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Cover of the song, Redhead Rag, 1910In times of rapid social and technological change, what people wear changes dramatically as fashion collides with reality. One such era is the early 20th century.

Kathryn Stelzer If you make costumes for yourself, it's important not only to study the past, but to develop a sense of personal style.

One woman who has no trouble combining her own take on the Victorian bustle period with elements of Goth, steampunk and pure fantasy is Kathryn Stelzer of Philadelphia in the United States, known to her friends as Madame Kat.

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Traugott Riedel, 1801This month we have a special treat!

YWU reader absintheskiss reviews Elizabeth Friendship's brand new book Pattern Cutting for Men's Costume.

Tags: Books

Les Dessous Élégants N° 8, page 129; 1905

 This month we have two questions about corsets and one about scissors.

Our experts talk about what makes an S-bend an S-bend and where to find a pattern for one, plus boning channel placement.

They also discuss the best kind of scissors to use to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. 


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.

Thomas SjolanderThis month Cathy interviews Danish artist Thomas Sjølander.

You may not recognise his name, but you'll know his work: Thomas did the incredible machine embroidery on the costumes for some of your favourite movies, including Finding Neverland, Phantom of the Opera and most recently, The Duchess.

Detail from Robert Vaughan: A New and accurate Mappe of the World, 1628

...to Elsabet Rowth one kyrtyll of worsted upper bodyed with blew satyn of bryderies...

The British History Online site is a wonderful source of first hand information about the clothing and material objects of daily life in Tudor England.

Come explore the riches with us! 


Dorothy Cary, later Viscountess Rochford, c. 1614-1618.by William Larkin

The ten year wait for Janet Arnold's last work is over: Patterns of Fashion 4 is to be published on November 7th, and this month YWU is celebrating its release!

This extraordinary treasure trove, the final book in the series, has been completed with additional material by Jenny Tiramani and Santina M. Levey after Janet's passing in 1998. We've been smiling very sweetly at the publisher, and our grovelling has paid off with an advance copy. So Marion's ready to give you her exclusive review!

Dancing Children by Lorens Pasch the younger (1733-1805)If you're an 18th Century costume buff, odds are you already have these.

But if you're just now falling in love with Rococo they should be at the top of your Christmas list!





Detail from Portrait of Peter Saltonstall, 1610Details on where to get quality materials to re-create all kinds of extant ruffs, collars, smocks, shifts and chemises.

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