Exhibition Highlight: Embellishments in Victorian Dress, May 13-August 27, 2017


Saco Museum

How did nineteenth century clothing makers think about design? How did they create the fabulous, over-the-top trims late 19th c. fashion is known for? Embellishments in Victorian Dress looks at nine design principles, and how they are applied, to help you see Victorian fashion in a new way.

First opening at the University Museum at UNH in September 2012, the exhibition traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts in 2014 and the Portsmouth Athenaeum in 2015. This new, greatly expanded exhibition of fifty garments will feature the nine core examples from the original show, with many new selections from the University of New Hampshire’s Irma Bowen Textile Collection, the Saco Museum, Portsmouth Historical Society’s John Paul Jones House, Strawbery Banke Museum, and Woodman Institute Museum. Hours, directions, and programs at the Saco Museum.



Strawbery Banke Museum

Woodman Institute Museum










John Paul Jones House


Saco Museum




Book Review: Possibilities are Endless!

Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail

Book Review, November 2013

“Ms. Shaeffer doesn’t only show the embellishments used, she explains how to do them! With clear instructions and diagrams she shows the reader ruching, pleats, ribbon work, binding, piping, cord & braid work, and appliqué. The possibilities for your own costumes are endless!” — READ the ENTIRE REVIEW…