Showing posts from October, 2013

17th Century Trade Shirt: More Details

In my last post, I wrote about my St. Kateri costume, including the trade shirt. I wanted to add more information to my blog about how I made the shirt.

I learned how to make rectangular cut shirts from my mentor Sarah when I volunteered at a historical museum helping to make costumes for its interpreters. That experience really kick started my interest in reenacting and historic costuming. I learned so much from it, and only wish I could still be volunteering there!

Anyway, rectangular cut shirts are very simple and make efficient use of the fabric. Besides using this website about 16th and 17th century Native American clothing (, I found this great resource from The Renaissance Tailor that precisely outlines the process of making this style of shirt: I simplified it a little bit, but it's basically the same. I strongly recommend these sources to other costumers!

Our Tribute to St. Kateri Tekakwitha


My Purple and Green Wool Dress

While I have been following The Dreamstress ( and the Historical Sew Fortnightly faithfully, I’ve been too busy to participate. I have kept up with sewing, though, including historic sewing, and I think that Leimomi Oakes has been a blessing to the online sewing community in encouraging us in our creativity and productivity. I hope she oversees more such projects!
I have accomplished a lot of sewing this year, mostly for Civil War reenacting, since I am a new reenactor and am assembling a wardrobe and supplies. It has been a learning curve, and I will probably continue to sew things for myself as I learn more about historic accuracy. The things that I have made so far are wonderful, but I tend to be self-critical and will want to make sure my own belongings meet high standards before I sew for others. Thus, I may replace things though I have mostly everything I need at the moment.
Last winter, I made a few essential reenacting items. My dear and generous brot…