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The Family Trunk Project:

A Sartorial Story of one American Family

The Family Trunk Project is a work in progress. I'm designing one garment inspired by each member of my family tree, reaching back to my great-grandparents' generation and beyond. These clothes may or may not be based on garments my ancestors actually wore, but each one draws on its namesake in some way, whether it be through ethnic origin, trade, personality or a combination of all three. It's my hope that these patterns will eventually be published together in book form. In the meantime, this is the Project's home.

In addition to spanning the fashion trends of the last century, the people who inspired these clothes were a diverse bunch. They lived in Oregon, Minnesota, Indiana, California, Alberta and Hawai'i, and their roots reach back to Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, England and the Cherokee Nation. They were skilled craftspeople, middle-class salesmen, manual laborers, sharp-eyed mothers, pirates, farmers, flappers, sailors, musicians, inventors, and homesteading pioneers. It's a family of strong characters and intriguing stories, and I hope to convey some of the love and respect I feel for its members, past and present, through these patterns.

Note: Although the garments here are inspired by styles of bygone days, I intend them all to be wearable in the modern era, so please look around and see what appeals to you! Certain patterns are for sale here; others are linked to externally.


Latest Updates

A Summer Dress for Autumn Since October is almost over and winter will be upon us before it's remotely reasonable to expect it, I thought it was about time I blogged about a sewing project I completed in late spring, before the France trip, and... (read more)