There’s nothing I love better than to pass the hours lost in a world of vintage inspiration. And I particularly love when fellow sewers share their discoveries for others to enjoy. So with that in mind, I thought I’d let you know (in no particular order) my favourite corners of the internet to productively procrastinate!
I have to thank Erin over at Brooklyn Pattern Company for introducing me to this site. It’s incredible! Soaring above and beyond other fashion illustration collections in its sheer scale (there are over 1000!) as well as its quality, this is one you don’t want to miss. Practically every design features something a little unusual that is sure to inspire. Plus, once you’ve finished going through the Creators Studios Collection (and it’ll take you a while!), there’s the André Fashion Illustrations Collection & 19th Century Female Fashion Illustration Collection and so much more to keep you busy! I don’t just lose hours to this site, I lose entire days!
Rachel Harris founded the Museum’s blog in 2009, and has since created a wealth of archived blogposts which span from jewellery to textiles, and wedding dresses to children’s clothes. Even before I became aware of this blog, I’d been pinning their images on Pinterest for years. One particular thing I want to note is the large size of the images which mean you get to see a lot of detail, which in my eyes is always a great thing. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell took Rachel’s place at the helm in March this year and I’m a fan already!
I LOVE Shelley J’s ‘Catalog Sunday’ blogposts! Each week she posts a collection of vintage catalogue pages which are sure to inspire. As well as beautiful clothing, she often includes scanned pages of accessories, like hats, bags and shoes, which are so easily overlooked and underrepresented on the web. Perfect for Sunday downtime browsing whilst you have a well-deserved cup of tea after a long week!
4. Vintage Everyday.
Love social history? Love candid photography? Then you’ll love Vintage Everyday! This site is a great resource for ‘real’ clothes of the past rather than the styled designer examples we become so used to seeing. It’s also jam-packed with incredibly interesting shots which capture historical moments like you’ve never seen them before.
Similar to Vintage Everyday, Shorpy is another historic picture archive packed full of candid shots of everyday life.
Whether you’re a fan of her films or not, there’s no denying that child star, Shirley Temple, wore clothes in the 1930s & 40s that can only be described as truly scrumptious. This blog archives thousands of photos of the young actress and is a fantastic resource for film stills, clips and candid shots highlighting previously unnoticed (and often unusual) design details of infamous costumes.
Self-proclaimed costume history and vintage fashion nerd, Lauren over at Wearing History has created a blog with years’ worth of posts crammed full of vintage fashion plates, photographs and historical sewing tips.
VintageTextile deals in vintage and historical garments, and their listings are simply beautiful. I love that every garment has its’ own detailed page with fantastic close up shots and historical background information. A lover of interesting antique textiles, VintageTextile specialises in pieces that any textile enthusiast will melt over.
This blog is a fantastic archive of costume. Andrew has cleverly curated thousands of beautiful historical and vintage fashion photographs, bringing them together to make the feed of Fripperies and Fobs one you should all add to Bloglovin!
10. Met Museum
Last but not least, is a bit of a cliché, but no list would be complete without it. As a Brit who was always nudged in the direction of the V&A by tutors over the years (not that I’m complaining!), I was (incredibly) late to the party with this great resource. Their online collection is so expansive that I am always discovering new things. I only wish I could hop across the pond to see my favourites in person!
So there you have it! Please let me know what you think to these sites in a comment below. It’d be really great to know if I’ve guided anyone towards inspiration! Or if you have any different favourite sites, I’d love to know what they are- you can never have too many sources of vintage stimuli!