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Embroidery Giveaway – Holiday Dinner Dress

The holidays have me in a giving spirit, so I’m starting a monthly giveaway of embroidery designs. First up is this 1820s Holiday Dinner Dress, based on this example at the Met. This design is meant to be used with Madeira Lana Wool Blend Embroidery Thread* or crewel wool threads for hand embroidery. The original gown is decorated
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2017 Small Business Saturday & Holiday Sales

It’s Thanksgiving week in the US, which means holiday sales all over the internet. Here is a round up of historical costuming related businesses offering sales this week. If you need to purchase gifts for the costumers in your life (or yourself!), I hope you will check them out. 2017 Small Business Saturday & Holiday
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18th c. Court Suits (and more) at the Paris Flea Market

I spent 10 glorious days in Paris this September, exploring, working on embroidery designs, and visiting museums for inspiration. One of the places I was most excited to explore was the Paris flea market. I knew from a previous visit that I might not find many treasures, but I would certainly find inspiration. Saturday night
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1897 leg-of-mutton sleeve sweater - original magazine image

A Ladies’ Leg-of-Mutton Sleeve Sweater from June 1897

About 15 years ago I purchased several issues of The Delineator dating from 1895-97. One had knitting instructions for a delightfully curvy and improbable leg-of-mutton sleeve sweater, which I fell utterly in love with. The huge sleeves! The tiny waist! I had never even considered that the exaggerated fashions of the era might have extended to
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18th Century Embroidered Pocket Alignment Tutorial

Recently, I was asked about a pocket alignment tutorial video for designs like my mid-18th century pocket and new “Hannah” pocket. Video tutorials have been on my list for quite a while, so I got busy and recorded one to share with my sew-along group on Facebook. Speaking of the sew-along – the group was
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18th c. Hannah Pocket Embroidery Design

A new 18th c. pocket is joining the Romantic Recollections line. The Hannah pocket embroidery design is dated to 1718-20 and is named after the young lady who embroidered it, Hanna Haines. The original pocket is in the collection of the V&A Museum, and details can be found on the VADS Pockets of History page. The
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1920s Summer Outfit

I’m going to the New Deal Prohibition Picnic in Seattle next month, so I’ve been working on my first 1920s outfit. I had already ordered the Royal Vintage Lillian Retro Spectators in Sage, so I wanted to plan my outfit around them. This was a tough one for me.  Since I didn’t have the shoes
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1830s Strawberry Gown

I’ve adored the craziness of 1830s fashion for years: the ridiculous hair, the big sleeves, the delicate ballet slippers. Then last fall I bought a set of fat quarters from Moda’s Little Miss Sunshine line. I fell in love with all the strawberry prints, but the green colorway in particular caught my eye.   It’s not
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Costume College Classes

Costume College class confirmations went out this week. I’m happy to announce that I’ll be teaching two machine embroidery classes this year. The first is a repeat of a class I taught last year, Getting Started with Machine Embroidery. I cover the basics of choosing a machine, designs, thread, fabric, and stabilizers with particular attention
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7 Tips for Perfect Wool Embroidery by Machine

In my previous blog post I showed you the new crewelwork design I’ve been working on. I love wool threads for their texture, but they can be tricky to work with. I’ve created a list of 7 tips for perfect wool embroidery by machine. I hope these tips help you get perfect wool embroidery the next
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