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Fashion History with American Duchess

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You can also check out our blog at - Thank you! -Abby & Lauren

You can also check out our blog at - Thank you! -Abby & Lauren
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You can also check out our blog at - Thank you! -Abby & Lauren






Episode 20: 18th Century Dress Alterations With Carolyn Dowdell

We got to sit down with Carolyn Dowdell PhD while at Costume College to discuss the ins and outs of 18th century women's dresses, their constant alterations, how Victorians ruined everything, and a lovely lady named Gertrude. We had a great time with Carolyn, and we know that y'all will love this episode -- so many great nuggets of information! You can find Carolyn over at her blog, The Modern Mantua-Maker ( her Instagram (@modernmantuamaker)...


Episode 19 - An Introvert And Beginner's Guide To Costume Events

Hooray for a Mini-Episode! Inspired by a social media posts, we decided to do a quick episode for introverts and beginners to costume events. We cover: 1. 90% of us are it's ok to be an introvert. 2. What to do at events. 3. What not to do. 4. Touching and physcial space at events - in or out of costume (Read: Costume is not consent y'all.) And just some antics and giggles from us as well. Remember everyone, we've all be new to the hobby and new to events, and we want...


Episode 18: Announcing NEW Kensingtons!

Hooray! We're back with a short and sweet episode devoted to giving you the quick run down about our new Kensington shoe offerings. While we don't get into the history of the shoe, we are just so excited to share with y'all all the new options with our Kensington 18th century shoe. The Pre-Order opens June 7th and goes until June 21st and if you want to see the pretty shoes and all of your options in person - head on over to Till next time!


Episode 16 - Corsets, Broadway, and Costuming Business with Cynthia Settje of Redthreaded

Today, Lauren and Abby sit down with one of their favorite women in the industry, Cynthia Settje ( to discuss everything from how/why she started her business (hint: The Great Recession), creating historic ready made corsets, working for Broadway, and more (like why did she name her business "RedThreaded"?) If you're a bright young thing who is getting ready to graduate, or someone who is looking to have a change in careers - we hope that you find Cynthia's story...


Episode 14 - The American Duchess Guide To 18th Century Dressmaking

Today's the big day! Our new book "The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking" is officially released today (11/21/2017)! The past year was spent writing and editing this book, and we are so happy to share it with you! While we've chatted quite a bit about the sewing projects on our Facebook page, we've never really talked about the process of writing the book. So, we decided to sit down and have a chat all about that part of writing this book. If you're into Behind-the-Scenes...


Episode 11: Interview with Theatre/TV/Film Costumer Constance MacKenzie

We were so lucky to be introduced to Constance MacKenzie while attending Costume College in LA in July. Constance works as a costumer in England, and has worked in theater, opera, tv, and film. She was kind enough to sit down with us for a short while and tell us about her experiences in the pursuit of her career, how she got started, where she has worked, and what her advice is for young people who want to work in this industry. By the end of the interview, Lauren and Abby were left with...


Episode 10 - Corsets with Cathy Hay of Foundations Revealed

Cathy Hay is the Founder and CEO of Foundations Revealed - an Online Subscription Education Database filled to the brim with articles regarding everything you could possibly wonder about corset making, patterning, etc! Lauren & Abby were able to sit down with Cathy while attending Costume College in LA to pick her brain about her business, the Symington Corset Company Collection in Leicestershire, England, and just have an all around jazzy discussion about all sorts of corsetry goodness!...


Episode 9: Early 17th Century Women's Dress with Samantha McCarty

Abby sits down with Samantha McCarty (again! See Episode 2 for more with Samantha!) to pick her brain about women's fashion and clothing from the first quarter of the 17th century (1600-1625-ish). This is an often over looked time period that Samantha has had time to really study since she works for a historic site that is from the 17th century. Ranging in subjects from what a woman was issued in a new "suit of clothes" before she arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, upper bodies, petticoats...


Episode 7 - Did They Have BUGS in Their Hair?! 18th Century Hair & Hygiene

Lauren sits Abby down to pick her brain about Abby's most favorite research subject - 18th Century women's hair! Abby's been researching this topic for the past 4 years, and even spent 1 year actively practicing 18th century hair care - using pomatum and powder to keep her hair clean and smelling fresh! Abby's time spent studying this topic has provided her with a lot of insight on such a surprising social practice from the 1700s. So, sit back, relax, and let you hair down - it's time to...


Episode 6 - Enslaved People's Dress in the 18th & 19th Century with Cheyney McKnight

Abby is joined by Cheyney McKnight (Not Your Momma's History) to discuss what enslaved women and men would have worn in the United States of American during the 18th & 19th century. Going over everything from a brief explanation of slavery in the USA, to the "Reward System", Resistance in Dress, Textile Choices, and what Freed women and me could have worn and how that differed. Cheyney is owner of Not Your Momma's History, a living history consulting & interpretation business as well as...


Episode 5 - Hot Town, Summer is Sh*tty for Costuming

Abby & Lauren sit down and discuss how to deal with the harsh summer temperatures while dressed out for a living history event. We delve into how important fiber content and color is for summer clothing (hint: we love linen!), whether unlined garments existed, our tips and tricks on how we like to deal with the heat, and more - including Abby making up parody songs on the fly! So sit back, have a listen, and enjoy! If you would like to see the blog post that accompanies this episode please...


Episode 2 - Civil War Mourning With Samantha McCarty

Abby sits down with Samantha McCarty ( to discuss her research on mourning dress during the American Civil War. Samantha currently works as a Tailor for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in Virginia, and though she spends most of her time studying and recreating 17th & 18th century dress for interpreters, one of her first passions was researching all things to do with mourning during the American Civil War. Topics discussed: Types of Mourning, What to...