I've been obbessed with historical cosutming, specifically Elizabethan for awhile, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the great websites I discovered while doing research and shopping. Some of these I've used, and some I didn't need but were great sources for future costumes.
Corset Making Supplies:
I can't talk up this website enough. I've been using it since I was in
High School, and I don't feel as though it has every let me down. I
mainly use it for grommets, busks (they have wooden busks!), boning (if I
want to use metal, though I usually use industrial strength zip ties,
because I feel they work just as well and are cheaper), and plastic
covered metal hooping for farthingales. This website used to offer a
less expensive grommet press (which you can still see on there but it's
listed as "out of stock") which is the one I own, and I'm not sure why
the new one is so much more expensive....but I can't live without this
press. It is more historically accurate to sew your lacing holes, but I
do prefer to use metal on my corsets and bodices. I also prefer the
plastic covered hoopsteel, but they do have buckram covered if that is
more your forte.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads:
Suggested to me recently from some of my fellow seamstresses and
tailors, while I was pulling my hair out trying to find a inexpensive
source for Aglets/bolo tips. They carry a wide variety of ways to
purchase them (in large and small amounts) and they have both gold and
silver color. The website also has EVERYTHING ELSE, and you can really
waste many o hours just ogling their selection.
know a lot of people don't like to use ebay, or purchase things on the
internet, but I personally find all my best, hard to find things, on
ebay. Finding things on Ebay is all about knowing the vocabulary, and
then knowing what people might "mislabel" the things you are looking
for. Example: I first tried to find aglets on ebay by searching for
metal aglets, or aiglets, and then bolo tips. I didn't find the best and
prettiest "aglets" until I was searching for something else under
"filigree cone ends".
Pure Silk Fabrics.
Lamplight Feather, INC:
There are plenty of feather websites out there, but when you are
looking for colored ostrich plumes in small amounts, it can be hard to
not spend an arm and a leg. I've tried a few different websites that
sell feathers in singles, but I prefer this website over all of them,
because I find that the feathers are reasonably priced, they have a
large selections, and their shipping is not horrible (though still on
the expensive side to ship feathers, imo.)
Research and Construction:
Most of my research comes from books and portraits, but this was a
website I found early on, when I was just starting to make Elizabethan
Costumes. It is not a website that you use exclusively, but I have on
many occasions gone back to it. It is probably the best collection of
Elizabethan references and research out there. There are many tutorials
and instructions on creating your own patterns. She also links many
other websites if she has found other information on the subject,
including the Blackwork Archives.
One of the many amazing photographers, Mark Meier, for the Bristol
Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, WI (My first and home Renaissance faire). I
would not use this site as a mode of reference for serious
documentation. However, the people that he photographs go through the
same research to make their costumes that I do (since they taught me
how). It is a really great place to get inspired.
A good place to find photos, especially portraits, but again, I would
not recommend to rely on it for documentation. The descriptions of the
pictures are not always correct, and sometimes it's best to find the
picture, and then try to get the correct source for it, so you actually
know what you are looking at.
As far as specific online
sources, I mostly start out with Google image search...but when I want
to really get the correct source and know that it is reliable, I always
return to books, specifically Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women, C.1560-1620, Patterns of Fashion 4, and Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd (though this one is hard to find and rather expensive).
you have other great resources for shopping or research to share that I
did not mention, please comment! I am ALWAYS looking for more!