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Statement of Purpose

I create and recreate historical dress in order to understand its original creation and wearing processes, and to reinvigorate interest in the aesthetics of the past, its material culture, and its creators and wearers. In order to do so, I research the history of clothing design, the historical practice of dressmaking, and the social/cultural role of both. My works emphasize historically appropriate materials and construction methods, and so serve as a means of understanding the visual, tactile, and engineering aspects of clothing from the past – and the past more generally.

Although I do not blog regularly here, I do keep my portfolio (relatively) up to date. You can also see examples of my work on Instagram, and read reviews of historical costume in movies and TV shows at

planning, projects, site news

Well Hello There, Long-Neglected Blog!

I’ve been blogging about historical costume since 2002. Thirteen years later, and I think I’ve gotten burned out! Obviously. I’m still dressing up and performing, and still sewing, although at a slower pace than previously. I think I’ve just been at this so long, plus now there are so many blogs and other ways to interact with other costumers, plus maybe I’m old and tired? I also performed at Dickens Fair this year, which sucked up November & December. Plus, I’m also still recovering from the wig book!

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New & Shiny

Things are new and sparkly around here, as changes at Blogger (my blogging software lo these many years) made it impossible for me to create my site the way I used to (long story, short version is I wasn’t going to be able to add any new project diaries, which is bad!).

The good news?  I’m using WordPress and while it’s given me a few headaches, I’m liking it far better — especially the fact that we’ve had a much needed facelift around here.

The bad news? Older posts need to be tweaked, so for a few weeks the archives won’t be useable (I’ll get that updated as quickly as possible).  Also, static pages will need to be updated to the new look, but that may take longer — luckily looks don’t really matter so much as being able to reach the content, which you can still do!

Most important: you can still reach all of the information that you’re used to accessing from the new site. You can access the Research & How-To pages (things like the Real Women’s Clothing Directory), Links & Sources, and the completed projects (now under Costume Portfolio) from either the navigation bar above, or the right sidebar.

The only weirdness will be if you’ve linked or bookmarked my site with index.html in the site address — you’ll need to change that to .  If you bookmarked , you’re good to go.

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Way Past Time for a New Look

Were you as sick of my SIX year old design as I was? I don’t know if this is much better, but at least it’s slightly different. Unfortunately I don’t have the energy to do all the coding involved in a massive site redesign, so a small tweak will have to do. Of course, it’ll probably take me months to do all the main pages, but at least there’s something new to look at around here! And I just can’t seem to find colors I like except for green — everything else I like is too saturated. Try to find a paler version of burgundy and you just end up with pink! (And I don’t do pink.)

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I Exist!

So yeah, that sucked! It’s a VERY long story, but suffice it to say that my husband changed something major on the back end of his professional site (, requiring him to change our DNS registration (because the co. we registered with years ago sucked), which made my site not exist. Grump! Unfortunately it’s irreversible, which means here I am at a new domain name (good in the end as I’ve always meant to get my own domain for this site, bad because I can’t put up a redirect from So, the site will now and forever live here at — I promise!

In other news, I’d just started (before all this crisis happened) to reorganize my files behind the scenes here, as they all grew organically and I had huge, unorganized folders that were driving me crazy. Since the site was down, it was a good opportunity to reorganize (and recode – sigh!) many of the pages. This means three important things:

1) Due to the lovely slowness of FTP, it’ll be about another 24 hours before the whole site is here.
2) All of the content that used to be here will still be here, and all the paths to get to that content will be the same.
3) The URLS for MANY of the pages will have changed. So if you’ve got a bookmark or a link to something, please go find the new version of the page and update the URL. A hassle, I know!

site news

Boring Site Housekeeping

FYI, I am reorganizing files in my Galleries, Project pages, and Event pages (too many jumbled files in the same folder!). Some of the images and links may not work over the next few days.

site news

Site News

Just added a review of Bullets over Broadway to my 20th century costume movie reviews page.

Right now I’m working on making these knickers for my husband to wear to Gatsby. Plus I need to whip out some kind of saloon girl-esque skirt for the upcoming PEERS Silver Baron’s ball — part of me shudders at the thought (of wearing any kind of “-esque” costume!) but I’m going to be in one of the performance dances so I have to look the part. I’m thinking can can skirt without the ruffled petticoat (no time).

All this while I’m pining to get cracking on my 1875 afternoon/ball gown for the GBACG Tea with the Buccaneers in November!