01288 488756


  • onine costume books

Welcome to HandBound 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.

Early 18t c mans coat, handmade and bspoke period tailoring, historical costumes by HandBound Costumes

Image courtesy of Berrington Hall – c.1720s coat

We’d describe ourselves as Historical Seamstresses or Period Dressmakers –  very grand sounding to be sure…but genuinely we simply have a love for historical costume; how it was cut and how it was made.

We specialize in 18th c clothing – particularly women’s for now – and even more specifically have started in the 1740s-60s and worked up and down the 18th century. We’ve done Study Projects on Stays, on Mantuas and on 1760s Sack Back gowns – concentrateted research that has spanned nigh on 10 years – studying in museums such as the V&A, Museum of London, Bath Fashion Museum , Berrington Hall (which houses the Snowshill Collection), Bankfield Musuem and Gallery Of Costume.

All of the garments that we have worked on for our clients or that feature in our Made to Measure range are all fully based on original construction techniques and most commonly,actual original garments. 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. portrait of Sir Edward Walpole - 1747 - Stephen Slaughter - HandBound, eighteenth costume research, Robe a l'anglais images, What children wore in the Georgian period, double robings anglasi, bespoke and made to measure replicated and research Historical Costume 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!


J.H Fragonard-Shepherdess


Research is the key…

Read More

Costume Making

We use specialist equipment..

Read More

Buy Online

Buy costumes in our online shop..

Read More

Customer Care

We can offer helpful advice..

Read More