Research & How-To

Digital Collections of Extant Costumes

18th Century:

19th Century:

20th Century:

Scholarly Publications


  • Reply Samantha Banks November 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I just want to say that I think you are wonderfully talented! I’m attempting to make my first 18th century dress with a sacque and your posted photos have been so helpful to see! I wanted to know if you brought your pannier that you wore with the mourning dress or if you made it :)


  • Reply Mary March 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Dear Kendra,
    I enjoy your site, and learn a lot. I am not a ‘sew-er’, alas. I do try to make my own easy, small 18thc. accessories when possible. I have a flowered gown that I want to make shirred cuffs for, just like the ones you made for yours. I have a couple yards of white cotton organdy, and this is what I want to use. You make it seem so easy, but your talents and understanding with regards to sewing far exceed mine. I have elastic thread also, but I have NO idea how to proceed—from cutting, the shape of the pattern, sewing it, etc. I do however think I could do it with a little instruction. What I really need is a simple diagram/drawing with apprx. measurements, and explicit, step by step directions for gathering and making these cuffs. (Think advice for dummies). I hope it is not presumptuous of me, but I am hoping you might email me personally and help me with this. Your advice/tutorial would be most appreciated.

  • Reply Shahrzad September 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Kendra!
    I have a rather strange question for you. I actually asked Lauren from American Duchess about it, and she suggested you might be able to help me more in my quest.
    So here goes:
    I’m in the planning phase for a robe a la francaise that I intend to wear over panniers that are as wide as I am tall. (I go big or go home…. Also, at only 5ft tall, I have to find SOME way to not get stepped on)
    So my question to you is in regards to a good pannier pattern that will allow me to fit through doors like my crinoline does without collapsing under the weight of the dress. Maybe a pannier pattern that can fold up if I grab it from the lower sides and “scoop” it up. Can it be done? Does it exist? Or am I doomed to go through doors sideways? As I said, I was talking to Lauren about it, and I definitely agree that there’s probably no way I can make a pannier that squishes through doorways like my crinolines do, but maybe you know of a special construction method to make them able to fold up under the fabric and then re-align when let go so I can fit in a car and through a smaller door?
    Thanks in advance. Sorry if the question is a bit wordy or hard to understand.

  • Reply Kraig November 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Great site. I’m interested in a man’s wig, French-style, circa 1780. Have you done such as thing before?

  • Reply kendra November 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Hey Kraig – yes, I’m now doing men’s wigs!

  • Reply Yvonne Virgadamo February 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

    The Dutchess just posted this the other day:

  • Reply Anita August 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Hello! Wow!!! Your blog, and all you do, is amazing. Thank you for sharing it.
    I wanted to ask you a question regarding late 17th and 18th century women and fashion.
    In your research and experience do you know whether or not they used colours, styles, and accessories as a form of statement, whether political or other?
    I would be most interested to hear your thoughts, and read anything you recommend on this subject. It will be very beneficial for my research.
    Thank you again
    Sincerely, Anita

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