Today I left for Bath. After checking into the hostel I went straight over to the Fashion Museum for my study appointment. I got to play with six beautiful 18th century gowns and I feel like I learned SO MUCH. I only had two hours, which was not nearly enough time, but I tried my best to manage it. I still only had about five minutes for the last dress. The number one thing I learned is that as perfect as they may look, historic garments aren't perfect. The width of pleats varies by .25" on the back of a robe a la francaise, some one must have mismeaured fabric at one point because there was an extra panel pieced in to the back of one robe a la francaise. It was nice to be reminded that these master craftsmen were still human. Takes some pressure off me. And the gowns were of course gorgeous! The petticoat of the last one was very interesting, it had this large square of plain muslin top center back rather than the nice fabric. I wonder if it was maybe because that's where a lot of sweat goes, or because that might be what you sat on so it wore out quicker.
After my appointment I had a quick look around the museum. Besides the "permanent" displays they also had a wedding dress exhibit, a couple contemporary dress exhibits, and an interesting "Behind the Scenes" exhibit where they displayed pieces from their collection from throughout the 19th century along with storage boxes and things so people could get an idea of what it's like behind the scenes at a museum collection.
It was pouring rain when I got out and I was starving, and I noticed that a pub called the Assembly Inn a few doors down served food. So I walked in, cold and wet, only to find that they were out of food. But James the bartender had made some delicious sausage rolls and bread, so I had a bit of that.
As I got up to pay I got to talking with James and Jason, a local having a pint. They invited me to join them and we got to talking and really hit it off. Jason's wife Charlie showed up and lo and behold, I found a British version of my dear friends Jeremy and Ashley. We all had a great time hanging out, and I impressed everyone with this awesome card trick I know. I even played the lottery (and lost. No 166 million Euros for me). I had only intended to pop in for a moment, as I still needed to finish my dress for the ball tomorrow. Four hours and four and a half pints of cider later, Jason walked me back to the hostel. Well, he walked. I stumbled.
I woke up at 4:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep but that was OK because it gave me time to finish my dress and wash my hair so it would look nice for the ball.