About Me

My name is Jennifer, but I usually go by my published pen name, Lydia Gastrell. I have been making historical clothing since 2006. That's when I was invited to a costume party and decided to just buy a pattern and see what I could manage. <That's me in the very first costume I ever made. Oh! I've come a long way since the polyester organza and pin-tucked satin. I still like that hat, though ;) 

I work from my home in western Florida. My garment pictures are usually taken in my side yard, where the neighbors can get a good view and wonder just what the heck is going on in my house. It's not everyone in Florida who gets to see their neighbor dragging an 18th century court dress into the yard. 

Most of my work is just making whatever strikes me at the moment, then putting it up for sale on Etsy or Ebay as an already finished item. I do take custom orders, though, and have lost count of how many I've done over the years.

If you would like to talk about a custom project, please find me on Facebook (The Antique Sewist), or contact me here though the blog. =) 

--Lydia Gastrell


  1. Hi there! I wasn't sure if you would see my reply to your comment on my chemise a la reine page, but I wanted to let you know (and I edited a caption to make it clearer as that part is hidden in the bulk of the text), but my CalR does have a waist channel sewn in. The sash-only was to help with fittings and keep the bulk stable as I worked on the upper part. I think if I had left it without a channel, there would be too much bulk left free, and if I ever made another CalR I would make it a bit fuller too. Just wanted to let you know -- thanks for the comment and best wishes!

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! I did see the message on your post and it was a big help on my project. I really need to pay better attention to my email notifications of messages here! LOL =)