The Battledress combines the various wearable items made for the Pilgrimage project: a pair of knitted socks, a shift, a pair of pockets, a headscarf and a waterproof dress coat. All of these items take inspiration from historical textile practices and were designed and made by me.
Each item was inspired by a story or place described to me in the interviews I conducted at the beginning of the project.
The socks, or ‘hose’, came from a comment my dad made about all the serious walkers going up Ben Nevis wearing red socks and peddle pushers. Very warm for winter walking and held up by cotton tape garters tied below the knee.
The shift is a response to my research on medieval Scotland and the prominent evidence of history within the landscape, visible next to the signs of encroaching modernity. It is hand sewn and traditionally constructed from a 13th century pattern.
The pockets were inspired by 17th and 18th century detachable pockets, worn under the skirts and reached by slits in the side. Mine are made from a linen napkin belonging to my great grandfather’s household, emblazoned with his family crest. If there is no mobile phone signal on your journey, why not carry a pocket encyclopedia for those moments when you need a quick answer or a bit of cerebral entertainment? One of these knowledgable tomes (not pocket size) provided evening entertainment for the 4 on long drives.
The headscarf is embroidered in cross stitch with the word ‘SCRAMBLE’ which is what you would do if you were being chased down a mountain by an angry ram, which did happen to my dad.
The Escapade is a waterproof dress which packs down into a small bundle, like it’s inspiration, the Pac-a-mac.
All photographs taken by fellow student, Tom Ive.