Today, there's a lot of historical costumers and several books on cutting and sewing 18th century clothes. But most of them focus on Britain and the U.S.information on French fashion in Continental Europe is more scarce, especially online. I want to contribute to filling that void.

I also have a more local focus, because even though fashion was international, people didn't dress quite the same everywhere. For instance, check out the colored caps and visible jumps of the lower-class Swedish townswomen in the blog header—a style that was widely worn in Sweden at the time, and to some extent in Continental Europe (but would be decidedly incorrect for American Revolutionary War reenactment, because it wasn't worn there).

Who am I?

My name is Anna-Carin, I'm in my mid-40s and live with my husband and child in a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden.

I became interested in sewing and textile crafts at an early age, thanks to my mother who has a thorough education in this field. After senior highschool I spent a full school year taking sewing and hand weaving classes before continuing to technical college (better job opportunities...). Then I worked as a computer programmer and help desk etc until 2013, when repeated bouts of CFS type problems left me unable to work even part-time. Previously my hobby had been making small-scale dollhouse miniatures (my website) and sewing some of my own clothes, but being devoid of energy I needed to find a new interest that was more about reading instead of making, and I turned to 18th century fashion history instead.

I dream of a future where I'm pursuing an academic career in this field; researching primary resources on Swedish and European fashion and dressmaking, and writing about my findings. That is, if ever a cure for CSF is discovered... (And while I'm dreaming, I'd also love to own an American 1950s car someday!) For now, my ambition to share some of the things I've discovered in my past few years reading, through this blog. I need to do everything a little bit at a time, so I'm not exactly a frequent blogger!

So far, I have very little experience of historical sewing. I've sewn a shift and and apron (and a pair of stays as of March 2018), but that's about it. My wedding dress and college graduation dress were largely based on dresses in "Patterns of Fashion 1", but using modern fabrics and methods—that was in the 1990s. I hadn't heard of historical costuming societies at that time (let alone local ones), so I never pursued an interest in historical costuming at that time. Since I've became interested in the 18th century, and learned about the costuming community, I'd love to assemble at least a simple period outfit over time, but so far it's progressed at a snail's pace.

Image credits: The blog header shows a Stockholm street scene from a 1773 painting by Johan Sevenbom in Stockholms Stadsmuseum, which has published the photo under a CC: BY-NC-SA license (photo cropped and faded by me).

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