Getting Dressed in the 18th Century -Working Woman

Going viral – again!

Crow’s Eye Productions has just completed a follow-up to our film ‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ that we made for Lady Lever Art Gallery.  The immense popularity of the first film raised  the question amongst the audience who viewed it and enjoyed the complexity of a wealthy woman’s dress:  ‘who dressed the maid’?  So we made the second film to explain in detail how dress was simplified by working women, and made more practical and affordable,  while still maintaining the fashionable silhouette.

Pauline Loven dressing model, Liv Free, on location. Photo (c) Keith Loven.

As with the first film, this was devised, directed, filmed and edited by Nick Loven, and researched and costumed by me and, like the first film, this too has gone viral.

The chamber furnished ready for filming. Photo (c) Pauline Loven

Our first task was to find a suitable location to film in, but we already knew of an almost unaltered chamber (bedroom) of a one-up one-down 18th century cottage, now part of the Friends Meeting House in Brant Broughton.

Model Liv Free, during rehearsals. Photo (c) Pauline Loven

The cottage and attached barn had been donated to The Friends in 1701 and, apart from minor alterations to turn the barn into a Meeting House and subsequently to put in power and heating, the core of the building was maintained unaltered. The fireplaces, floors, doors (with original blacksmith door furnishings), walls and windows remained as they had been in 1701.  Even the original cloak pegs were in place.

Liv lifting her cloak from an original cloak peg. Screen grab (c) Nick Loven of Crow’s Eye Productions.

This film was self-funded and made on the tiniest of budgets.  I made all the clothing (except the shoes and stockings) from linen fabrics I had already in stock.  The replica period pottery was loaned to us by Andrew MacDonald from the Pot Shop in Lincoln.  The bed was made, at cost, by carpenter Peter Halse.  Martha and Emily Milne made the bed quilt from scraps of 18th c. style fabrics for the bed dressing. The Friends were also very generous in allowing us to use the Meeting House. So a huge thank you to everyone who made this short film possible!

Liv Free, wearing the summer version of her outfit – though this was not filmed. Photo (c) Nick Loven

We chose our model, Liv Free  (above), for her natural English rose looks and she was perfect in the role.

Full list of credits:

Director/Cinematographer: Nick Loven

Producer/Costumier: Pauline Loven

Production Assistant: Lilli Stoddart

Woman: Liv Free

VO: Martha Milne

Location: Friends Meeting House, Brant Broughton

Carpentry: Peter Halse

Pottery: Andrew MacDonald of the Pot Shop, Lincoln

Bed Quilt: Martha and Emily Milne

Cockerel: Hughie

Special thanks to the Friends for permission to use the Meeting House and to Wendy Gwatkin in particular, for all her support at the Meeting House and the loan of antique furniture too!

Many thanks to John and Sam O’Boyle for allowing us to record their cockerel Hughie!

Lady Lever Art Gallery has now commissioned us the make another film, this time on the dress of a wealthy 18th century man.




‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century – The Busk’.

The video we made for Lady Lever Art Gallery on ‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ raised a couple of interesting questions. One that frequently occurred was ‘what is the wooden thing that goes in the front?’. The answer is a ‘busk and we have made a short film to explain what a ‘busk’ is:

The replica busks were made by Arthur Roberts and carved by Coral Evans of the Sudbrooke Carving Club.

Replica 18th century busks

The second frequently asked question was ‘who dressed the maid?’ So Crow’s Eye Productions plan to make a short film showing just how a working woman dressed and how she managed to be fashionable too!


‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ – Viral Video

In 2015 we (Crow’s Eye Productions) were contacted by Pauline Rushton, costume curator of The Lady Lever Art Gallery, to make a short film of the sequence of dressing in the 18th century. The film was to be part of the media interpretation of the 18th century gallery which featured many portraits of wealthy society ladies. The idea was … Continue reading “‘Getting Dressed in the 18th Century’ – Viral Video”


King John

Occasionally, a crazily short notice request arrives. Phil Stevens of Urban Apache Films had be tasked with making a short film, The Empty Throne, with the Lincoln School of Film and Media. The timing left me just one week to assemble/make costume in time for filming…

Continue reading “King John”


Knitting for the First World War

‘Tell Them of Us’, WWI Film

Even before the script was written for ‘Tell them of Us’, I spent a year researching and gathering vintage resources to begin creating the costume. The film was to be set in the Lincolnshire village of Thimbleby during WW1. As I worked I became aware of just how much clothing was hand knitted during the period and realised that to only include sewn clothing would have been a distortion… Continue reading “Knitting for the First World War”