My name is Chris White and I am the owner of Mrs Papendick Historical Seamstress.
I retired from my post as a lead teacher for History in Staffordshire in 2010. After twiddling my thumbs for a few months, I started making Regency and Georgian garments as a hobby and as a volunteer at Erasmus Darwin House, a local museum in Lichfield. My cottage soon became too small for all my efforts, I had become addicted!
I wanted to improve my costume skills and, in particular, I wanted to make my own patterns based on original fashion plates. So I signed up for a one day a week course - a BTEC Level III in Costume at Warwickshire College, the Henley in Arden campus.. As well as pattern making, I also did millinery as part of my course.
After the course I was offered an 'incubator unit' in a lovely Georgian house in the college grounds. Mrs Papendick was based there for two years. Some students from the college were employed on a part time basis during that time - Lauren, Harriet and Alice.
In April 2015 Mrs Papendick moved to Hednesford. The enterprise centre where we are now based is on the stunning Cannock Chase.
Lucy Fellows became my lead seamstress and deputy in April 2016. I would be lost without her.
at the end of 2017 we were joined by two new seamstresses, Carole and Marie. They settled in immediately and became a happy addition to the Mrs P family.