A Bit About my Interest In
Clothing Construction & Design
My Simple Blue Gown
Hello! Welcome to my blog Stitches Through Time! My name is Barbara Anne. Ever since I was very young I have loved sewing. Several years ago my family got involved in a Revolutionary War reenactors group for a very short time. I found the historical clothing fascinating and a lot of fun to sew. Also since we had just got a computer and internet service I started looking up historical clothing. Just a couple years ago I bought a Simplicity Day Dress Pattern. I got the courage up to using a pattern for the first time in my life, with a lot of encouragement from my mom and Grammy I bought some fabric and set out. After finishing the dress I was amazed at how easy the dress was to make. Just a few months later we heard about a Civil War Ball that was being held. Right away I started a dress for my mom and one of my sisters. For my sisters dress I an 1860's painting of a young girl as my guide. I made my moms dress using Simplicity Pattern. The ball was amazing experience and since then I have made more dresses and gowns. Recently I have been doing a lot of research on clothing from around 1840 - 1870. However, I have become interested in the apparel of many different era’s. I hope to learn more about general clothing construction and design. I have created this blog to be a resource for myself and others that are interested in 19th century historical clothing design, the site address is http://stitchesthroughtime.blogspot.com .

If you are getting started with 19th century clothing research and design I would like to recommend some things that might be quite helpful. (they have been for me!)

Learn the fashions of the times: 
  • There are several years of the Godey's Ladies Book available on Google Books. To abstain from spending hours on the internet reading I downloaded the 1857 copy of the Godey's Lady's Book to my computer. I have found the book to be of substantial aid in my research.  
  • View photographs, CDV's, pictures of antique clothing and basically anything you can get you hands on.  My Links page should be helpful for that.
  • I found the article 'How to Dress with Taste' from 1857 helpful in explaining the dress of a lady.                                    

Learn the clothing construction techniques of the times: 
  • Again I will say,"look to period documentation". I would first of all suggest reading 'Dressmaking' by Emily Thornwell  from her book The Lady's Guide to Perfect Gentility.
  • I found The Workwoman's Guide a book published in 1840 to be a very in depth look into clothing construction. The book is available on Google Books.