Welcome! I created this site in spring 2011 as part of my undergraduate thesis project, “Public History and the Applied History of Clothing and Needle Arts.” It’s designed to be a resource for the research and reproduction of historical clothing – among other things. Now that I’ve graduated, the content of this site will broaden in scope, covering not just historical clothing but also more general sewing information, vintage style, and all sorts of antiquated domesticity, as well as the odd bit of theorizing here and there. In general, things will be grounded in history, but (hopefully!) not stuck in the past.

I believe that public history has a lot to offer, on a practical as well as a more abstract level: it can help us look backwards and directly learn useful things from those who came before us, or simply be inspired to broaden our horizons and think outside the box. We have many more options than just what’s customarily offered in the here and now, and many of those options are, well, better. In my not-always-terribly-humble opinion! So whether it’s using natural fibers for sewing, old-fashioned milk paint for non-toxic furniture refinishing, or seasonal local produce for cooking, I’m always inclined to ask “How did they used to do this?” and look there first for inspiration, and often healthy and environmentally-friendly approaches.

But this site isn’t just about my ideas, or my inclinations. There’s a great deal of great information out there on the internet (and, of course, in books and other print sources), but sometimes it can be difficult to find. So part of what I’m doing with the Bygone Glamour blog is including copious links to other blogs and websites, especially to specific posts, articles, and tutorials. This is the purpose of my Link Bouquets, and you’ll also find collected links all over the site, especially on glossary entries and base posts.

Note that the site didn’t develop as gradually as most blogs, so beware that scrolling through posts in reverse chronological order will get strange and disjointed very quickly. In many ways, this site was set up to function more like a traditional website than a blog. Basic information and major overview articles about the site are listed across the top and also here in the index, as well as being linked to whenever else happens to be relevant. The site can be browsed in a variety of ways, based on what you’re interested in. You can explore by category (each century, project, and garment has its own category), by tag (there are tags for garment types, fibers and materials, fashion eras, sewing techniques, etc.), or through the Index. General updates and posts coming after the end of the thesis can be found under the “Updates” tab.

For more information on different aspects of this site, see also:

This page, and many other aspects of the site, will keep changing as I fiddle with getting it all set up properly. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me: ava dot trimble at g mail dot com.

And once again – welcome to my corner of the internet! Happy browsing.


(last updated June 9, 2011)

5 responses to “Introduction

  1. Wow. You’ve done your homework missy. I was clicking around and was wondering if you had pictures of these garments? As a designer we are always looking for style lines, trim, etc. to inspire us. I’m putting you on my blog roll. Cheers.

    • Thanks! And thanks for visiting!

      Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera while I was working on most of this, so I only have a few camera phone snaps and some pictures that other people took. I did finally get a camera a few months ago though, so hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to pull out the finished garments (and maybe even some unfinished ones! sigh!) and take pictures for the site. I’ll go back in and edit posts to include pictures, but when I do, I’ll make sure to add a new post announcing that and linking to the edited posts so anyone following will get the updates.

      In the meantime, I use Pinterest to corral pictures of historical clothing (among other things!) from around the web, so if you’re looking for pretty clothes inspiration, there are some pinboards, sorted by time period, that might be of interest:

  2. Good morning Ava, I found Bygone Glamour while researching a C14 entry in the Cornish Eyre (Court) Rolls.

    At the moment I’m trying to understand the low status cloth griseng, also grising or pannus de grysanto.

    As far as I can tell it’s a strong staple fulled cloth, grey in colour and adopted by (almost all the peasantry and) the Franciscans (Greyfriars).

    I would also be interested in how it relates to low grade Harberget.

    If you can add to my stock of knowledge I’d be most interested, especially how the cloth was woven and by whom (was it produced in the home?).

    I have no background in textiles or fashion so please speak slowly.

    One of my blog pages on pannus de grysanto is here –



    • Hi Richard-

      I’m so sorry to be so absurdly long about getting back to you! While I was in the midst of grad school finals, everything else fall off the face of the planet, and then my fiance and I had to move in a hurry, and I’m just now trying to get caught up on a backlog of things. Sorry!

      Unfortunately, I don’t know much of anything about textiles of the period you’re researching. My expertise is rather limited before the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One of the things I hope to do with this blog eventually is to put together a list of reliable blogs, books, and other resources, divided by time period, so I can point people in the direction of those who know about particular subjects, but so far I haven’t managed it. I believe that the Dreamstress has a list of the sort though, so there might be something on her site that would be of use to you! You also might be able to get some good information – especially of a general sort, about cloth production and fulling – by seeing what you can get from a library (especially on Inter-Library Loan or through a university library) on the history of textiles. Those books tend to be hideously expensive and can be hard to track down, but there’s great information out there. There are a few good ones listed in my Annotated Bibliography.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help, and sorry again about the delay! Best of luck!


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