re. costume

Ian Brockbank

Message 21552 · 21 Jun 2000 12:18:20 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Hi Jenny,

> I am an Australian porcelain doll maker, and am currently
> working on a beautiful doll that I would like to dress as a
> Scottish Country Dancer. I am having great difficulty
> finding pictures or a good description of the costume worn by
> ladies, and was wondering if you could possibly help me.

Probably the most instantly recognisable costume would be a long white
dress (ankle-length, leaving the feet clear to dance), sleeveless,
with a tartan sash folded in half and pinned at the shoulder with a
sash brooch (large, celtic-style, ~4 inches across). The underneath
half of the sash is pinned at the waist on the opposite side, the top
half of the sash is left hanging loose. Which shoulder it should be
pinned on depends on where you dance (and there are various stories
about "the right way to do it", all of which call on various
traditions which predate me, so I can't vouch for any of them), but I
do know that in the Edinburgh area we pin the sashes on the right
shoulder (and hence at the waist at the left), but in the north-east
of England, they pin them on the left shoulder and to the right.

Well, to be more accurate, the sash is folded in half, and a rubber
band put round it 6-8 inches from the fold to gather it in. It is
then safety-pinned to the shoulder, to the waist (generally from the
inside of the dress) and on the back where it comes over the shoulder,
to keep both sides close to the neck as it comes over (and to hide the
zip on the dress). The sash brooch is then pinned to the sash to hide
the rubber band.

/~\ / \
_\_/_ _\ /_
/@\_/ \ / /||\
/ | | \ / |//|| \
\ | | \_ _/ // || /
|| |\ // |||
/ \ / ||
/ \ / \
/ \ / \

The dress has a very full skirt to give freedom to dance (it might
even be cut on a complete circle, but it's a while since my wife made
one, so I can't remember).

The ensemble is finished off with ballet shoes - red ones are
considered de rigeur by some and pretentious by others; black is
common but some consider it common, white or cream would go with the
dress.

I'm afraid I don't know of any photos on the web, but I have copied
this to the SCD mailing list in the hopes that someone there can help.
[To any strathspeyer wanting to help, Jenny's email address is
<xxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xx>]

Any further questions, please come back to me and I will do my best to
answer (though I am not a dressmaker).

HTH,

Ian
--
Ian Brockbank, Indigo Active Vision Systems, The Edinburgh Technopole,
Bush Loan, Edinburgh EH26 0PJ Tel: 0131-475-7234 Fax: 0131-475-7201
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