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Miss Fisher's costumes

Well it has been busy. Working full time doesn't allow for much else especially when there is a child and ageing parents. I haven't made as much as I'd hoped (ha ha do I ever) and the three things I have made I haven't photographed yet. Actually the Burda dress I just finished yesterday. I'm touching a lot of fabric and patterns but I just don't have the brain energy at night so far.

This is a panoramic photo my son took from my friend's balcony at Broadbeach. What a view! It's a great spot right across the road from the beach and last week when we went for the weekend there was a great double rainbow that we saw both ends of. You can just make it out in the top left corner.  It was a bit cloudy that day (the next was magnificent - "beautiful one day, perfect the next" - that was the old marketing talk for Queensland a few years ago).

Hee hee, then my friend said want to take a weird panoramic photo - sure why not - so while he was taking the start of the photo on the left, we walked behind him and went to the other end of the balcony and there you go, we are both ends of the photo. I thought that was brilliant. As this is a sewing blog, the top I'm wearing is a Burda pattern, just a loose turtle neck made with some rayon jersey I bought in Auckland years ago. I bought about 4 metres, and only in this colour, wish I had more as it is so gorgeous, washes up beautifully, hasn't lost any colour and like woven rayon the creases just drop out of it.

Moving on, I had a couple of spare hours after having lunch with Dad and dropping him back at the nursing home. I made a deal with myself as I was driving back home... if I got a car park spot near Southbank* then I would go to the Miss Fisher costume exhibit, and POW, I got one. (*Southbank is a nice area with parklands, restaurants, shops etc on the river opposite the city and a short bridge walk to the Miss Fisher's costume exhibit - which is in Old Government House in the Queensland University of Technology grounds - but on a beautiful sunny Sunday it's nearly impossible to get a park spot). So off to the exhibit I went... here's some photos to enjoy.

The little cape really struck a cord with me. What a lovely way to finish off a strappy dress for warm climates.

This  dress (and many others) were really intriguing. When you initially view the dress, it is beautiful and spectacular and looks like a simple dress, which you would probably expect as it is costuming for a tv show (tv show actually sounds pretty lame, given the high standard, but you know what I mean). When you got close to many of the simple looking dresses you see the seaming which is pretty complex. I couldn't get great photos but if you look closely at the two photos you can see there is a "V" sort of seaming in the middle, then if you follow the next seam it kicks in and then  out again and goes down and ends there. The second photo sort of shows that the seams go all the way down, but don't be fooled by the light and shadow. It actually stops where you see the kind of diamond shape in the top photo. Just beautiful.

Look at that lace - so gorgeous and the way it was displayed where you could see the lace across from the wrap to the hem to the end of the wrap again.

The beautiful mermaid costume.

There was a theme I noticed... sleeve embellishments. Have a look at some of the creative elements on the ends of the sleeves.

Not only the sleeves of this (which weren't clear to see but looked gorgeous) but the whole look of the delicate top as an over blouse.

Then this beautiful cover.... it was so sheer and light and the trims were thoughtfully placed so that the light fabric would behave how the designer wanted. As I walked close to this a breeze blew through the door right by it and you can see the flow and shimmer it created.

A few observations, nearly all the fabrics were silk, some were dyed to get the right colour or to match older fabrics.

What I really loved was that there were swatches supplied so you could feel the fabrics used. I thought this was brilliant and so understanding of the wants of some of the people who would visit the exhibit. As we all know, the first thing you want to do when someone has made their clothes is touch them and feel the fabric so I was really pleased with this. There was a little blurb about the fabrics too. There was a collection of Marion Bryce's own costume jewellery and accessories and a display of her 'workroom', plus there was a dress up room too...I didn't partake.. but many did. You could even buy the lipstick Miss Fisher wears.

This is a little burnt out silk shawl/shrug that I took photos of to copy (one day...). This is silk and was selling in the gift shop for $250... It was just a large rectangle lined with a sheer soft netting and tacked together at some strategic points near the end to put your arms through. Genius  and so simple.

I hope you get to see this exhibit if you are in or around Brisbane. You'll love it.


  1. Thanks so much for the Miss Fisher tit-bits. I am really hoping to see this exhibition and you've whetted my appetite.

  2. Loved the Miss Fisher exhibit, glad you got your good park and made it there ;o)

    1. Yes... meant to be and I'm glad I went because I was thinking I'll probably forget!

  3. I saw this when it was in Adelaide and totally loved it. Thanks for sharing so many photos. Seems like you loved all the same things that I did. Having the swatches was a genius idea

  4. I'll have to come back and read this post in detail later....I love the Miss Fisher costumes.

  5. Thanks for the tour! I really doubt I'll get to see it in person. I really enjoyed this :-) I extra-like the swatch idea!

  6. I had never heard of Miss Fisher until PR weekend this year when someone dressed like Miss Fisher for the accessories contest.

    The rainbow photo is quite neat!!!

  7. Darn I missed the exhibition when it was in Melbourne. Thanks for your comment . It was an extremely lucky op shop find. At the same time I found some vintage Liberty twill 90cm by 90 cm with an extra rectangle for only $2. That is being made into infinity scarves now. That shop is near my Mum in Melbourne so it is easy to pop in when I travel down to visit her.

  8. Forgot to add, I wish they would say where their fabric was from so we could buy some too. The clothes are magnificent .

  9. Thank you, thank you for this vicarious tour. I love the show and adore the costumes. You pointed out the subtle, sophisticated details and I would imagine clothes like that even help Essie Davis play the character with more feeling for the period.

  10. Thanks for letting me know of this article, the clothes look even more exquisite now that I have the chance to appreciate the details. I noticed some of the sleeve designs as I watched the show but I couldn't find detailed photos. Mesmerizing!

  11. Thanks for letting me know of this article, the clothes look even more exquisite now that I have the chance to appreciate the details. I noticed some of the sleeve designs as I watched the show but I couldn't find detailed photos. Mesmerizing!


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