed naturally). Says the Guardian:
The repairs proved as much costume archaeology as needlework. The dress arrived at the Brighton studio of specialist textile conservator Zenzie Tinker with a box of tattered pieces. She soon realised that she was dealing with the remains of two near identical costumes, presumably patched together when both were too badly damaged to wear. She has carefully removed the later additions, restoring the original Victorian appearance of the gown. Hundreds of broken beetle wings were repaired by gluing green-dyed Japanese tissue paper on to the reverse, and stitching them back into place.
One can only admire the dexterity and infinite patience required to do work such as this. The Guardian story mentions the dress is once again displayed but makes no mention of where that might be other than presumably in the UK. Send word if by chance you see it. Related: a discussion of beetle wing embroidery.
Eye candy preamble dispensed with, here’s the entries published on this site over the past six years for this week. There’s also 2,000+ in the archives. And I hope your weekend isn’t as taxing as taxes! Mr. F-I is not given to bellowing as my father was but I fear sufficiently to hide in the garden whilst the deed is done.
April 8, through April 14, 2006
Fulfillment centers pt.1
Line sheet cover letters
Air-bag motorcycle jackets
Conphorm’s pattern puzzle
Self-reporting one’s size
How to be creative
A question of thoracic shaping
Fulfillment centers pt.2
April 8, through April 14, 2010
Metric Pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear
The vending machine survey
The vending machine survey pt.2