A lot of people end up here searching for hunting shirts, rev war uniforms, or men’s patterns. I’m not the menswear expert, Henry Cooke is. He has no website, and if this is where your Googling has led you, you may contact him thusly:

Henry M Cooke IV
Historical Costume Services
721 South Main Street
Randolph MA 02368
email hcooke4 (at) verizon (dot) net
Phone (781) 963-9645

You should bear in mind that you will need to understand the basics of your impression: what social level, what year (decade at the least), and what region you’re from. If you are a soldier, you’ll need to know what regiment and when. From my blog you can learn what mistakes I’ve made, and with any luck, not repeat them yourself.


Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to Sharon Burnston.
Her paper on shifts is a must-read, and I suggest that before you put scissors to linen, you read it. The first garment you need is a shift, so start here.


For hand-woven linens in period-correct widths with proper selvedges, contact Justin Squizzero, who sells by subscription. Email justin (dot) levi (at) ymail (dot) com


The success I have had till now in draping and fitting gowns is thanks to Koshka the Cat, whom I found thanks to the internet. Koshka’s tutorials will explain much about 18th century gown construction. I have them to hand every time I sew a gown and if you follow them, you should have success if you have a basic bodice block that fits you. Take the time to tweak one.

Robe a l’Anglaise

Sacque or Robe a la Francaise

All of Koshka’s tutorials are here.


Fit matters, and it does not just happen. You may find it useful to develop a basic bodice block or sloper. You can learn more here about slopers. This is worth doing, and the concepts apply to all time periods.

Manuals, Tayloring and Otherwise, Online

The Mirror of the Graces (at University of Wisconsin’s digital commons)

The Mirror of the Graces (1830) at

The Tailor’s Preceptor (1826)

The Taylor’s Instructor (Queen and Lapsley, 1809)

A Treatise on Archery (1822)

4 thoughts on “Resources”

  1. Susan Quinn said:

    Could you please tells how much you charge to construct a British Marine redcoat? I am a seamstress trying to figure out the pricing of things.

  2. matthew adams said:

    Hello I am a living historian, and I’ve been working on a camp portrayal of an artist. I’m trying to put together a watercolor box, and I could really use the label shown in the above pic…Where did you get the “trade label,” for the Reeves watercolour page???


    • I don’t have a super quick answer to this without redoing the work of finding the file I saved, which may well have come from someone else. If I were to replicate my search of several years ago, I’d look in the collections of the British Museum if Google failed me. You don’t say what time period you are working in, but if you are in the U.S. and creating a pre-1785 impression, I would personally consider very carefully whether or not you have a labeled watercolor box and how you would have acquired it. I find the evidence contradictory (and sketchy), but everyone makes their own decisions. Good luck, and have fun.

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