This paper reflects upon an interdisciplinary design research project 'Electric Corset and Other Future Histories' developed by a creative team of design practitioners from the fields of textile, fashion and, product design. The investigation is being undertaken in collaboration with the Nottingham City Museums and Galleries whereby access to their archive of historical garments and accessories is facilitated through working closely with the curator of the Costume and Textile Collection. The aim of the research is to convey the value of accessing archives; the potential role for items of material culture from past lives to inform e-textiles and wearable concepts of the future. Based on the necessarily limited physical access to the archival materials, the research team has identified a unique practice-led research process that has informed the development of a number of outcomes that are both exploratory and experiential in character. This paper reports on two outputs that were developed as part of the project: an artistic film developed using collage and moulage techniques with textile materials, images of dress wear pieces from the archive, integrated with e-textile equipment; and two pocket prototypes, where pattern cutting and e-textile design knowledge were brought together. Both examples aimed to visually communicate the methods and technologies involved by reflecting the different embodied knowledge and skills involved, e.g. in recording, designing, making and interacting with fashion and textile materials. The two outputs demonstrate the benefits of working with archives of material culture and how the modular nature of historical dress can inspire new, interactive relationships between garments, bodies and accessories. Future work aims to develop this process further by creating a collection of networked garment toiles for exhibition, where audiences will be invited to engage physically with these items to experience the overall fashion and electronic design and construction process.