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seamstresses-msg – 3/22/02


Working with seamstresses. Lists & reviews of various seamstresses.


NOTE: See also the files: sewing-msg, sewing-tools-msg, sergers-msg, clothng-forms-msg, CMA-sew-supl-msg, color-a-fab-bib.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                 AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: bambi at visenix.UUCP (Hilda)

Date: 14 Jul 91 16:23:39 GMT


Greetings dear gentle

It seems from the tone of your letter that you feel you will

perhaps not be charged a fair price for having someone "just"

sew up your garb when you are the one who has invested in the

fabric. It is an understandable fear, for to those who do not

sew, it must be like paying a majician for a cure when it seems

all she does is throw herbs on a flame and YOU have bought the


but may I suggest you have a closer relationship with your tailor

seamstress. I have sewn for quite a few people many is the time there

have been disagreements over price.the major ones have occured due to


1)the client, unfamiliar with clothing construction techniques has pre

  chosen the fabric and it is less than suitable for the project, this may

  if the client insists on using THAT fabric add to time and materials

  needed in order to compensate.solution, consult with the seamstress

  FIRST or even shop together.

2)many times the client merely brings the main fabric and perhaps

  fasteners. Rarely is lining or interlining (the stiff fabric used to keep

  things like necklines from collapsing) provided. It may seem like just

  to be a little thing but, that plus what are called notions like thread

  and anything used on the garment is an expense, a minor one but it adds

  up every garment you make.


These 2 problems have over and over again been solved by closer

communication with the client.I personally charge a separate hourly

wage for cutting than I do for straight sewing.this is because cutting

is a separate art and much more of a risk. Many times I have merely cut a

garment and let the client then take it to a less experienced seamstress

like a family member who though willing was unable to help with the

specifics of the garment like altering the pattern. Most seamstresses/

tailors will work with you to get something apropriate to your needs.

In general also I have found people in the sca to be so generous and

willing to work things out, I think I've gone to heaven.

You and your seamstress/tailor I'm sure will have a wonderful time and

a beautiful garment to show for it if you just keep talking and there is

no such thing as a dumb question. I'll be at pennsic working for mideaval

miscellenea, and the dragons majic. My name is Beatriz del Morisco.

Please stop by and say hello to the "black lady with all the hair" as my

daughter's fiends call me and show me the lovely things I'm sure you will


enjoying the lovely feelings of the dream

Beatize del Morisco



From: trifid at agora.rain.com (Roadster Racewerks)

Date: 15 Jul 91 08:14:27 GMT

Organization: Open Communications Forum


SERIOUS authenticity (such as hand-work and complicated, tailored, multi-panelled patterns) can be very expensive indeed. But as Thomas mentions, such garments

should last for mant years. In period a well-made garment made out of durable

fabrics could be inherited over several generations, constantly being altered

and made to conform to the nearest current fashion. (I've seen an article on a

dress that was discovered to be much older than it looked. A seamstress did a

sort of "forensic" investigation of what the seams hid of older construction,

and found it had been at least three different dresses over about 200 years!)

Collars and sleeves were often saved and used again, or discarded and the dress

refashioned by adding newer ones.


If you cannot afford absolute authenticity just yet, consult with the person

doing the sewing to see if an authentic-appearing garment that will withstand

only outward inspection cannot be compromised upon. My own favorite dress has a

false underdress, with fairly convincing slash work, but I was able to use a

favorite blouse I could no longer wear, because I actually cut it up and sewed

it under the slashes, saving much material. And don't get your heart set upon a

very complicated tailoring if your purse is slim...the more cutting and

assembling of little panels, the more it will cost. (And this is true of mundane

clothing as well...)



trifid at agora.rain.com



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: pats at equalizer.cray.com (Patricia Shanahan)

Subject: Re: Ana's Accoutremonts

Organization: Cray Research Superservers Inc., San Diego CA, USA

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 16:55:20 GMT


In article <38gunj$fpg at delphinium.cig.mot.com>, garvey at poohbear.cig.mot.com (Heather L. Garvey) writes:


|>                                                               I was wondering if anyone has pros or cons about garb, service, or

|> quality from Ana's Accoutremonts. She's the seamstress who will send you

|> patterns to fit the measurements you send and also makes garb to your

|> specifications. I am getting a length of silk from China (my friend

|> is on a business trip there - $5 a meter isn't bad!)) and was planning on

|> sending it to her for a cotehardie. I was wondering if anyone's had problems

|> or praises about her work. :) I also want to get the pattern for the

|> cotehardie from her so I can make some of my own. (I'm one of those

|> Real-Life-sized women and _just_ outside anorexic, petite American standard

|> size range (2-14). A pattern tailored to my exact measurements is worth

|> the $40! :-))

|> --

|> Heather Garvey                                                             Phone: (708) 632-3790

|> Motorola Cellular, ITS, Rm 2231                          E-mail: garvey at cig.mot.com


I ordered a houpelande, underdress, headress, belt, and pouch from Ana

at the last Estrella war. The clothing arrived before the scheduled

date. It was complete and exactly as agreed on when I ordered it. It

fits comfortably. It rapidly became my favourite outfit for tournaments,

and I have had complements on my appearance each time I have worn it.

To my admittedly inexpert eye it appears to be very well made with

tidily finished seams and hems.


Since I placed the order in person, she did the measurements herself,

and there was less risk of any misunderstanding about what was being



Agnes of Ilford


                                                                  Patricia Shanahan

                                                                  pats at cray.com

                                                                  phone: (619) 625-3708



From: sewinwench at aol.com (SewinWench)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: tights for men in ren. outfits

Date: 3 May 1995 21:27:59 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)


I am a professional costumer and make tights all the time for shows.  I

sell beautiful cable-knit cotton tights (these are thick and appropriate

for winter) for 60.00.  Odd sizes are not a problem.  


E-mail if interested.


Sarah Seamstitcher

The Sewing Wench



From: SewinWench at aol.com (5/10/95)

To: markh at sphinx

RE>tights for men in ren. outfits


Greetings Stefan,

     I currently do freelance sewing as a side-line to my regular theatre

jobs.  I have sewn such unusual items as renaissance garb, drag, fantasy

costumes, and S&M gear.  I can usually make anything I have a picture of, or

I will sit with the client and draw as they describe the item.  Often I am

asked to make copies of expensive dresses seen in department stores or

magazines, usually with one alteration of design or in a different color.

  As a costumer I have access to materials and services that are not

available to the general public. If I cannot take on an assignment I can

refer the client to someone who can.

     I usually either give a price on the labor and materials of an item or

can give a price on the labor and present receipts for the materials.  I

require a deposit of half the amount quoted which is non-refundable once work

has begun.  I will accept payments over time but the item will not be

delivered until paid in full.  I am not set up to handle credit cards.

Portfolio, resume', and references available.


Sara Johnston

The Sewing Wench

(205) 854-8166 (voice mail)


Since I move regularly with my work I have found it easier to maintain one

phone number and contact people with my current address.



From: jschumac at uns-dv1 (Joel Schumacher)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Poofy shirts

Date: 12 Sep 1995 18:15:51 GMT

Organization: JCPenney Co. Inc.


CONNECT (connect at aol.com) wrote:

: Dave said:

: Does anyone have directions on how to

: make one, or a catalog of such things so I can buy them <if/when I get

: some money, hehe>?


For a catalog, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:


T'Ger Toggs

PO Box 47

Berryville, AR 72616-0047

Phone: 501-253-5746


[Address update from Ld Edrei the Quiet, 4/5/01. I don't know if

the phone number has changed or not. - Stefan]


Mention that you are an SCA member so that you will get an SCA price

list.  T'Ger was selling "poofy" shirts at the Gulf War for $26/each.

He probably charges more with shipping/handling.


-Joel Schumacher

aka Karl Von Augsburg

jschumac at uns-dv1.jcpenney.com OR  jschumac at jcpenney.com



From: Laura Arnette <larnette at leo.vsla.edu>

To: markh at risc.sps.mot.com

Date: Mon, 30 Sep 96 13:45:28 EDT

Subject: adding business to clothing list on Rialto


Greetings to Stefan li Rous:


     I am a long-time historic costumer with a brand new

business.  When I saw your listing on the web, I thought you

would be kind enough to list my name and address on the SCAdian


                                                                    The Courtly Closet

                                                                    6291 Bolling Brook Lane

                                                                    Gloucester, VA 23061

                                                                    (804) 693-0406

                                                                    e-mail: larnette at leo.vsla.edu


I specialize in ready-made clothing, hats, underpinnings and

special order raiment. My catalog is $1.00, refundable with

first order.  Your indulgence in this matter would be



                                                                           Your humble servant,

                                                                           Laura Arnette



From: evermorecl at aol.com (Evermorecl)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period Clothing Web Site

Date: 30 Sep 1996 17:38:09 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)


Well met, good Gentles!  Please check out a new web site of fine quality

period clothing at affordable prices to be found at:




Custom orders welcomed.  Enjoy!



From: arintc at aol.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Desperately seeking cotehardie pattern

Date: 20 Nov 1996 13:57:52 GMT


Try contacting:


Queta's Close

Countess Enriqueta de reyes y Mora

c/o Harriet Stetsor

5703 19th Ave South

Gulfport, FL 33707.


I have found that she is an excellent source for all costuming needs.

Good luck.

Cillian Ulffellsson,

House DarkTree,

Constable of Shire Storm, Trimaris.



From: "DMS Unit #4" <doug.r.buckmaster at boeing.com>

To: <markh at risc.sps.mot.com>

Subject: Your FAQ

Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 10:01:29 -0700


Hi Mark,


I just wanted to let you know that I have a few corrections for your FAQ.


The Queen's Thimble

4864 Troth St.

Mira Loma, CA 91752-1845


e-mail: qnsthmbl at pacbell.net

WEB: http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/7253 (It will open 5/31/97)


Established in 1993 The Queen's Thimble has grown from a small hobby to

a full time job.  The woman that owns the shop specializes in costuming from

1200-1900's.  She prides herself on historic authenticity.  She designs her

own patterns and handles almost all aspects of the costume, right down to

the shoes.  Mostly mail order, mostly custom designs.


Doug Buckmaster

Webmaster for the Queen's Thimble



From: "Jag" <j_gordon at efn.org>

To: <markh at risc.sps.mot.com>

Subject: Rialto Info

Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 20:17:12 -0800


I also have a recommendation for a seamstress-

Diane Rose Barr of "Rose D' Zynes" custom makes Medieval and Renaissance wedding attire.  She has won awards for her work and is a member of the SCA.

I haven't used her services as of yet, but she was kind enough to send lots of

helpful information when I called and talked to her.


Rose D' Zynes

1196 Sunglow Drive

Oceanside, CA





Jocelyn Gordon



Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 12:59:15 -0500

From: Steve Hemphill <hemphill at io.com>

To: bryn-gwlad at Ansteorra.ORG

Subject: Re: BG - renfest?


> another question is - where in austin can i aquire one of those standard

> bodice type thingies?  i thought i would have a lot more time to sew, but

> no dice.


Blatant advertising to follow......


Mistress Ariella (here in BG) is Proprietress of "Elizabeth's

Wardrobe".  She manufactures, primarily, 16th c. undergarments (chemises

and shirts) and now has a line of bodices available in sizes 2 through

18 (based on the Eleanor of Toledo bodice in Janet Arnold)...all of

course at reasonable prices... ; ).  Also, for those of you who sew, she

will be publishing the bodice pattern in the not too distant future.


She also specializes in custom work (she dresses several characters at

TRF, other Renaissance Faires as well as being costume designer/wardrobe

supervisor on several films).


Elizabeth's Wardrobe

Dawn Allee

121 Mike's Way

Leander, TX  78641-1389


rufflife at io.com





From: auroraeb at aol.com (AuroraeB)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: WARNING: Who NOTto order garb from

Date: 24 Mar 1998 20:29:56 GMT


Yet another lesson of "buyer beware".....


As a professional in the: Theatrical costuming/Bridal/Custom sewing industry,

here are some tips to make sure you do not get burned by "custom



1.) Ask to see examples of their finished work.  Examine it inside and out for

quality and workmanship.  If they are not local, this is a judgement call you

have to make.


2.) Ask for references of people/organizations thay have sewn for. Contact

somebody this person has done business with and verify the



3.) Ask to see their portfolio. If they are proud of their work, they will

have kept sketches and photos to "show off".  


4.) Ask for a sketch and a schematic of how they will construct the garment

(s).  If they say you need "X" number of yards of fabric, they should be able

to tell you why it is needed. (Especially important for very expensive



5.) What is their satisfaction policy?  Will they refund money if the garment

is not satisfactory?  Will they re-do it for you?  Will they eat the cost if it

takes longer than the agreed upon time to make it?


6.) Do they offer a written receipt with the item description, cost, and due

date on it?  Why not?  If ANY business balks about providing you a receipt with

these things on it, be suspicious.


Personally, I don't think I would do business with a seamstress that I could

not meet with for fittings, etc.....  But, if you do, be sure to get accurate

measurements, and even measurements you do not think you will need.  A

professional will have a measurement sheet with a sketch of a human figure, and

will take and fill in the measurements accordingly.  Or give you VERY detailed

instructions on measuring yourself.


I guess this is a hard lesson to learn.  But, people need to really think about

trusting special fabric to a sewing service.  Especially a service that is not

local.  It is not that hard to do the job right, and a seamstress is only as

good as her clients are satisfied. Sorry you got burned by this person.  



Aurorae B.



Subject: ANST - Buying garb

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 98 08:12:16 MST

From: David Backlin <dbackli at yahoo.com>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


I buy most of my garb from T'ger of T'Ger Toggs. I have several shirts

and a pair of tights and am quite pleased with them all. You've

probably seen him at Pennsic and Gulf Wars as well as many festivals

(KC Ren-Fest, Namron's Medieval Fair, etc). He also does special

orders which admittedly MAY take a little while, but it's worth the

wait. The quality of his work is very good!


T'Ger Toggs

PO Box 47

Berryville, AR 72616-0047


[Address updated from Ld Edrei the Quiet, 4/5/01. - Stefan]


Ld. Edrei the Quiet                     mka Dave Backlin

Merchant & Adventurer                   Ad/ PR Student

Shire-March of the Grimfells             University of Arkansas

Kingdom of Calontir                     Fayettveille, AR



Subject: Re: ANST - Buying garb

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 98 10:07:48 MST

From: LadyRainah <LadyRainah at aol.com>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


I must say I own garb made by T'ger and it is some of the best garb I own.

His prices are fair and the quality is good!!!  


He will be at Namrons Med Faire!!!!!! For those who wish to see his goods!

Vivat T'ger

With respect,




Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 11:35:24 -0700

From: Curtis & Mary <ladymari at cybertrails.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: What is garb "worth"? [SCA]


Gwen Morse wrote:

> I make Early Irish garb for various members of my group (we play 5th

> century Irish Celts, as my sig indicates). Up until now, the "barter"

> system has been fairly simple.



For what it's worth, I *do* sew for people for money. This is strictly the

*normal* business way of going about figuring how much to charge:


1. What did the fabric, trim, et. cost you? Double the price. [normal retail

markup, by the way]


2. How long will it take to cut and sew?  Figure in *every* minute you spend,

from prewashing / ironing fabric if necessary, to laying it out for cutting,

cutting, all the time spent basting, pinning, sewing, including clipping

threads, sewing buttons, trim, final pressing and hanging.  Figure in also, the

time required for measuring and fitting the garment to the person and making

any pattern alterations.  Now, how much is your time worth?  You should charge

your time *at* least at the same rate you make on your mundane job.  I charge

$10 an hour, because I've been doing this for years and it takes me less time

than less experienced people would take on the same job.  When I first started

(mmmmmlike 10 years ago) I charged minimun wage or a little more.


3. Overhead.  Even when you work from home you have overhead-lights, gas,

water, you might have to buy a new machine or repair your old one.  You pay

taxes and insurance on the space you work from, et.  Total up #1 & #2 and add

in another 10- 20% to cover these costs.  Now you have the price of what it's

*really* worth, in the *real* world.  Whether or not you charge that much [you

will be very surprised at the total!] is up to you, but at least gives you a

starting place.


Mairi, Atenveldt



Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 17:25:58 EST

From: styrbjorn at juno.com (Skip Wilder)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: What is garb "worth"? [SCA]


A problem for many artists in the SCA is that most of our members don't

have much money.  The barter system is one that I would like to see

encouraged in the SCA since it's very period.  When I was merchanting in

the early 90's, I used this formula for figuring prices:

Cost of materials + $10 per hour of labor.  I make $16 per hour working

in a grocery store (unskilled labor) so I find it hard to accept anything

less than $10 for skilled labor, and I would probably charge more for

mundane sale.  You have to determine how much your time is worth to you.

I will help members of my group for free, and you might think of helping

your friend learn how to sew for himself.  Then he would have a skill to

barter with future new members. Also think of bartering for 'slave'

labor, like cooking or cleaning dishes at events.   Ideally members of a

group would have several skills and could barter among themselves for

what they need, but bartering outside of your group is also a

possibility.  So if there is something another merchant/artist has that

you want, make it a three-way barter.


Styrbjorn Ulfhamr



Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 14:54:07 MST

From: "Ches" <ches at io.com>

Subject: Re: ANST - looking for....

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


I thought you would like to add this to your archives....



From the WebPages:

A Resource for Researching and Constructing Historic Clothing Worn in the

Society for Creative Anachronism Welcome to the web page of the SCA-Garb

electronic mailing list!


The purpose of this page is to create a showcase for the talented clothiers,

costumers, seamstresses and tailors of the SCA to share their articles,

class handouts, book reviews, and pictures of their work.



Dallas, Texas


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org