There exists a thriving online community of historical costume enthusiasts and professionals, which includes a wide array of impressive research and reproduction textile work. There are many excellent resources available for free on the internet, including forums and blogs where questions can be easily asked of experts. I will include a few very useful resources here. I have found these sites to be useful and reliably accurate, and they are considered so by others in the field of historical costume. I cannot vouch for every detail, but I feel confident in recommending them.

Costuming and Historical Sewing Sites

  • The Costumer’s Manifesto” by Tara Maginnis, PhD, conveniently hosted at costumes.org and featuring a true smorgasbord of pages and links. If you aren’t sure where to start researching a costume-related topic, start here.
  • La Couturiere Parisenne” is an extensive website covering the medieval period through the 1930s, with many period patterns available for use, and great information on how to glean realistic costume information from period paintings, as well as various useful construction articles. Many pages are available in both English and German.
  • Démodé” by Kendra Van Cleave, contains excellent articles, an array of outstanding and well-documented reproduction sewing projects, and a well-maintained list of links to museum collections of digitally available extant garments.
  • Katherine’s Dress Site” – better known by its domain name of Koshka-the-Cat – is the personal costuming site of a dedicated seamstress, who thoroughly researches and documents her work, offering patterns, how-to articles, and detailed dress diaries, primarily for the 19th century.
  • The Elizabethan Costuming Page” by Drea Leed is an enormous collection of articles and links complied from many sources, though some links are broken.
  • The Renaissance Tailor” – recreating 16th and 17th century clothing.
  • Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion” – primarily about the early 19th century, but with forays into other periods as well.
  • The Sewing Academy” – Elizabeth Stewart Clark’s highly authentic and very useful website for mid 19th century reproduction sewing, including the forum, which is used by experts and new enthusiasts alike, and the store, which sells patterns, books, and more.
  • The Ladies’ Treasury of Costume and Fashion”  – an online magazine of Victorian and Edwardian Costume and Needlework, including patterns and articles.

Historical Sewing Forums

  • The Sewing Academy at Home” – Elizabeth Stewart Clark’s highly authentic and indispensable mid-19th century sewing (and living history, and more) forum.
  • Truly Victorian Bulletin Board” – a section of the Truly Victorian company site run by the McNaughton sisters, specializing in Victorian, especially bustle era, reproduction sewing, and focusing on the company’s patterns (which are very good).
  • The Fedora Lounge” – a forum for vintage (roughly 1920s through 1950s) enthusiasts, which includes sections on clothing styles, reproducing vintage clothing styles, and caring for true vintage garments and other textiles. Using Google’s site search feature (by entering site:thefedoralounge.com thingyouwanttosearchfor), it is possible to find a great deal of useful information on this site, though sometimes it can take some sifting.

Museum Collections

Basic Sewing Guides

Philosophies of Historical Accuracy in Reproduction Sewing

Reproducing Household Textiles

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