Vintage & Period Costumes

Vintage & Period Costumes

Whether you are looking for tips and patterns on creating period costumes for plays and historical re-enactments or vintage pieces to add a bit of spice to your modern-day wardrobe; these sites offer a variety of sewing patterns, tips, and materials for making your own Vintage and Period Costumes

All the website owners have also included their favorite costume and garment-making tips.
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The Merry Corsetier

Learn basic and advanced corset making tips from professional seamstresses and tailors. The link directs visitors to information about our community including our list of "Memories"; answers to those often asked questions of new corset makers. Learn where to get corset making supplies, reviews of commercial patterns, lacing, boning and too many more topics to mention here.

Corset Construction Tip
Sew your boning channels on the outside. I've laid down on-seam channels that looked lovely on the inside, then flipped the garment over and discovered that my seam had wandered by a quarter inch.
Armormaking for the Fiberglass Phobic

Learn how to make realistic looking armor without needing power tools, metalsmithing skills, or the need for dangerous materials. All of the armor projects (there's 8 free projects here along with the general tutorial) were inspired by anime characters. Step by step instructions include materials selection, pattern making, painting, and finishing.

Crafting with Styrene Tip
When crafting with styrene or hot glue, never leave your project in the sun for extended periods of time as both are thermo-sensitive and will melt with enough heat.
Hawkwolfs Armory and Accoutrements

Looking for the perfect accessories for SCA, renaissance faire and fantasy live action role playing (LARP) environments? Visit our site for beautiful handmade items crafted from the ancient art of chain maille. Uniquely designed chokers, bracelets, headpieces, clothing, earrings, necklaces, handflowers, and much more! Custom orders are welcomed.

Chain Maille Tip
Chain maille is a very interesting fabric when made into clothing, it stretches and forms to the body and there is no other material that is close to the tactile feelings it possesses. Not all maille is heavy, though. Aluminum rings are three times as light as steel, and there are types of aluminum that are very clean and stay shiny for long periods of time.

Anyone who participates in Civil War reenactments knows that finding period clothing can be a costly endeavor. Miss Fanny and Miss Vera share some wonderful advice on building a period wardrobe on a budget including making use of thrift store finds. These two genteel ladies provide invaluable advice for anyone new to reenacting and their site is a veritable treasure trove of information and should be your first stop when building a Civil War era wardrobe.
Editor's Note: I generally simply remove a listing once the site goes offline. I was made aware that Fanny & Vera's wonderful guide was no longer online by a visitor to Crafty Tips who was searching for their site. The link now goes to where most of the site can be viewed. Keep in mind that there will be no updates and emailing the ladies with your period clothing-making questions is no longer an option.

Civil War Reenactment Clothing Construction Tip
While sewing machines did exist during the Civil War they were primarily only found in commercial settings and were not part of even the wealthiest of households. To keep your reenactment clothing looking authentic, sew any seams, embellishments, or button holes that will show on the outside of the garment by hand. While they'll never admit it in public or on the set, most re-enactors do utilize sewing machines for those parts of the garment that will not be seen.


A ball gown for a gala in 2004 led this seamstress on a continuing journey into the art of corset making. Armed with a book on making corsets and crinolines and a very limited amount of previous sewing experience, the adventure began. Now, all these years later, you can see how far she has come.

Crafting Tip
Aligning seams when sewing garments can be challenging. My strategy works well for me and hopefully will help someone else out too. I like to fold the seam allowances in opposite directions. That way I can feel if things are not lying flat. After pinning the seams, I hold the garment up to the light to check that things are still properly aligned. Although it adds another step, I also baste the seams before doing the final machine sewing.