A visit to the Fashion Museum in Bath

A visit to the Fashion Museum in Bath

Dresses in the Bath Fashion MuseumWhen we were in the UK we paid a visit to Bath. While we were there of course I had to see the world-class collection at the Fashion Museum. I must have spent a couple of hours wandering through the museum and ogling at everything from dresses, mens clothes, gloves, fans, belts, jewellery, shoes, buckles and bows!

Gloves in the Bath Fashion MuseumOf course I was interested in how garments were embellished and embroidered and spent a good part of the day enjoying the intricate and skilful work and fine crafting that went into making many of the garments.

There are almost 100,000 objects in the the Fashion Museum’s collection, so when it comes to selecting 100 prime pieces that can tell the story of fashion they do it well. The History of Fashion in 100 Objects celebrates fashion from the 1600s to today and boy did I enjoy it!

1610 waistcoat in the Bath Fashion MuseumThis 1610 waistcoat is embroidered in silk but for a lady in Shakespeare’s England it was considered informal attire!

Fans in the Bath Fashion MuseumOne aspect I really enjoyed is that descriptions are not just information about the garment shown, but social history was also included so you could contextualise the piece. For instance this display of fans and other items pointed out that in the 1800’s ivory was used for bags, fans, umbrellas and parasols. Today however many countries abide by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Fauna. There is still an illegal trade in ivory but conventions such as this has helped to reduce the use.

Booties 1800 in the Bath Fashion MuseumThere was quite a bit of information on techniques too. For instanace these babies booties from the 1800’s were quilted.

Chiffon Gown in the Bath Fashion MuseumI also enjoyed the Royal fashion section and loved the Queen Alexandra’s gowns, she had excellent taste and obviously loved fashion. This embroidered and beaded mauve silk chiffon dress, from 1911 really captured my heart.

The collection is displayed in low light, to protect the fabrics. This meant photography is difficult particularly since I was using my phone to take these photos. Hopefully my images are not too dull. If you visit the Fashion Museum website you can see more photographed professionally

Also, in my research into the Fashion Museum in Bath I dug up a few videos which I think readers will enjoy. Both are only a few minutes long. Make a cuppa and enjoy them!

The first, A Day in the Life of the Fashion Museum and Assembly Rooms give you a sense of the place and is a behind the scenes view of life at the Fashion Museum.

Here is a tour of the Fashion Museum with Manager Rosemary Harden.


holding my book in front of quiltHave you seen my book?

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning ResultsΒ  shares practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. I teach you how to balance colour, texture and pattern, in order direct the viewers eye around a crazy quilted project.Β I show you how to build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways using a handful of stitches. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be both practical and inspiring.


  1. Thank you Sharon for filling us in on your visit to Bath, with very informative video’s
    I hope to have two short trips this winter.
    To Bristol and Bath.
    I didn’t know about either collections.

    Jacqui Relph
  2. I am so pleased you managed, at last, to see the Fashion Museum in Bath. I remember you coming all the way to Bath a few years ago and although a group of us met up, we never got to go to the museum because the cafe was closed and we didn’t go back there later to view the museum.
    But so happy for you and I hope this time there were many more exhibits. Your pictures are lovely. I’m going to Bath soon and I will have to go to see for myself.
    Very Best Wishes

    Marion Alderson
  3. Hello Sharon, What an excellent Museum and a very interesting article and photos. Thank you for sharing it with us. I loved the videos. Wish that I could g and see that too.
    Ann B.

    Ann Bernard
  4. Nicely done. I really enjoyed the presentation. I was surprised that the little girl was allowed to try on one of the dresses. It was good to see her discover how different life was back then. I know I could not wear dresses all the time!

    Patricia Hepburn

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