1850s · 1850s sewing · 1860s · 18th century · corset · Edwardian/Teens · Historic Costuming · Millinery · Personal · Regency era costuming · Underpinnings

Help Save YWU and Foundations Revealed!

Your Wardrobe Unlock'd: The Costume Maker's Companion

Foundation Revealed: The Corset Maker's Companion

Though less and less of my sewing these days is of the historic costuming nature (I’ve had to cut back on reenacting since moving to Portland), I still geek out over quilted petticoats, Edwardian foundation garments, and 19th century millinery –  and I know many of my readers here do, too! It is with this common interest that I implore you to become a member of Your Wardrobe Unlock’d and/or Foundations Revealed before they are forced to shut down due to financial issues.

Run by Cathy Hay, a professional costumer based in the UK, Your Wardrobe Unlock’d (YWU) and Foundations Revealed are the best resources out there for the historic costumer and corsetmaker, but they are at huge risk of not being available in the very near future.  Both websites pay professional and amateur costumers to write tutorials and in-depth articles covering all aspects of historic costuming and corset-making, and the way they do this is through monthly subscriptions (your first month is only $5.97). Sadly, their subscription numbers are not where they need to be in order to stay afloat, and that’s where we, as historic costumers and seamstresses, can help out. You can either subscribe to one or both to keep Cathy in business (you do get a better deal subscribing to both!)

Even if you’re not a costumer, there are some great articles about sewing in general, including Organizing Your Sewing Space, How to Fit Yourself (super helpful if you don’t have a sewing buddy to help with this!), and How to Sew with Ease and Pleasure.

For the vintage seamstress, Foundations Revealed has several articles and tutorials worth reading, including how to make several different styles of 1920s chemises, how to pattern and make your own seamed stocking with either a French or Cuban heel (!), and a tutorial on how to make a your own girdle (yes, you can make your own girdle! No more scouring the internets trying to find one that might fit!)

Thanks for reading my little internet PSA and I hope you will be inspired to subscribe to one or both of these fabulous websites! Seriously, there is no other resource like it out there on the web, and the patterns they have available for members alone are worth it. If you have a relevant historic costuming or sewing business, Cathy is also implementing an advertising program to help with generating additional revenue, and you can find more info about that here.

18th century · Puget Sound Ladies Costume Society · Reenactments

Happy Dress Like a Georgian Day!


Well, readers, today was the completely made-up (yet nonetheless absolutely fabulous) holiday of Dress Like a Georgian Day. For those of you not familiar with costume history, the Georgian period encompassed the years 1714-1830, with a brief stint in the early 19th century for the Regency period (since that tyrant George III went crazy-pants). It’s a period of luxurious fabrics, fluctuating hip size, and powdered wigs, and which definitely deserves its own holiday!


Here in the Pacific Northwest, the Puget Sound Ladies Costume Society paid homage to the occasion with a little tea party (since we ladies do like to party hard!). All of the ladies looked lovely, and it was so fun to see this era brought to life! 18th century fashion history (particularily the 1770s) was my first love when I got bit by the costuming bug, but there aren’t really any events out here in WA state to commemorate this time period (which is one of the reasons PSLCS was created!).


Of course, being annaintechnicolor, I had grand plans of creating a whole 18th century wardrobe from the skin out for just this occasion. Ha! I really don’t know why I kid myself anymore. 😉


So, I decided to go modern with 18th-century inspired touches, which worked out great for me since it was hotter than Hades today. This was my first costume event where I wasn’t dressed up in a costume, and I have to say I don’t feel as guilty about it as I thought I would. Sure, it would’ve been great to wear 5 layers of clothing along with all the other ladies, but with everything else I have on my plate, I’m good on that for now – I’m sure there will be Dress Like a Georgian Day in 2014. 😉