Always know where your tiara is.

If you’re reading this, hello and welcome! I’m Emma, and I'm starting this blog primarily to document my historic sewing projects and costumed adventures. I will probably also diverge into thoughts on researching and interpreting history, books I like, terrible puns, and whatever else occurs to me.

This is also an attempt to figure out where I am right now as a reenactor and historical costumer. I moved to Scotland last year for a Masters programme in Dress and Textile History at the University of Glasgow, and I'm trying to find more opportunities here both for professional research and history dress-up for fun. I want to record how I reproduce historic clothing as accurately as I can, on a limited budget and usually at silly hours of the morning.

The name ‘Ballgown in a Backpack’ was inspired by a trip the lovely Peryn and I took to the Bath Victorian Ball this past spring. It was just the two of us, a suitcase stuffed with ballgowns, and copious amounts of chocolate, and we felt like we could go anywhere. It was the non-galactic equivalent of knowing where your towel is.* The experience summed up why I love this hobby: wonderful people, crazy adventures that I would never go on if it wasn’t an excuse to dress up, and of course, tiaras. No matter what I end up doing with my life, that’s the feeling I want to hang on to, and which I hope to chronicle here.

Walking home from the ball with our suitcase of ballgowns. Not, in fact, a backpack, but I can't resist alliteration.
Photo courtesy of Peryn.

Always prepared.

*I'm currently listening to an audiobook of Stephen Fry reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is as delightful as it sounds.


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere :D I look forward to your adventures and reflections!

    1. Thanks! I'll try to update somewhat regularly...

  2. How can the intersection of history and hobby NOT be worth pursuing, and reporting?
    Can't wait to hear about what you do, and what you have to say about it!


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