Most of my costuming is for wearing at balls or dance displays. I was asked to make this 1850s mourning gown to go on display at the Sexton Cottage Museum in North Sydney. I found a black mourning dress at the Powerhouse Museum worn by Amelia Hackney in Sydney in the 1850s/1860s and based my dress on hers, using the same measurements. Though I chose a heavy duchess silk satin I wanted to make the front different and chose a fan-front design. Most of the stitching was by hand, with the sewing machine used for skirt seams only. For most of this project I felt very sad - it was hard at times to make myself finish it.