I spent this morning at a workshop for museum staff and volunteers, at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. It was run by Michelle Harper, a textile conservationist from Stoke-on-Trent, and it was about displaying costume items. Specifically, on how to prepare manikins for use in displaying costume. Unfirtunepately I missed the first session last week, on handling and packing, but I got a copy of the handouts. We spent most of the morning padding out a very skinny female manikin, to allow us to display a MALE 1950s blazer on it! We went through quite a lot of wadding, a lot of measurements, and quite a few pins and sewing thread. Finally a white cotton tee shirt to cover the wadding.
We were quite pleased with the final result - as was Michelle. For a first go at preparing a display manikin it ended up rather good! Very useful for the waistcoat display when it is completed. Picture below (sorry, sideways again!)
I have also ordered detailed digital photographs of the original waistcoat from the State Library in Sydney. As soon as they arrive, I should be able to get enough detail from them to try out the embroidery for the waistcoat. Can't wait!