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  • Michele Milunas
    Hello Everyone, I was a member before but had a lengthy illness and had to unsubscribe for awhile. I am still interested in learning about the history, design
    Message 1 of 30 , Oct 30, 2005
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      Hello Everyone,

      I was a member before but had a lengthy illness and had to unsubscribe for awhile. I am still interested in learning about the history, design and construction of period costumes. My favorite periods are WWII and the Italian Renaissance. I also have my own costuming business called Frontsisters. I specialize in reproducing WWII German female uniforms and costumes.

      My first question is: what fabrics were Italian Renaissance costumes made from? Any information and research sources are greatly appreciated. I have not sewn these before and am eager to start one.

      Michele


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    • historical_novelist
      Hello everyone, new member here. I m fascinated with costume history and I am a daily visitor the the wonderful site that is The Costumer s Manifesto, so this
      Message 2 of 30 , Oct 20, 2006
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        Hello everyone, new member here. I'm fascinated with costume history
        and I am a daily visitor the the wonderful site that is The Costumer's
        Manifesto, so this group is perfect for me. I'm taking a sewing class
        with the intent of obtaining a degree in fashion design at college, so
        I hope to be able to sew historical costumes. I also write historical
        romances set around the turn of the century(love those clothes) in a
        variety of settings. I hope to have fun on this list.

        I do have a question, so I'll ask it in this email instead of starting
        another one: Does anyone know of any resources on costume of
        Austria-Hungary? I went to see The Illusionist todat(excellent movie
        with sumptuous costumes) and noticed that Jessica Biel's character
        Duchess Sophie rode astride either with breeches beneath her skirts or
        the breeches by themselves. I remember reading somewhere that Empress
        Elizabeth of Austria-Hungary started the trend, but I want a clearer
        confirmation.

        Thanks so much!

        Evangeline
      • Christine
        Evangeline, can t help with Austro-Hungarian costume resources, but I can advise on the Fashion Design course. Not sure how they are structured in the USA but
        Message 3 of 30 , Oct 26, 2006
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          Evangeline, can't help with Austro-Hungarian costume resources, but I
          can advise on the Fashion Design course. Not sure how they are
          structured in the USA but here in Australia fashion design does not
          involve very much actual sewing, mostly drawing the concept with
          occassional sampling. I've read on other groups that this may also be
          the case in the US, so I'd recommend looking at the Theatrical Costume
          courses. The courses I took here used very similar construction methods
          to those used in historical costume, e.g. mounting fabric on solid
          foundations (I think you call in flat lining) hand whipping seam
          allowances, hooks and eyes closures and lacing used where appropriate
          etc. "Fashion" courses are usually geared to the mass produced market,
          even couture clothing courses are nowhere near historical methods if I
          recall. I am of course presuming that you want to make reproduction
          historical clothing, not "fancy dress"? Christine in bleak Sydney,
          Australia.
        • historical_novelist
          Thanks for the info Christine! I m actually majoring in fashion design right now(a lot of sewing) but had forgotten about the theatre arts department at my
          Message 4 of 30 , Oct 31, 2006
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            Thanks for the info Christine! I'm actually majoring in fashion design
            right now(a lot of sewing) but had forgotten about the theatre arts
            department at my school. And yes, I'd like to make reproductions of
            costumes. I've found a few books on amazon, and there's this amazing
            costume group a few hours away, so I just need to jump in. *G*

            Evangeline
          • Andromeda Williams
            Greetings and Salutations,     I am here to learn. I am looking for both a mentor and friends/associates that are into costume as much as I am. I tried to
            Message 5 of 30 , Jan 8, 2012
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              Greetings and Salutations,
                  I am here to learn. I am looking for both a mentor and friends/associates that are into costume as much as I am. I tried to take fashion design classes at my university but it was too much fashion and little to no costuming. Perfect for fashion design majors not so good for costumers. I have been greatly inspired by the literature that has appealed to m y heart from the Secret Garden to Pride and Prejudice, Little Women to Wuthering Heights. I  agreed with Virginia Woolf in that the clothing a woman wore had a lot to do with the shaping or her actions and thoughts. I love history and in that the richness of women's clothing seems to have ended 20 years or so before my birth. Not saying that I feel all women should be corseted again or that showing a little leg should once again be taboo, just saying that variety in both modesty and sensuality should be returned in way that are not the Academy Awards red carpet affairs. Now the name of the
              designer means little in that the quality of the garment is trash.  Cheap fabrics, poor construction and available mass produced at Walmart. I would like to see the return of handmade and made at home with superior quality, style and design. Even if it dooms me to have only Sew Beautiful and Martha Pullen as my examples I refuse to give in to the cheap ad disposable clothing of my time. What happened to the trousseau and garments being intended to be handed down? I am not the only one that feels this way am I? More about me other than my clothing issues, I love to read, miss history, dislike the present and pray earnestly for a better future. I am into dolls, book, dancing, swimming, and writing/penmanship. I have many beautiful dolls that need to be dressed and a Civil War ball to go to in December that requires a civil war gown. I want to make it myself as well as know how to behave in it. Anything else you want to know feel free to ask me. I lok
              forward to my time among you all. 

              Andromeda

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            • Mary Logan
              Hello Andromeda, Your post inspires me to reply, as I was once where you are, and always find I feel a duty to encourage younger people coming into the field.
              Message 6 of 30 , Jan 8, 2012
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                Hello Andromeda,

                Your post inspires me to reply, as I was once where you are, and always find
                I feel a duty to encourage younger people coming into the field.

                After 30+ years in the business, I consider myself a master of the craft,
                from design interpretation, to custom-patterning, through
                sewing/construction and the finest of finishing. My interest began very
                early in life, and purely by happenstance, I ended up doing what I love most
                for a living. It's my view too, that there is a lot to be said for quality
                and style such as we've seen in examples from the past, and even more for
                personal taste and selection in terms of choice suited to occasion.

                If it's costuming, and costume construction that interests you, I would
                venture to say that opportunities are becoming few and far between - that is
                if you want to make a living at it. Technology and industry have combined
                by now to a point where many of the things we used to rely on hands for, are
                executable by machinery, in a much shorter amount of time, hence at a lower
                cost. Add to that the tendency for business to exploit for labour less
                fortunate people in other nations, and it's easy to see that fashion and
                trends are prone to change at a rate much speedier than in times when
                construction spent more time in human hands.

                Just the same, there is nothing to stop you in achieving construction
                skills, though be prepared - in many ways it is a lifetime of learning.
                There are many theatres where interning opportunities exist, as well as
                regional and amateur theatres where they're only too happy to have
                volunteers. Throughout, strive to learn, and begin a book collection. Art
                books contain the most faithful of period clothing representations.
                Reference material is also important - books, magazines....wherever you see
                it, photograph it, copy it, read it, buy it if you can. Pattern-making
                books from all sorts of sources are important as well - as you gain insight
                with experience, you will find your way to your own methods through trial
                and error and comparison - I don't believe there is a single pattern book
                that will contain all that you encounter. Technical books on styling are
                helpful, as well as books that TALK about style and choice of style. One
                of my biggest inspirations (which is what your post reminded me of) was a
                book titled Harmony in Dress, by Mary Brooks Picken.

                Aside from that, if you intend to do work on your own, strive to (over time)
                have proper space, tools and machinery, lighting, storage etc., so that you
                can work properly. Nothing will kill your inspiration as quickly as
                frustration. If you have access, also learn from older people - whether
                it's embroidery, smocking, knitting, crochet, to mention a few - all will be
                useful sometime later., perhaps even a central feature in a project.

                And remember, if at any point you are tempted to assert that now you know
                all you need to know - keep in mind, if you continue in the field, that a
                year, two years, twenty years later, you will know that much more - hence,
                you DON'T know all there is to know, ever, really.

                Regardless of what you see around you, how you personally dress is still
                your choice. If you have a style that is your own, be it classic or trendy,
                IT will be the inspiration you use when working for others - don't be afraid
                of developing it fully, but also respect that not everyone's tastes are the
                same. In judging each of your final products, regardless of whether the
                person or organization you're servicing is happy and overjoyed, use your own
                judgement in establishing your standard. If YOU are happy with it, you will
                know, not hope, that your product is one of quality and will be worn with
                pride.

                So I've gone on a bit, I know, but I hope you, and perhaps others, find it
                helpful. Wishing you all the best in however you choose to express your
                interests.

                Zed




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              • E
                Greetings, Andromeda!
                Message 7 of 30 , Jan 8, 2012
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                  Greetings, Andromeda!
                • PlaidCrafter
                  Today at http://craftside.typepad.com/ there is a fun tutorial from Pluckyfluff s new book Hand Spun on how to spin extreme tail yarn and you can enter to win
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jan 18, 2012
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                    Today at http://craftside.typepad.com/ there is a fun tutorial from Pluckyfluff's new book Hand Spun on how to spin extreme tail yarn and you can enter to win a copy of her book!
                    Fiber-fabulous!
                    Stef
                    http://thecardalbum.blogspot.com/
                    http://sweatersurgery.blogspot.com/
                    http://recycledcrafts.craftgossip.com/
                    Facebook facebook.com/StefanieL.Girard
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                  • IOM315@AOL.com
                    I ve read your post and as well as the post from Zed . I could not agree more with Zed . I have been designing and producing presentation gowns for Mardi
                    Message 9 of 30 , Apr 3 8:33 AM
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                      I've read your post and as well as the post from "Zed". I could not agree
                      more with "Zed". I have been designing and producing presentation gowns
                      for Mardi Gras over the past 30+ years. This has led me down a very twisted
                      path, but I can say after just finishing up work on my 24th Ball for the
                      same organization, it is with pride that I look back on how my work has
                      evolved.

                      From my early endeavors until now I have had to change with the
                      marketplace. Beautiful fabrics and trims have either vanished or become so expensive
                      they are out of my budget. I have found that being flexible, always
                      inquisitive, and not settling for with the first idea has brought my work to its
                      current level.

                      The most profound change for my work was born because I hate to have my
                      work compromised by what is available in the textile industry. Therefore I
                      developed a process to emboss my artwork on textiles. While refining the
                      process I had the opportunity to create a collection of presentation gowns
                      based on Faberge's Easter Eggs. The combination was a true turning point.

                      You just never know where the path will lead when faced with challenges.
                      My best advice is to approach the challenges of our industry as
                      opportunities for growth in spite of the growing pains!

                      Best wishes and welcome to this "crazy" world.
                      D.L. Dixon
                      Ides of March Design Group, Ltd.

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