Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More Web Resources

Regular readers of this blog know that I've posted several lists of "one afternoon tutorials"--projects which can be completed in a single afternoon by people with different skill levels and yet generate wearable items, or other kinds of useful items that can be part of a historical costume.  

In doing that, however, I have deliberately ignored other tutorials, which might be of equal interest to my readers, either because they require too many steps to be completed in a single afternoon or a higher level of starting skill, or both.

It occurred to me that I might do a useful service by suggesting places on the Internet where tutorials for more complex projects can be found, so that interested readers could search for tutorials, patterns, and other information about more complex projects that might suit their interests and needs.

Then it occurred to me that I need not mention those sites that have been the source of my lists of "one-afternoon tutorials", since having checked out those sites before, interested readers can simply return to them in search of new material, if they are so inspired.  But there are sites I have found on the Internet that are gold mines of information; I just haven't discussed them in my blog because they relate to historical periods in which I am (presently) less interested.

Some of my favorite sites for information on historical costume, and/or historical costuming, are listed under the heading "Resources" in the column to the left of this blog. Many of them have been around for nearly 20 years--yes, they go back nearly to the beginning of the World Wide Web--but they still contain extremely useful information and are worth exploring if you are interested in costume for the relevant period/s of history.  The following sites are not quite as old, but do contain much valuable information.
  • YouTube.  Do not underestimate the power of YouTube.  It can be searched, like Google (which now owns it), and it contains a multitude of videos about historical costuming, makeup, and hairstyles, including a vast array of video tutorials.  Many of them are excellent.  Some of them qualify as "one-afternoon" tutorials, but others don't.  In recent blog posts, I have embedded links to some YouTube videos of interest to me, including tutorials by Janet Stephens, the "hairdressing archaeologist", and lectures by archaeological scholars such as Neil Price.  
  • Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.  This is mostly a paid subscription site (there are some articles available for free). However, it contains excellent information from long-time historical costumers who do very good research. It has especially useful information for Western world costuming for the 16th-19th centuries.
  • Historical Sewing.com. This site is all about 19th century costume and sewing for women's wear. I wish it had been around when I was last interested in making myself 19th century costume.
  • Susanna Broome. Susanna has produced a number of pamphlets on how to craft Viking Age clothing for men and women based upon solid research into the archaeological finds and the recent theories about what those finds tell us. She even sells booklets on how to recreate known Viking age nalbinding finds and tablet-woven bands that do not require knowledge of brocading.  Look to her blog for information about her booklets and research, and to her Facebook page, Viking Age Clothing, to purchase her booklets (and learn which merchants are  also authorized sources of those booklets).
  • La Cotte Simple. A wonderful site, full of detailed tutorials about fitted late medieval fashion, for women and men.
  • Koshka the Cat. She has a great collection of tutorials she has written on how to make a number of different garments, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Caveat emptor; not everyone who posts a tutorial will be interested in obtaining a high degree of historical accuracy, and some such posters may be unaware that their approach will not result in a garment or outfit that is period or close to period in appearance, materials, construction, etc.  But that's part of the fun of exploring the Internet; unexpectedly finding a source of information for an area of sewing, or of history, that you thought nobody in the world but you cared about.

Go forth and explore!  And have fun.

EDIT: (8/29/2016) Fixed the broken link to Koshka's tutorials page.

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