Thursday, 3 February 2011

George IV body belt for Dress for Excess

It's been a busy few months for me. Since my last post in September I have completed my MA dissertation and have been working on preparation for my MA show, which opened this week.

The project deadlines for the Brighton exhibition Dress for Excess were swapped and the replica of George IV's body belt became the first replica to go on display when the exhibition opens on Saturday, 5th February 2011.
The remaining projects will go on display in August 2011, so keep checking back for updates!

Correct materials in purely natural fibers can be hard to find these days, but I managed to find cotton twill for the base fabric, cotton thread, cotton twill tape and shell buttons to complete the belt. I was unable (thankfully) to use whalebone for the boning, so used standard metal corset boning.

The most difficult element of the construction was the laced slits in the center front and sides of the belt. Getting a consistent, clean finish in these areas was difficult but the result was well worth the effort.

The most confusing element of the project was the construction used to fasten the belt in the back. Martin found a chapter in Robert Doyle's Waisted Efforts on this specific belt and answered our questions regarding fastening, buttons and loops!
Here is a photo of the finished back with the loop detail.

Image of the finished belt, front view.

Image of finished belt before adding the buttons, back view.

The belt will be on display with three original garments worn by George IV.
Hopefully I will be able to get some photos of the display and object panel once it's installed.
When Martin showed me where the belt would be on display I was overwhelmed with excitement and so thankful to have had the opportunity to work on the project.
Knowing that I have something I made on display at the Royal Pavillion is so exciting!!

Here is the link to the press release for the exhibition:


  1. Awesome and CONGRATULATIONS Jen!!!!

  2. Amazing work, Jen! I must try to take a trip to Brighton!

  3. I was in touch with Martin Pel some time back and shred with him some tailoring accounts. The full story of Prinny's tailor will be published this year I hope. In the meantime there's a blog which may be of interest at
    Best wishes

  4. I am aware that I am a decade too late, but if anyone is still monitoring this blog I would like to talk to them about this project.