The survey results are in, thanks to everyone who responded. I wish I had added more space for comments as these were by far the most interesting part. I’ll try not to bore you with statistics, just summarise.
Most of you hand wash your costumes – especially boned items – and most of you would prefer to machine wash. Stays and wool items were the least washed – wool because it can be aired and stays because they are not worn next to the skin. Spot cleaning with a vodka/water spray was also suggested more than once – I didn’t know about that one.
Visible machine stitching is a no no, pins and ties are fine, and I was suprised at how many of you are prepared to re-attach trimmings like sleeve frills, if these can be made removable. Noted! About pinked edges – there was an even split between yes, no and maybe – so I will leave that one for now.
I have considered removable boning but was interested to hear that it can tend to remove itself at inappropriate moments, so will definitely have to think hard about that.
Finally the suggestions about hidden fastenings really chimed with my recent struggles pinning closed 18th Century bodices. I’ve been working on introducing this type of fastening:
I’ll be taking all this input on board in future dressmaking projects and thanks again for your contrubutions – stand by for the machine washable self ironing 18th century frock 🙂