Dec 2, 2016

Wait, there's more?

I'd like to announce two new goals that I am going to try to reach with this Kickstarter Project. 

To reach these goals I need your help spreading the word about this project with your friends or reaching out to blogs who might be willing to let its readers know more. All the help I can get is very much appreciated and I've enjoyed receiving your feedback for this project.

Please share this link:

Stretch Goal #1: reaching $10,000 AUD activates an extra chapter in the book: Reticules, pockets and purses.

Once this goal is unlocked Aylwen will add an extra chapter for no extra charge for ALL BOOK BACKERS on reticules, pockets and purses and will include lots of colour photos, embroidery designs and patterns for making your own.

Embroidered silk reticule to be included in extra chapter

Stretch Goal #2: reaching $15,000 AUD activates a new companion book: Gentlemen's Fashion of the Georgian Era

Once this goal is unlocked Aylwen will offer you a completely new reward - a long awaited and requested "Costume in Detail" book on Men's Fashion of the Georgian Era. Aylwen will take photographs of men's garments both inside and out and include close-up photos of finer details and trims. This book will be available for order as soon as this stretch goal is unlocked and will be selling at the same price structure as Trims, Frills and Furbelows. A limited 10% discount will be offered to those subscribing to both books before 19 December 2016. 

Amongst garments already selected for the book on
Men's Clothing is a rare pair of men's drawers from the 1780s.

Nov 27, 2016

Rouleaux trim started

I'm copying this gorgeous spencer from the Chertsey Museum in the UK. I was lucky to inspect it in detail on a previous visit and hope to visit it again in 2017 to get better quality photos.

Preparing to transfer the design, and while I'm sewing I've worked out how it might have been sewn in period - not the way I've prepared it, and possibly would save a lot of time in the whole process.

Techniques as well as step-by-step how-to will be discussed in greater detail in my Kickstarter book at

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Nov 22, 2016

19th Century Trim Kickstarter Project

I've put together a Kickstarter project to write a book on Regency-era trims. I'd love your support over the next 30 days.

Please support this production of an illustrated book showing examples of extant trims and tutorials showing how to make them. This will be your go-to book on trims, frills and furbelows from the 18th-19th Century.

Why is this project different?

Padded hemlines, decorative furbelows, pleated applique trims, cut-outs, ruffles, piping, soutache, buttons....oh my!

There are many books available with a broader scope of different fashion eras, but Aylwen's goal is to focus on trimmings of the late 18th century and early 19th century and expand on the details of technique. There is a growing group of costume enthusiasts who wish to enhance their Jane Austen, Regency, Empire and Biedermeier gowns and learn how to make all the lovely trims you see in the pictures. This full-colour A4 book (21.0 x 29.7cm OR 8.27 x 11.69 inches) will study the construction details of historic trimmings so they can be added to skirts, bodices, and sleeves. You will see close-up photographs of both the front & back of the trimmings and step-by-step pictorial instructions showing how to make the trimmings so you can add them to your garments without needing to buy any new patterns. Aylwen already has permission from some collections in the United Kingdom and Australia to take photographs for publication and if funding is generous will be able to pay for rights to use photographs from other institutions.
As an extra thank you, Aylwen is making e-books available for Kickstarter subscribers only and will not be offering e-books for sale after this project closes.

How will the book be set out?

This A4 book will contain
  • Full-length colour photos of each garment 
  • High-resolution close-up photos of trim showing both front and back (where possible without damaging a garment) and inside the garment showing how it was attached
  • Step-by-step construction tutorials using photographs of an actual reproduction
  • Stepping you through making a neckline trim and a hem frill.
About the Author

Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is a historical costumier, experienced historic dancer and professional events organiser based in Canberra, Australia. She is Director of Jane Austen Festival Australia and is currently studying textile conservation. She has won awards for costuming at Your Wardrobe Unlock'd, and was especially pleased that her first costume to win an award featured an intricate regency trim. Aylwen sometimes thinks others must think her rather weird when she describes one of the greatest thrills in her life is to be working out how a particular trim is made. Aylwen teaches regular historic sewing workshops from her home studio, at Jane Austen Festival Australia and has taught in the US, UK and Germany.
Aylwen in her award-winning dress

How will the funds be used?

The funds raised with this Kickstarter project will enable Aylwen to

  • travel in June 2017 to conduct research and take photos of a wide range of garments in the United Kingdom - including garments from the Charles Wade Collection, the Hereford Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Chertsey Museum,
  • pay for some of her accommodation during the research period,
  • take high-resolution photographs of both original and reproduced trims, 
  • reproduce trims for how-to-do-it instructions, and 
  • self-publish an A4 (21.0 x 29.7cm OR 8.27 x 11.69 inches) full colour 100+ page bound book, to be posted out to Kickstarter supporters in December 2017 before launching it to the general public at Jane Austen Festival Australia in April 2018.
Some of the trims that will be featured in this book.

How will you keep the subscribers updated?
Subscribers to this project will be updated weekly on the progress of this project through the blog and Facebook page with daily updates during the initial research period in the UK.
How can I help?

Thank you for your help! There are a few things you can do:
  • Back this Kickstarter project early so that others can see this is a popular project and likely to succeed, 
  • Share this Kickstarter project on facebook, live journal and other social media platforms, 
  • Send emails to family and friends who may be interested and explain to them that you really want this book to be published and that we need more backers to reach our funding goal, and
  • Let Aylwen know how she can improve this campaign!

Remember: funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. No one will be charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal, so thank you in advance for sharing this with your costuming friends over the next 30 days.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge with this project is getting the full amount raised to get it off the ground. Aylwen needs to raise funds now to purchase return airfares from Australia to the United Kingdom at low rates as discount seats are selling fast. Permission has already been granted to access certain collections, to take photos and publish them in this book. Aylwen is an experienced desktop publisher having worked on over a hundred books in the last ten years and is looking forward to completing this project.
Aylwen will be relying heavily on people sharing news of this project with their friends in forums and on social media to meet her target. Please share this link:

Sep 9, 2016

18th Century Court Gown 2


Progress photos:

Pinned on mannequin, testing out trims.

Small trim sample, checking it fits.

After working out the proportions from the inspiration gown, I've re-pinned the trim onto the skirt fronts.

Finally sewing trim onto the dress itself is not for the faint-hearted. I'm not brave enough to share with you how much unpicking I've had to do before getting it this far! I now have a page of good hints to share in my trim workshop/demonstration next year.

Aug 17, 2016

Online exhibition - invitation to be involved

At Jane Austen Festival Australia in April 2017 I'll be putting on an exhibition of antique men's and women's Georgian & Regency clothes (a minimum of 20 items). Soon afterwards I hope to launch it as an online exhibition - and that's where I'd like to invite you to be involved in making it bigger and better. Do you collect clothing or accessories from this period? Would you like your items to be part of a global online exhibition? Or do you have computer time and skills you'd like to share helping to get this collection online? Would you like to be able to access a collection where you can click on an image to see close-up interior construction shots? If there is damage a link to conservation methods for repair or storage? Would you like to see links to similar garments online and patterns or books that could be used to make them? Maybe even an online calendar listing events around the world you could wear them to? Can you help write a draft crowdfunding proposal to help cover some of the costs of this project and to self-publish a colour book of the online exhibition?

I'm making a start on this in the next 7-10 days and welcome your support and ideas.

These 1770-90 glazed wool (Calimanco) shoes will be part of the exhibition

May 13, 2016

Going to a Belle Epoque Ball in Paris

This week I'm sewing a gown from 1910 to wear to a Belle Epoque ball in Paris. Its a bit of a rush job, as I have a few other items to finish before I leave. I don't have much room in my suitcase so chose to make a late period gown using some silk in my stash and a beaded sari left over from making a regency court train.

Some online patterns you might like to use if making this for yourself:


I spent some time tracing out pattern pieces and trying to make my kimono sleeve work.
Foundation bodice

Mar 4, 2016

1795 Coat

I have started a 1795 coat for my husband. His other coat is a thicker wool and too hot to wear in the warmer months. I have a piece of silk from Burnley and Trowbridge that I absolutely adore and am so glad to be able to use it at last.


Pattern: Laughing Moon 124

Progress photos so far:

I'm very impressed with the tail - and the pleats have come out beautifully in this silk.

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