Costumed Making Workshop

Back at the end of February, Dawn Wood, from Ages of Elegance, came down to help a team of volunteers and I make some historic costumes. These costumes will be worn by our Costumed Interpreters when the Old Chapel is open to the public.

WP_000405 The three day course was a huge success, and a great time was had by all. Dawn picked an 1870s day dress to make. The more experienced sewers got to task with this, making petticoats, a skirt and the top, all to be put together to form the final dress. This photo shows Dawn doing one of the fittings for the top part of the dress.

The dress is a simple black day dress, and we had in mind Ellen Carter, who was the wife of Reverend A M Carter, a minister at Old Chapel from 1870-1907 when it was a Non-conformist chapel.  It is the type of dress she may have worn when attending the Old Chapel.

Dawn got the beginners to practise using a sewing machine, and also taught them to make aprons, Victorian caps, and a chemise. The aprons and chemises made are all in the Victorian style, and will be available for visitors to try on when the Old Chapel is open to the public. Other volunteers also made Dorset buttons, which involved threading cotton onto a ring in a certain way to create a pattern. A big thank you to those volunteers that gave up their time to attend.

Come along and see the results for yourself on one of our open days!


Kate VigursWe are now looking for Costumed Interpreters to go in the costumes that are being made! Kate Vigurs, pictured, from History’s Maid, will be at The Old Chapel on the 3rd, 4th and 5th April delivering a workshop on how to be a costumed interpreter. The workshop will look at what is involved with costumed interpretation, and teach participants how to get into character and deal with the public.

It is a three day course that runs from 10am-4pm each day. The course is free, so if you would like to volunteer in costume, engaging the public with the history of The Old Chapel and Upminster, please get in touch to book a place!

Gemma Smith – 01708 222660 email

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