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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!

 

Kass McGann

Kass McGann has lectured on the subject of historical clothing on three continents, publishing articles on specific items of historic dress as well as how-to guides for reenactors.

Unlike many costume historians who describe what clothing of a certain period looks like, Kass seeks to understand how it was made. Her business, Reconstructing History, makes this information available worldwide with an extensive line of historical dressmaker patterns that are exacting in historical detail and include copious notes of interest and simple directions.

Kass talks to us this month about where her obsession came from, where she intends to take it, and how she deals with projects that won't behave themselves!

 

Tags: Interviews

The Author, Ms. Teresa DeanThe best bits from a slightly opinionated book that provides equal measures of enlightening insight and amusing entertainment today!

Detail from Carl Spitzweg, The Bookworm, 1850We have three questions this month, and lots of answers!

Emma asks about different methods of pre-shrinking fabric for goods that will be sold. Melanie askes about where to get tailoring supplies in the UK and Hanna asks on where to purchase hard to find tailoring and corset books.

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

iconThe further back in time that you go, the more anachronistic modern trims appear... So what's a girl to do? Make her own, of course!

feather ornamentsLynn shows you how to create a whole range of eye-popping professional milliners' tricks by burning, dyeing, stripping, shaping and clipping.

Ivory silk bodiceI've often been frustrated that there are wonderful Victorian patterns available (published in the period or drafted from extant dresses) but there is very little information on how to put the pieces together or on the other finishing details that go into making historical dress.

Here I'll address this gap by doing a photographic analysis of the construction techniques used in three Victorian evening bodices in my personal collection.

Due to the Single Pattern Project, I'm most interested in the elliptical style. Two of the bodices were either worn with elliptical skirts or with the early bustle style, the third was probably worn with the earlier circular hoop style.

Lounge suits, 1897

A complete guide to period fabric weights and types, transferring the pattern to card, cutting out the pieces and economical lays.

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