Hi everyone! I hope you are all warm, safe and enjoying this beautiful season.
I have wanted to share this post for a while, and thought Christmas would be the perfect time to do so.
As a college student, I was involved in Early Music Ensemble, which every year presented a series of Madrigal Dinners in early December at our university. This group also performed each year at Biltmore House in costume to celebrate the Christmas season. We were actually featured on NBC's Today Show one Christmas morning singing there at the house. But singing wasn't all I was doing. I designed and made costumes for the group totaling more than 40 by completion of my college career. I remember so fondly being home during Thanksgiving finishing everything up for the performances. My mom, who had a clothing design business, and my grandmother always helped me get everything done and we spent many late nights sewing together. How I miss those days:-) Sewing is something I love and definitely inherited from my mom and both grandmothers. My great grandmother was also a tailor and I've been sewing and designing since I was 9.
Here are a few of the photos taken at Biltmore House. I'm amazed that I actually have photos of several of the group members. It was the late 1980s after all.
These were mostly made from upholstery material and remnants that I put together with what I could find at home. There are patterns for this style of costume now, but there were none then. I designed all of them myself.
This one, I designed and cut out for Dr. Bob Holquist, our director, then his wife put it together. She had been a student of my mom's when she taught clothing design at a community college here.
I made all the hats too.
It was always freezing cold inside the house, so we looked forward to going in costume knowing that we would be semi-warm.
We also enjoyed looking around where visitors are not allowed to go in the house.
The Madrigal dinners were actually presented at the university and always sold out. We looked forward to them so much each year.
One of my favorite costumes is the red and grey one below. I made it from three different dresses I cut up and put together. I wish I had a better photo.
Of course, Queen Elizabeth I was always in attendance.
One last photo performing inside at Biltmore...
If you are near the Asheville N.C. area and have not been to Biltmore House, you must go see it. I always took away so much inspiration for Christmas decor and still use some of the ideas I got from the house then. The sights, scents and sounds of Christmas are honestly just unbelievable in there.
Click on this link for info and tickets.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I posted a preview of Christmas decor yesterday, then my mom called me up to her attic, and I came away with a huge box of ornaments some of which belonged to my great grandmother. I *had* to add ALL of them, of course! Can't wait to share all of that soon.
I'll be joining: