Historical Sewing Workshops

Historical Sewing Workshops Historical Sewing Workshops by Shelley Peters. Sharpen your historical sewing skills! Learn how to construct a corset in any era, then on to the rest!

Shelley Peters has been sewing for over 50 years. She sewed her first dress in 2nd grade and costumed her 8 brothers and sisters for home productions. Her three children and their friends were always dressed in creative Halloween costumes. She moved on to Renaissance, wedding gowns, and Dickens Christmas Carolers. In 2001 she discovered Civil War Reenacting and has immersed herself in learning period clothing and construction methods. She saw the need for corsets to be worn with historical clothing and started her first corset workshop in 2006. Since than she has fitted, sewn or taught over 400 custom corsets. Shelley has taught at Costume college since 2003. Shelley Peters is the Proprietress of the Kansas Mercantile, a traveling store specializing in Civil War & Victorian goods for reenactors, & Historical Sewing Supplies with over 20 Pattern lines. Her custom sewing business SewPeriod! specializes in Historical Clothing with an emphasis on Corsets. To be put on the email notification list send anEmail
with your
Name, Telephone # and City you live in to:
[email protected]


I have reserved the room in Nuevo for a Sewing Workshop for Thursday, .June 17, Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19 ( Father's Day weekend) Let me know if you plan to come!


Summer is almost upon us and time to turn to summer attire. C. 1865 that would mean something like this 4 piece sheer cotton dress. The white cotton is printed with blue and black stripes. The overskirt is an ‘apron’ trimmed in lace with pocket slits and a wide ribbon sash. #ksumusuem #1865 #1865fashion #1860s #1860sfashion #1860sdress #printedcotton #summervibes #summeroutfits #summertime

Remember #stophate


Sewing Workshop this Thurs, Friday & Saturday in Nuevo. Who is coming?


How are those new hoop dresses coming along?

Aitumn Toilette c. 1896

Aitumn Toilette c. 1896

Aitumn Toilette c. 1896

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos


🧵Historical sewing in a small apartment is a nightmare. Kudos to the hubby for gracefully navigating through panniers, bustles, and yards of silk on a daily basis.

PS. We need a house!


Happy Easter!

Photos from Hat Patterns - Out of a Portrait's post

Photos from Hat Patterns - Out of a Portrait's post


I have reserved the room in Nuevo for a Sewing Workshop for Thursday, May 27, Friday, May 28, and Saturday, May 20 (Memorial day weekend) Let me know if you plan to come!

Bodice | American | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bodice | American | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bodice | American | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can now connect to the most up-to-date data and images for more than 470,000 artworks in The Met collection. As part of

Sewing 101: Bias Bound Buttonholes- 1950s Method
Sewing 101: Bias Bound Buttonholes- 1950s Method

Sewing 101: Bias Bound Buttonholes- 1950s Method

In this video I show a method of creating bound buttonholes using a strip of bias for binding. This was originally shown in a 1950s period pattern I own.For...

Instagram Photos

Instagram Photos

While much of the cotton from the Arabia dissolved after 132 years in the mud, this piece of ribbon miraculously survived. The edges are tattered, but the plaid design is still prominent. The ribbon measures 1.5 inches wide and may have been intended for applications such as facing a hem.
#arabiasteamboatmuseum #artifact #treasure #missouririver #missouritourism #visitkc


Vintage glass sewing accessory holder! Ingenious candy dish adaptation!


Sewing Workshop March 25,26,27, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Nuevo.


Hello to all you hibernating sewists,

Sewing Workshop are back!

I have reserved the big room in Nuevo for Thursday, February 25, Friday, February26, and Saturday, February 27.
We can be at 25% capacity, (Capacity is around 120), which means there will be plenty of room!
Everyone will be able to have their own 6 foot table to cut things out on and lay out their projects.

Please let me know if you want to participate and which day or (days) you plan to be there and what project you want to work on. [email protected] 951-334-8054
If you want instruction the regular fees are in place: $45 for the first day and $40 for a second day.
If you just want to come and sew I only ask the you help pay for the room.
If you are coming to work on Dress a Girl there is no charge.

I will bring paper plates and utensils, etc. We should probably all bring our own food or order pizza, and we can bring bagged snacks to share.

Beat the winter and quarantine blues and come and sew with others to inspire you!

Here are some of the projects you can receive individual instruction on:
Corset Workshop $175 plus tax on materials for the two days, or $140 for the first day: Sew your own corset; white coutil, cotton twill, and all supplies included. (I recommend this before you attempt to sew a day dress or ball gown) $45 per day to finish.
Under it All $45: Chemise, drawers or combination un**es for beginning and intermediate sewers.
Bodice Fitting $45: Make a muslin from your favorite day dress or ball gown pattern and have it fitted to your corseted shape (I recommend Truly Victorian). If this gets completed we will go right into the cutting out process.
Bodice Construction $45 per day: Period techniques taught for any 19th century bodice (day or ball gown) to go over a corseted figure including flat lining, hook and eye closure, boning channels, and piping facings. Supplies will be available for sale.
Summer Sheer Dress $45 per session: Learn to fit the underbodice, gathering, flatfell seams, and cartridge pleat as you construct a gown made of sheer cotton
Skirting the Belle $45: Learn how to make a skirt (day or ball gown) to go over your hoops with period construction techniques and pleating ideas.
The 5 Foot Pinner Apron $45: For beginning to intermediate sewers, learn how to use 5 of your sewing machine feet while constructing a pinner apron
Wrapper $45: This requires 7 yards each of fabric and lining. There are several "Wrapper" patterns available.
UFO $40: Come and sew for the day. Work on your own or get help on your specific project. 2nd Day in a weekend is $40.

We'll have fun, learn new techniques, and accomplish some sewing!
Please let me know if you plan to participate and which class you are interested in doing. I can send you a flyer with more information about each workshop. Supplies (patterns, boning, hook & eye tape, etc.) will be available for purchase.

Shelley's Event Calendar
So sad- no events to list! If you know of any please help me start my 2021 Calendar!
July ?? Costume College Virtual
October 2,3 Temecula Western Days

Alexandre Vassiliev foundation

Alexandre Vassiliev foundation

Please enjoy the exhibition from Alexandre Vassiliev foundation collection THE VICTORIAN FASHION AND THE POETRY.

Would you like to see our exhibitions in your town? Find a museum and let us know!

#victorianfashion #queenvictoriafashion #fashionmuseum #fashionhistory #alexandrevassiliev #textile #collection #privatecollection

Historic Sandusky - University of Lynchburg

Historic Sandusky - University of Lynchburg

#onthisdayinhistory December

On this day in History December 12, 1861: A letter was sent from MEC to Mary, from Lynchburg.

"I send you 10 yards of gingham and 8 yards of brilliants at 25 cts per yard it is the most suitable goods that I can find in town for aprons, some of the stores haven’t a yard of Calico in them. The ladys [sic] here are buying up all the goods of every description and laying them by as though they never expected to have another chance to get any thing."

#virginia #historicsandusky #lynhcburg #lynhcburgva #va #historic #historylover #history

Burnley & Trowbridge Company

Burnley & Trowbridge Company

One of my favorite evening gowns! This 1820’s gown of fine cotton muslin embroidered with crewel wool and trimmed with cherry red silk rouleau is a rare surviving example of a fashion described in Ackermann’s Repository of 1824. Although made of a light sheer cotton, it’s heavy embellishments of “holly & ivy” allude to winter wear. A full description written by Cora Ginsburg can be found here https://1drv.ms/w/s!Arqk8kpVAN0nht48iUpwSGIVjCXImQ Also check out Romantic Recollections for a digitized version of this wonderful motif. #1820sfashion #crewelembroidery #cottonmuslin #holidayfashion #historicfashion

60 Civil War-era Fashion Patterns, $15 plus shipping

60 Civil War-era Fashion Patterns, $15 plus shipping

Victorian Fashions Vol II, 1890-1905 $14.00 plus shipping

Victorian Fashions Vol II, 1890-1905 $14.00 plus shipping

I Love Woodworking

I Love Woodworking

Got an old sewing machine case kicking around?
Check out the unique idea.

Attire's Mind

Attire's Mind

The sized tissue paper pattern was introduced in 1863 by American inventor Ebenezer Butterick. It enabled, (along with the sewing machine, which had only become affordable in the 1850s, though it was around long before that), enabled a much wider range of people to begin to dress more fashionably.
This afternoon dress, which employs a lot of the popular fashionable tricks of the time is one that was created in 1874 using a paper pattern that had been bought in France. The heavy, upholstery-like trimmings and the decorative pockets on the over-skirt are high style conventions of the time.

Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Golden Age Female Illustrators

Golden Age Female Illustrators

Marguerite Martyn, American (1878 – 1948)
Influenza era newspaper sketch: The Bal Masque, á la Mode, Oct. 22, 1918.
Image c/o State Historical Society of Missouri
(Click/tap for full image)

Victorians, Vile Victorians

Victorians, Vile Victorians

The problem with Victorian costume is telling the aspirational from the real. Fashion plates show us only what people might want to wear. Surviving garments are vulnerable to the famous "survival bias". Even photographs suffer from the Sunday Best effect. And many early photographs are very formal: the requirements of the daguerreotype meant arranging oneself and sitting very, very still. It is a rare daguerreotype that shows the subject standing, or in everyday clothes. So I've scraped together, for the delectation of our Victorians, some well-heeled Scottish ladies of the 1840s, as they would have been dressed when receiving visitors, of an early autumn afternoon.

Alll are, of course, Hill and Adamson photos.

The Quilt Teacher

The Quilt Teacher

And sew it goes. . . .


Nuevo, CA


(951) 334-8054


Historical corsets, underpinnings, daydresses, ball gowns, bonnets, accessories.


Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Historical Sewing Workshops posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Historical Sewing Workshops:


Nearby museums

Other Museums in Nuevo

Show All


Mission accomplished yesterday at Shelley Peters Historical Sewing Workshop. After spending a good amount of time just talking and sharing (I brought the tiny 1890s cream wedding bodice I had), I finally got around to tracing out the bodice for my 1835 dress, and cutting the muslin out to fit me. I sewed the muslin up, making it a front opening instead of a back, and Shelley helped me figure out how to make that work. Now I can go ahead and cut out my two fabrics, knowing that this will work for me, and I can wear the pretty pelerines I've been making over them.
I learned something new, for me, on Friday at Shelley Peters sewing workshop. I'm not really good at doing waistband closures for 1860s-1870s. She showed me how to do an easy one that I recognize as similar to the petticoat/skirts from the 1700s that I do, where the back and front pieces are not sewn completely to the top, and the back waistband comes around to the front and you tie it, then the front waistband goes around to the back where you tie it, or they just tie on your sides. The front piece when it comes up to attach to your waistband as it comes around to the front also reminded me of the bib front bodice of a Regency dress.This is genius because it can adapt to your changing waist size. I can't really explain it but I hope the pic I took of her skirt explains it better. The solid green fabric are the pockets that you can reach into on the sides just like you do with the 18th c petticoats.