Friends Of Werribee Park Are Sewing History Together

Parks Victoria

In the serene backdrop of Werribee Park, a different kind of volunteerism is flourishing, far removed from the typical park activities such as weeding and planting.

Instead, the Friends of Werribee Park have begun a volunteer sewing group dedicated to creating and repairing period costumes that are worn around the grounds, bringing history to life for the thousands of guests who visit each year.

The costumes need to be meticulously maintained and periodically refreshed, so the Friends of Werribee Park formed the volunteer sewing group to create costumes that accurately reflect what life would have been like at the Werribee Park Mansion and its grounds in the late-1800s.

Costumed volunteers in the mansion

Photo: The Friends of Werribee Park volunteers help bring the historic Werribee Park Mansion to life by dressing up in period costumes.

Led by experienced seamstresses and history enthusiasts, the group gathers regularly in a cosy corner of the mansion, where the hum of sewing machines and the soft chatter of volunteers create a lively atmosphere.

Stacey has been volunteering at Werribee Park for nearly 20 years, after becoming “fascinated” by the costumed volunteers on a visit. It didn’t take much convincing for her to join the group and pull on a costume of her own.

“I have three costumes, depending on what I’m doing on the day. I have a ladies costume, a maid costume and a farm costume. If I’m spinning wool I need a farm costume, I don’t wear the maid costume very often but it’s there if I need it, and the one I mainly dress up in is a ladies costume,” Stacey said.

“It’s great because it really engages people. They’ll have lots of questions, particularly around the corset and undergarments.”

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