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Custom Work Studio
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Custom Work Studio


Our speciality is clothing of the mid-19th century, particularly the late 1850's through the Civil War era. In addition to merely sewing the clothing for our customers, we work with them to help design a garment that is as authentic as possible and also fits their needs and personal tastes. This consultation is included in our prices and is often the most satisfying and creative part of the process of constructing period clothing.

In addition, customers occasionally request reproduction clothing from other periods.

Story of a Custom 1860's Ballgown 1

Story of a Custom Colonial Dress

Story of a Custom 1860's Best Dress

How to get started on a Custom Project



Designs are based on a variety of source materials, from original garments to period fashion plates and photographs. Our prices are based on the average amount of time required to sew a particular type of garment, based on past experience. As we are very much aware of the budget constraints that many people in the reenacting / living history field face, our primary focus is providing authentic-looking clothing with options for most budgets. Read our note on our authenticity standards for more information.

"The Fitting", ca. 1850, attrib. to Detlev Blunck, Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, reproduced with permission from "La Couturiere Parisienne"

We prefer to work in natural fibers whenever possible. Many lady reenactors shy away from the silks and lightweight woolens so prevalent in the era on the basis of cost, and end up having more dressy "day dress" styles made from a cotton calico or homespun fabric appropriate to an everyday or work dress. Or, they tend to make ball and evening dresses out of synthetics, believing silk to be out of their price range. Through our dry goods store, we offer a wide selection of silk fabrics suitable for the Civil War era, with per yard prices not much more (and in some cases less!) than period reproduction calicoes.


Our satisfied clients include some of the leading names in the living history field, and many others less well known, but equally focused on quality.

To order custom clothing, we will need your measurements. Follow this link to go to the relevant measurement instructions for the items you are interested in ordering:

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How to Measure
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