About the Author

 

Madame Weigel’s patterns have been the focus of my study since 2007. Having captured details of more than 9000 patterns from 1878 to 1969 I have established an evidential record of Madame Weigel’s life and pattern series, presented in my publications, listed below.

Now, in April 2020, I have three publications to present to Madame Weigel's followers:

  • a biography of Madame Weigel - "Madame Weigel: the Woman who Clothed the Australasian Colonies", published in 2015
  • a history of Madame Weigel's patterns - "Madame Weigel's Patterns: 1878-1950", published in April 2020 
  • a history of Madame Weigel's sleeve patterns - "Madame Weigel's Sleeves: arms, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands (1878-1950)", published in April 2020

For anyone who is curious about Madame Weigel and her work, these books finally place Madame Weigel and her work on the historical record, a remarkable lady whose personal life, business achievements, and support of Australasian women weave their own unique story. Her support for women in both Australia and New Zealand was both deep and wide, enabling those who sewed at home to either follow fashion, or clothe their families. Her patterns reached millions across towns and cities, and the smallest and most remote of villages and hamlets.

As an independent scholar, I have chosen to privately publish my work, commissioning an Australian company to print quality hardback, section sewn books for the two companion volumes, books one and two. My third book, a history of Madame's sleeve patterns, is also printed in Australia and presents the first of a series of workbooks to add detail to Madame's pattern history, each intended as a reference tool for researchers and those interested in the history of garments in Australasia.

My PhD study focused on Madame Weigel’s pattern series. Awarded with Academic Excellence by Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, in 2013, my thesis was titled "Mining the Archive: an historical study of Madame Weigel’s paper patterns and their relationship to the fashion and clothing needs of colonial Australasia during the period 1877 to 1910". The work explored how Madame Weigel’s patterns reached across Australia and New Zealand to support the millions of women who sewed at home to clothe their families. My thesis is available via the Griffith University library catalogue.

My mission is to spread the Madame Weigel word! To reawaken her from her long, long slumber! I am happy to answer queries about Madame Weigel’s patterns, publications, and story – you can contact me through this website.

Dr Veronica R. Lampkin, PhD

Madame Weigel devotee, researcher, writer, collector

 

Out & About with Madame Weigel

 

PRESENTATIONS & EXHIBITIONS

June 2021: Presented "Madame Weigel's Crochet" to the inaugural Crochet Guild of Australia Conference Dinner, 5 June 2021: crochetguildaustralia.org.au/2021-Conference

January 2021: book launch & presentation, "Who was Madame Weigel?" at The Centre, Scenic Rim Gallery, Beaudesert - full house with wait list!!

June 2020: interview on air with Jacinda Parsons, "Afternoons", ABC Radio Melbourne to talk about Madame Weigel in Melbourne, Victoria, her home city and State - listen in at https://www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/programs/afternoons/

April 2020: currently working on my fourth book, a second workbook on millinery, detailing Madame Weigel's hat patterns set within the strong focus on millinery in Madame Weigel's Journal of Fashion.

April 2020: published my third book, "Madame Weigel's Sleeve Patterns: arms, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands (1878-1950)", a unique workbook as a reference tool to sleeves, year by year, with patterns and extracts from Madame Weigel's Journal of Fashion.

April 2020: published my second book, "Madame Weigel's Patterns: 1878-1950", a companion volume to Book One, my biography of Madame Weigel. Finally, Madame Weigel's remarkable work is on the record!

March-May 2019: collaboration with Pine Rivers Historical Museum & Templin Historical Village - the Pine Rivers Historical Museum successfully hosted the "Madame Weigel: Colonial Fashion Entrepreneur" exhibition.

7 December 2018: "Madame Weigel - the woman who clothed Australasia" exhibition, originating from Templin Historical Village, Fassifern, Queensland, wins the category for "Project: Organisations fun by Volunteers" awarded by Museums & Galleries Queensland.

6 July 2018: 'Madame Weigel: from Country to City' - a presentation at the Liverpool Regional Museum to open their exhibition of that title. Included aspects of my current research delving into the layers of Madame Weigel's pattern series - fashion, fads, families and fine detail.

September 2017- : Working with the Templin Historical Village near Boonah, Queensland, on their marvellous exhibition of garments sewn from Madame Weigel's patterns - a fabulous show by some inspired and skillful volunteers!

13 August 2016: 'Madame Weigel and the Dickens sisters of Melbourne'. For the NSW Dickens Society, venue Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. 

2 August 2016: 'Madame Weigel: the Woman who Clothed the Australian Colonies - Miles Franklin & Madame Weigel?'. For the Scholarly Musings program, State Library of NSW, Sydney - full house with wait list!!

30 June 2016: 'Fabrics & Fibres: a Colonial view through Madame Weigel's patterns'. For the Australian Sewing Guild: Brisbane South Sewing Forum.

3 May 2016: 'Madame Weigel: the Woman who Clothed the Australasian Colonies'. Daylesford Library, Victoria.

3 May 2016: 'Madame Weigel: the Woman who Clothed the Australasian Colonies'. Clunes Library, Victoria.

2 April 2016: 'Madame Weigel: Colonial Fashionista'. For the National Trust (NSW) in conjunction with the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Fashion Exhibition, Old Government House, Parramatta, Sydney.  

1 October 2015: 'Sewing for a family with Madame Weigel's Patterns'. Guest speaker for the Australian Sewing Guild Convention 2015, Anglican Church Grammar School, Brisbane.

RADIO

June 2020: interview on air with Jacinda Parsons, "Afternoons", ABC Radio Melbourne to talk about Madame Weigel in Melbourne, Victoria, her home city and State. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/programs/afternoons/

24 July 2015: 'Madame Weigel: Colonial Fashionista'. For ABC Radio National: Books & Arts Daily, interview with Michael Cathcart. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandarts/madame-weigel3a-the-paper-cut-pattern-queen/6644368

ARTICLES

November 2015: 'Clothing the Colony'. Feature in Inside History, Nov-Dec 2015, 52-55.

November 2015: 'Madame Weigel meets the Australian Sewing Guild'. Feature in Australian Dressmaking with Stitches, Issue 24/6.

November 2015: 'Madame Weigel: the Woman who Clothed the Australasian Colonies'. Feature in Ruth: supporting the work of the Queensland Country Women's Association. Summer 2015/16, 31.