20th Century

Maggie & Johnnie dressed up

I’ve shown you a bit of Maggie’s costume on the dressform, but of course you are still waiting to see it on a person, and to see Johnnie’s uniform.

Here are the very talented Rowena and Stuart in their costumes as Maggie (as a maid, and then a rural wife) and Johnnie (as a gunner in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, the Wellington Infantry Battalion ) pre-dress rehearsal for  Home.

Maggie starts out the show as a domestic servant (in huge demand in early 20th century New Zealand).

Then she meets Johnnie, but 1914 comes, and he goes off to war:

Later in the show Maggie gets to take off her apron and be a rural housewife.  Isn’t Rowena just adorable?

Home has just finished up its run in Hamilton, and is off to Auckland for a few shows.  Do make an effort to see it if you can, it’s so sweet (and starts with Mairi’s Wedding, so I was always going to love it), and such a fascinating glimpse into a really important period in New Zealand history.


  1. LadyD says

    I can play mairi’s wedding. Well if someone else starts the tune that is. lol!

      • I can play it on squeezebox and fiddle. I’m ‘in to’ folk music.

        The outfit looks comfy. Clothes of ordinary people are always interesting.
        I have a question what is weather like in New Zealand…would it have been hot and stuffy wearing long sleeves etc.?

        • Is a squeezebox the same as an accordion? I always assumed it was.

          Haha…hot and stuffy…oh yes! Sorry (contains herself). Some places in NZ (Napier for example) get very warm during the summer, but NZ definitely has seasons (sometimes four in one day!). Home is mostly set in Wellington, which can be incredibly cold and windy and damp even in the middle of summer. So Maggie would be quite comfortable in her long sleeves. Johnnie not so much in his wool uniform in Egypt, but he takes off the jacket and has a wool singlet and suspenders.

    • Thank you! It’s also probably historically accurate (that her old skirt and blouse would have been used for farm work) and fixed the issue of super-quick changes.

  2. Lynne says

    I think it is great to be making the kinds of clothes ordinary people wore – what a helpful play! Costume history is often so much about the special clothes the small numbers of better-off people wore. Mostly, of course, that is what survived, either in pictures or as special saved things. I find I’m more and more interested in everyday clothing.

    • I do love fancy dresses, but I’m with you – ordinary clothes are so interesting and charming in their own right. I really enjoyed the opportunity to make something so simple.

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