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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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Regency Crewelwork Gowns

I have a fascination for Regency crewelwork gowns.  The combination of sheer fabric and bold, heavy wool embroidery is unexpected and charming. It’s a nice departure from the white on white seen so often in Regency dresses. I was reminded of this holiday gown when it was shared by Two Nerdy History Girls earlier this month.
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July 1891 French Swatch Book

Some years ago, while mindlessly browsing eBay, I ran across a listing for a swatch book of French silks from the 1890s. The seller had included nearly 100 photos of the pages within the book, and I was in heaven. Not only that, they were selling multiple books, all listed with dozens of photos. I spent a
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