Welcome to Hand Bound Costumes
A company born from the desire to study and replicate
historical garments as accurately as possible.
Made to Measure Historical Costumes – from Museum to Hanger.
We’d describe ourselves as Historical Seamstresses or Period Dressmakers – very grand sounding to be sure…but genuinely we just have a love for historical costume; how it was cut and how it was made. We specialise in 18th c clothing – particularly women’s for now, and having spent the last 4 or 5 years studying 18th c stays and Georgian underwear. We try and base all of our garments on actual items from the museums and have had study sessions now at museums like the V&A, Museum of London, Bath Fashion Museum , Berrington Hall (which houses the Snowshill Collection), Bankfield Musuem and Gallery Of Costume to name but a few. Our goal is to plot and study the whole entire wardrobe from the various periods, ad we’ve picked the years 1740-60s as our starting point. We’ve just begun our slow climb into the 1770s and 1780s , and have also just sampled our first piece of regency clothing – a corset from 1805. But we don’t like to rush ahead – each piece needs to have been studied, understood and patterns taken so that we can get the best finish possible. Our historical tailoring is rooted in our modern tailoring background but also springs from various study sessions where we’ve been looking at the tailoring techniques employed in original garments – most interesting! Our stay-making understanding comes again from pure study – looking at originals, sampling and copying as many as possible until we got the effect as near to the ones in the museum as possible. We’ve also begun building our collection of stay patterns in order to plot and follow the changes of shape of the Stays and the way they manipulated the body into the acquired shape of fashion. We provide costumes mainly for museums and tv/film but love to work alongside reenactors and living historians as we love the idea that our costumes are actually being worn, loved and used. We have within this website our Online Shop which hosts our well sampled garments – detailing the museums they were replicated from and a ‘How to wear’ advise page, and also, sometimes; if we’ve managed to finish it in time! a ‘History of’ page explaining the background to why and when the garments were worn .
We also have our Bespoke Section which is where you can get to design and show us the dress you would like to have made and where we also have our portfolio of Costumes we’ve made as one-offs for clients. We have our very own HandBound Customer Library which contains our Bibliography, a Glossary of 18th century Terms of Fashion, Articles on interesting Topics and most excitingly; our Research Pages. These contain some of our study notes and images from Study Sessions done at various Museums and articles on various topics from the 18th c.
Have a Good old Browse!
Research is the key…
We use specialist equipment..
Buy costumes in our online shop..
We can offer helpful advice..