My grandmother had her own atelier where she made fur coats after World War II until they went out of fashion. My mother is a costumer and has studied arts. I studied Graphic Design & Mediation and always loved crafts.
I did not start sewing until after my divorce, when I had to sell my horses I suddenly had time and a desire to do something new and for myself. I used to help my mother with basting and cutting of clothes to make, but never actually used a sewing machine.
I only started in 2004, I made most improvement by one simple rule, sew everyday for at least one hour. First it's to make progress, next it's to maintain your level.
It was a couple of years ago that, resigned to a half hour of boredom, I picked up a nondescript magazine in my doctor's surgery. To my surprise and delight, it wasn't long before I was willing the delay to continue for as long as possible, for within the pages of that dog-eared periodical was an article about the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company.
Ninya Mikhaila, professional historical costumier and co-author of The Tudor Tailor, designs and makes high quality reproduction costumes that help to bring history to life. Working to the individual needs of heritage sites, museums, stately homes and private clients, complete costumes include beautifully made underpinnings, accessories and headgear. All of the costumes are handmade to the highest standards: no visible machine stitching, all natural materials and meticulous research are all fundamental to Ninya’s service. Fastenings and trimmings are all recreated to be as close to the originals as possible.
Ninya's clients include The Royal Armouries, Historic Royal Palaces, The National Trust, English Heritage, The Public Records Office and Gainsborough’s House, and this month Your Wardrobe Unlock’d was lucky enough to track her down in Edinburgh…
Photograph (c) Tudor Tailor