Textiles or rather fashion history isn't an easy one to have as major. I settled on art history BA, and try to box fashion history through as my side project. Once I have the slip of paper testifiying my BA, I'll have more freedom of movement. Though I am working for museums, concepts, outfits and the museums educational part, and it helps to be of the "stick to facts" people, even with my academic degree yet to be earned.
Problem is that modern fabrics or mixed fabrics have a different drape/pull. A couple of years back I'd have said "that's nonsense" - but a handwoven fabric has a completely different behaviour pattern. Also it makes a difference if sewing with modern needles (thus piercing the fibres) or a brass needle, what picks it's own way next to the fibres. Thread also makes a difference, though as I said, I had to learn this first.
Re cheaper wool fabrics: I did rely on end of season sales, or Ephraim Bay's Emporium. By now I do have a very good source for wool, it's not overly expensive: www.naturtuche.de (Though your larges expense would be the shipping charges, I am afraid) and Färbehof (who just recently dyed me the most beautiful indigo wool. But it's always the same triangle: "Cheap" - "Good" - "Fast": You always can only have 2 out of 3. Cheap & Good: Won't be fast, and one is hunting for the correct fabric at a good deal for months.
I think it's easier in Europe, as we have so many events and high-end groups to work with. I am still mourning a bit that I am going to miss the Gruyères event of Company Saynt George, but there are moments in life when re-enacment has to step back on second priority
Oddly enough I'm taken Art for a minor. We must think on the same lines. I know the goverment grant won't cover a minor so I was spending out of my pocket for that and didn't plan on going in to fashion as a career. I'm still fishing for a subject in Anrtho..
I have seen how fabric draps, I just bought a yard of flax linen for a head scarf. The feel and folds are just lovely. But just like you said Cheap, good or fast. If making outfits that look as they should I'm slowly getting that down. I just gonna have to learn how to be a clever shopper.
You are right about it being better hobble in Europe. I live in Las Vegas and most peoples idea's of costumes are show girl pieces.
You'll have to tell me how to make it work for you at musems some time. I am planing to voulteer for local musems to get note worth marks for my later resume.
Thanks for being super cool to a new comer like me
Well - one of the best communities costume / sewing wise I found so far is LJ. I think Koshka the cat lives in your area, so maybe your are able to sneak some shopping tips from her: [link] You'll also find her here: [link]
Koshka is absolutely amazing - and very decicated to detail
Working in and with museums is mostly the result of constant networking. You see, I am a museums educator. In other words, I work very interdisciplinarian - the range varies from art history to archaeological disciplines. It's attending colloquiums, working as a volunteer, make people (who already have their degrees) listen to you and your ideas and get them to back you up on your first projects. It's working constantly on keeping your knowledge up to date. There are many educators and learned people out there, and if one likes to make half a living out of it, it's the network what makes the difference.
I did volunteer work in archaeological digs, in the labs sorting out pottery fragments, washing a gazillion of glasses after an opening night, climbing in the showcases to set up an exhibition. Read and rate childrens books sold in the shop, writing concepts and having a pilot run. But all started off as a volunteer.
You're welcome - Once upon a time I was a newcomer myself, and was happy to find people sharing their thoughts.