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The Carandini ladies, 1875The Commons on Flickr is a collection of historic public domain photographs from a variety of institutions from around the globe, including the Library of Congress, National Galleries of Scotland and George Eastman House.

Marion McNealy shares some of her favorites from this collection from around the world.

Have  fun finding favorites of your own and exploring this interesting look at the past!


Judy MitchellAs co-owner of the Lord of the Rings Costuming Website and the F-Costume Yahoo Group , Judy Mitchell is a costuming evangelist. In May, she will head up historic costuming activities at this year's CostumeCon in Baltimore, MD. Judy joins us this to discuss her passion for Scandanavian costumes and to give us a preview of what to expect at CostumeCon.



Tags: Interviews

Raimundo Madrazo - Portrait Of A Lady In Pink Ribbons

This month we have a question on sources for where to buy silk ribbon, drafting a corset with gores and the rules for the Single Pattern Project.

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

We welcome questions about any sewing or costume related subject, and your questions will be passed on to the group of experts to answer. You're welcome either to specify whom you're asking, or not to, whatever is your preference. Anonymous questions are also welcome!

Finished HatThis month Lynn shows us how to add large areas of silk flowers or ribbon decorations to a hat, without using glue and without sewing each one on individually.

Why would you want to add decorations to a hat in this way?

There are several reasons, but the most important would be to save the base hat from being damaged, either because it is vintage or because you might want to redress it in the future and anything you do now will have to be undone.


icon free smMaking historical fashion wearable: original 1910s design & 1970s revival, all intended to flatter a curvy body as it is.

Warner's 1898 Corset La ReineAnother set of hard questions this month!   Emma writes about setting up an online corset business, Amelia about sewing a corset with satin and velvet panels and Jude asks for advice about the proper type of fastening for an English round gown.

Woman in a corset brushing her hair, 1908This month Marion McNealy shares with you some of the vintage corset making and fitting books that are online.

The books range from patterning and making an 1857 corset (perfect for the Single Pattern Project!)  to 1920's and 30's corsets, corselettes, brassieres, bandeaux and girdles. We've even got an excellent book from the 1950's for corset saleswomen on fitting a customer and making her feel at ease during the fitting process, still applicable to customers today!

Hat from 1897Have you ever walked into a large craft or fabric store to purchase the things you need to decorate that fantastic hat you're making, and been totally overwhelmed by the possibilities?

Should your hat be simple and elegant, or should it be a liberally decorated, multi-coloured feast of delights?

Professional period milliner Lynn McMasters shares her secrets with us in this new series on millinery design.


Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton, 1590Comparing sixteenth century corset patterns to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each one on the body.

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