Costume Close-up
Clothing Construction and Pattern

by Linda Baumgarten & John Watson
with Florine Carr

     Costume Close-up examines in detail twenty-five eighteenth-century costumes from the collection of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The items range from complete ensembles for men and women to underwear and accessories.

    The in-depth descriptions cover gowns, petticoats, a jacket, an apron, cloaks, a shift, stays, a pocket, mitts, stockings, a man’s suit, breeches, an embroidered waistcoat, a shirt, and others.

    Over 200 illustrations include many quality overall and detail photographs. Drawings of patterns, seams, embroidery and quilting designs, and other construction details reveal technical detail. Period illustrations show clothing, weaving, embroidering, and other costume-related processes.

    Thirty lively side topics feature information on the history of eighteenth-century clothing, including such subjects as, ‘How was pinking done?’ ‘What is brocading?’, ‘More about glazed wool’; ‘More about broadcloath’; ‘About hoops, panniers, and farthingales’; ‘Baggy backs and splayed legs’; ‘Creating a fashionable shape’; ‘About cloak and cape’, and ‘More about embroidered waistcoat patterns.’

    The book is published by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in association with Quite Specific Media Group. Ltd.

Available from Quite Specific Press; Colonial Williamsburg Foundation;;

Table of Contents
Introduction    5
Conventions    10
No. 1 Gown and Stomacher    11
How was pinking done?    14
No. 2 Gown, Stomacher, and Petticoat     16
What is brocading?    19
About the robe à la Française    20
No. 3 Gown    24
No. 4 Petticoat    29
More about glazed wool    33
No. 5 Petticoat    34
Petticoat waistbands    37
Who wore quilted petticoats?    38
No. 6 Jacket    39
Block printing textiles     38
Who wore jackets?    42
No. 7 Short Gown    43
No. 8 Apron    47
More about apron materials    47
No. 9 Lace Cloak or Mantle    50
Fashionable cloaks    51
No. 10 Cloak    54
More about broadcloth    56
No. 11 Shift    57
About linen width    58
Cutting and sewing personal linens    60
No. 12 Stays    61
About tight lacing    64
No. 13 Pocket    65
About pockets and children    65
Getting dressed    67
No. 14 Hoop Petticoat    69
About hoops, panniers, and farthingales    71
No. 15 Mitts    72
Mitts for ladies and children    74
No. 16 Women’s or Men’s Stockings    75
More about the stocking frame    79
Holding up stockings    79
No. 17 Suit Coat, Waistcoat, and Breeches    80
Shopping for a suit in the eighteenth century    81
Baggy backs and splayed legs    87
No. 18 Breeches    89
More about covered buttons    89
No. 19 Coat    92
Creating a fashionable shape    92
No. 20 Waistcoat    97
More about embroidered waistcoat patterns    98
No. 21 Cloak    102
About cloak and cape    104
No. 22 Shirt    105
About cutting shirts    108
More about shirt materials    108
No. 23 Under Drawers    109
More about men’s underwear    110
No. 24 Stock    112
Stocks, cravats, and neckties    114
No. 25 Cap    115
Sources for Illustrations    119
End Notes    120