Naming Your Costumes

1830s Paisley Amy Calcote Naming Costumes

So here’s a fun topic: do you name your costumes? I was asked about this recently (again) about why I name my costumes and particularly, HOW I go about selecting a name. I’ll admit I didn’t do this for years – you know, ’cause “1883 tea dress” worked just fine at the time. For those [...]

A Piping Tutorial – The Basics for 19th Century Costumes

Spencer Collar

  OMG – piping! Some costumers cringe even just thinking about piping, others squeal with delight. Or some are simply: “What’s the big deal about piping?” What’s the big deal?!? Well… everything! Piping is THE historical definition of design lines AND the support of seams that receive so much wear & tear. (Remember, our ancestors [...]

8 Historical Sewing Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

8 Sewing Mistakes You Don't Know

As we worry about how that seam or hem will come out, we also fret over whether we’re doing it right or not. I say, don’t worry about “doing it right.” Sew your project how you see fit. Use a new technique you’ve read up on. Practice – again- that same step you’re always trying [...]

Books obtained at Costume College 2014

CoCo 14 books

Every year in my Costume College budget planning I give myself some spending money for books. Because… BOOKS! Some years are rather dry of good resources to pick up; others – too many to narrow down the purchase. This year I managed to find four that needed to come home with me: one that’s been [...]

1873 Licorice Princess Dress

At ICSocial -Tonya C

What is it about black dresses?? Apparently they are very well liked by the general population as I received more compliments on my new evening gown than expected. (Thank you!) And this happens to be, essentially, my first black costume aside from my 1862 cotton mourning dress. So… is it the black, or is it [...]

Van Dyke Points for a 1830s Dress

Points around sleeve bicep

  “Please tell us how you made those little points!” – This was the general request when I posted the above photo on the Facebook page showing my dressmaking progress on the 1838 Persimmon Puff dress. Now, I have been calling them “teeth” but after some research and useful suggestions from my followers they are [...]