Heirloom exhibition at Woodlands for young and old

Heirloom gowns


Step into history these school holidays for Stitch ‘n’ Time; a special exhibition of antique children’s and dolls dresses at Woodlands Estate.

“We will open our doors on Tuesday July 10, Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 so children of all ages can experience what it would have been like to grow up in the past,” says Woodlands administration assistant Stacey Senior.

The exhibition of heirloom christening gowns and infant gowns, some are more than 200 years old, will be displayed in the Kauri room.

Demonstrations of needlework will also be held over the three days, with visitor interaction encouraged – “we want everyone to be able to learn the history and technique of these craft-work practices from the past.”

Victorian gownsDevonshire teas will be on offer from Prof’s @ Woodlands, and visitors can partake of traditional games such as hopscotch and frisbee throwing as well.

The idea for the exhibition came from Hamilton midwife Claire Hutchison, who approached Woodlands manager Kirstie Alley last November. “She thought Woodlands was the perfect place to display her family collection of antique dresses.”

The Victorian estate in Gordonton has many heirloom pieces itself, some of which are being framed to highlight the techniques and to preserve them.

“We also have been wanting to celebrate the women who had previously lived here, and the needlework they may have done. By showcasing these skills we are helping to keep these art forms alive and introducing them to the next generation—perhaps some will even take them up as a hobby!”

Visitors are welcome to look around the homestead ($2 donation) and stroll around the gardens for free.

A Stitch ‘n’ Time, antique children’s and dolls dresses at Woodlands Estate, with demonstrations on Tuesday July 10, Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 . The exhibition runs throughout July. A gold coin donation is asked for entry.  Bookings recommended for small groups.

• Bookings are essential for the Devonshire tea at Prof’s Cafe – $10pp includes tea and a freshly baked scone.



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