Amy Puetz

Welcome to Beginning Sewing: Historical Costumes on!

How to Use This Course

Beginning Sewing: Historical Costumes is a fun way for students to learn to use basic sewing skills alongside history. They will have the opportunity to make accessories that can be added to a plain dress or blouse and skirt to make an historical costume that will make them feel closer to periods in history. Depending upon the students’ background in sewing, they can either start at lesson one and follow through sequentially, or if they are more comfortable with sewing, they can pick and choose which costumes they want to make based on their interests. Later lessons can be a little more difficult, so the background they will obtain by following through sequentially may be helpful in understanding what they need to do to make the accessories. his course counts as a home economics credit. Students who complete all the units may earn 0.25 academic credit. As always, please check your own state’s academic requirements.

Course Details

Course Introduction

Let me introduce myself. My name is Amy Puetz, and I live in the great state of Wyoming. As a girl, I loved dressing up as a pioneer and playing “Old West” with my two sisters. It was the joy of playing dress-up as a child that led me to write a book about historical costumes called Costumes with CharacterI have always loved history and think it is fun to learn about history when we can touch it. That is where historical costumes come in. Dressing as a pioneer seems to bring to life the history of the brave people who tamed the west. I’m also a homeschool graduate.

I’m so excited to have you join me for Beginning Sewing. In this class, we will learn to sew historical costumes. Most of the projects are accessories that can be added to a dress to make it look like a certain time period. In my book Costumes with Character, I recommend using a plain dress for a historical costume. That way we can add different accessories to it. For instance, it is easy to use the same dress for a Pilgrim, pioneer, or Victorian outfit by adding different collars, cuffs, and other accessories.

There are different ways to get a dress that will work. It may be sewn using a pattern or you may makeover a dress you already have. Garage sales and secondhand stores often have dresses that work for the simple dress. Instead of a dress, you may use a blouse (white is always a good choice) and a long skirt (lesson four has instructions for this). If you find or make a solid color dress, then the accessories may be of a printed fabric, or if you have a dress that has a pattern on it, you could have the accessories be a solid color.

The easiest way to get a dress for a child is to find an adult dress and take up the side seams, hem, and sleeves. If using a pattern to sew the dress, it may be made with deep hems to let out as the girl grows.

Things to look for in a dress:

  • No collar
  • Simple sleeves
  • Full skirt
  • Long skirt

I would love to see pictures of your sewing projects. Please feel free to share pictures as you create new costumes.

I hope you enjoy bringing history to life with me!

Amy Puetz


Video instruction, detailed sewing directions, and patterns along with rich history lessons


Sixteen weekly lessons


Elementary-high school

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Making a Pioneer Apron
  • Lesson 2: Making a Pioneer Bonnet
  • Lesson 3: Making a Fan
  • Lesson 4: Making a Simple Skirt
  • Lesson 5: Making a Pilgrim Hat
  • Lesson 6: Making Pilgrim Cuffs
  • Lesson 7: Making a Pilgrim Collar
  • Lesson 8: Making a Handkerchief and Belt
  • Lesson 9: Making a Sailor Cap
  • Lesson 10: Making a Sailor Collar
  • Lesson 11: Making a Victorian Bonnet and Muff
  • Lesson 12: Making a Victorian Fur Muff
  • Lesson 13: Making a Civil War Collar and Cuffs
  • Lesson 14: Making Pockets
  • Lesson 15: Making a Handbag
  • Lesson 16: Making a Victorian Collar and Cuffs

Download a printable course outline here.

Transcript Information

This course counts as a home economics credit. Students who complete all the units may earn 0.25 academic credit.

*Please be informed of your state’s academic requirements.

For transcript help, go to

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View a sample of the Beginning Sewing class.

Course Completion Certificates

Please note: This course will only be available through September 30, 2015. It will not be accessible after that time.

Go to all Beginning Sewing lessons.

AmyPuetz2012CropAmy Puetz is a homeschool graduate and a self-taught historian. Her publishing company, Golden Prairie Press, publishes books and other resources related to history. As a columnist for Home School Enrichment Magazine she shares stories about historical events from a Christian worldview. She especially loves to dig for little-known stories that show God’s providential hand. “History at its best,” is her motto, and she loves to bring history to life.

Beginning Sewing Historical Costumes course on Schoolhouse Teachers