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icon free smAny hobby or occupation has implications for your health. Let us point out pitfalls & tips to help you sew longer!

Detail from The Bridesmaid, James TissotWho'd like a shelf full of free Victorian tailoring manuals? Yes, I knew that would prick up your ears! It's been a full year since Marion last shared a collection of dressmaking and sewing books. Inspired by Jason's series, she's been building another collection: mens' and womens' wear tailoring books from 1855-1886.

Looking for riding habit ideas? Searching for cutting instructions for a Norfolk jacket or a Newmarket skirt and jacket? We've got the answers here, in these complete digitised online copies of original Victorian books, ready for you to download and enjoy.

Cynthia Barnes

This month, we talk to Cynthia Barnes, a woman whose passion for historic dance has led to a consuming costuming hobby. Her costuming efforts have crossed a broad range of periods, and her efforts to get the right look have led her to collaborate with other craftsworkers to discover ways to reproduce distant costume accessories, like wheel farthingales and chopines.

In this interview, Cynthia joins us to discuss her latest projects, costuming herself as a man and the fine line between enthusiasm for vintage dance and historic costuming.

Tags: Interviews

Arrufos, 1887I hope everyone is having a great summer (and winter for all those south of the Equator)! Cathy and  I are really looking forward to meeting a lot of you at Costume College at the end of the month.

Thank you all for all of the responses to our request for questions and stories, we had over 25 questions sent in!  Out of all those, we picked  four questions this month. More will be answered next month, and some of them are great ideas for future articles!

The first question is  on the scale used in Norah Waugh's books. The next is  on getting 5mm grommets to set smoothly, and the next on how to get pleats in silk crepe to lie smoothly. The  last one is on the rarity of an embroidered chemise.

We also share a humorous  story sent in by Jennie on the importance of asking clarifying questions to your client or customer...


icon free smPossibly the most important article at YWU: pointers to help you avoid and manage potential ill effects to your health.

Evelyn Nesbit, 1901Modern hair is often a momentary affair: wash, dry, and go. For the Victorian woman, however, hair was not just an inconvenience or an afterthought: it was practically a religion...

Elizabeth, Lady Audley, by Hans Holbein the YoungerTheories and new ideas on how French Hoods were likely constructed 1530-60, and their evolution afterwards.

Reform_iconMrs. Phelps did not lack for distaste for fashionable styles, considering them utterly impratical and accusing them of hindering women in their advancement towards equality with men.

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, photographed by Brady-HandyThis month we have a special edition of Ask the Experts devoted to your questions about the Single Pattern Project '09.

You've seen lots of how-tos now - the in-depth analyses from Sunny, Cathy's run-down of the possibilities and the rules, trimmings ideas from Gina, Ginger's petticoat, and so on - and the deadline for your entry is less than three months away.

We have two important questions: how do you finish the hem, and how does one wear the finished outfit?

Submit your questions now on the "Ask a question" page for next month's column!


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