A group of 11 girls from Our Lady’s Abingdon visited the Palace in December 2014 to begin a special creative project for their 2016 GCSE Textile, Design and Technology exam. They developed skills and drew inspiration from the Palace interiors and began working to a brief later on in the academic year.
The brief was to design and create jackets inspired by the portraits and tapestries on display in Blenheim Palace. The jackets needed to be lined, and the lining fabric also had to include details from their photographs taken inside the Palace.
Once the jackets had been completed, Head of Textiles Karen Rowe shared the images of the final creations with the Education Team at Blenheim Palace, who were so impressed that they invited the girls to exhibit their work.
Antonia Keaney, Education Officer at Blenheim Palace, says: “We were extremely impressed by the exceptional standard of work that the students from Our Lady’s Abingdon have created. The jackets are beautifully constructed and show interesting elements of Blenheim Palace.
“We are very pleased to be able to display the garments for visitors to see and hope that they will also inspire other school groups who come to visit.”
The students’ exhibition
The incredible results of this project are the jackets on display in the State Rooms at Blenheim Palace. The girls have combined images and details of the Palace with the ultra-modern techniques used in textiles teaching today.
The students have used recycled fabrics (including linings) and many of the outer fabrics have been overdyed to create more interesting, subtle and suitable colours.
The girls worked in teams to create mini ‘production lines’ (to replicate the garment industry) for each style of jacket. For example, a team might have one girl working on the sleeves, one on the collar, whilst another worked on the main body of the jacket. Once the basic construction was complete, each girl worked on her own jacket.
The finished items will be used by Blenheim Palace’s Education Team and will be available to be worn by visiting schoolchildren.