The Pretty Picture: Blogging For Costumers

Anyone who has turned to the vast power of the interwebs has learned that there are myriad Dress Diaries, Journals, and Costuming Blogs out there ready to help you learn what to do and what to avoid on your current or future projects. We turn to these diaries and blogs to help us understand things, to learn tips, or even to just see what other people have done. In fact, almost everyone reading this right now has their own blog!

Not all costume blogs are created equal, however. There are good journals, and then there are better ones, ones that are eye-opening, informative, and make the rest of us go “Oooo!” These types of blogs are fun to visit, easy to read, and very useful.

So how do we improve our costume-oriented blog posts? Well here are some Costume Blogging tips:

1. Include at least one picture. Even better, illustrate each heading, subject, or step with a picture – these can be photos you take yourself or images you pull from inter-space.

2. Write for people who are not costumers. This will draw new costumers, novice seamsters, or just people looking about in web-space. Limit the jargon and hard-core stitchery unless your blog is geared towards advanced sewing.

3. Write it as a tutorial. Try to use your experiences as a teaching tool so others can learn.

4. Show the bigger picture – don’t just show close-up detail shots of pins holding fabric together unless you are explaining a specific technique. People like to see the whole of what you’re working on, and how it progresses.

5. Start strong, end strong – show a before and after, or a beginning and finish. Show the whole dress or garment, front and back. Show it on a body if possible.

6. Include a concept image to remind your readers, even in multiple posts. It’s nice to have an idea of what a finished costume will *hopefully* look like, and fun to see how it progresses and turns out.

7. Respond to your comments, and even better, go to your reader’s blogs and leave them comments on their posts.

8. Tag your posts so readers can easily find articles on specific subjects.

9. Link – to your friends, your suppliers, your research sites. This makes the post interactive and quite useful.

10. Tell a story with your images – many people don’t read the text in a post, but just look at the pictures, so tell the story in pictures.

11. Show some personality – readers like to know there is a real person behind that fancy blog layout. Let your quirky sense of self seep through.

12. Ask your readers questions, what they think, and to leave comments. Get your readers involved by holding contests (if you like). If you’re looking for feedback, just ask!

13. Follow Up – your readers want to see the finish costume on a person. Shoot some nice photos and post them!

Faithful readers, what are some other tips you’d add to this list?

And lastly, if you would like, join the American Duchess Facebook Group (click!). or use the fan-box at left.


  • Unknown

    September 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Please be careful about pulling images of the internet to which you do not own the copyright. You could end up facing a hefty fine one day.

  • Lauren Stowell

    September 30, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Thanks for the tip, Melissa, though if I am not using the images to make money, then there is no problem. This blog and everything written in it represents my personal opinion attached to a hobby of mine, and is not affiliated with any company, property, or financial gain.

    For you other lovely ladies, I'm glad I could be of some help!

  • Anna Andalasia

    September 30, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Thanks for the tips! My blog,, is relatively new (okay, it's been a year…) and I'm looking to improve its content and make it more interesting. If you'd visit and post a comment with your suggestions, I would REALLY appreciate it! I value your opinion; your blog is lovely and you seem to know what you're talking about! =)

  • Anna Andalasia

    September 30, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    Oh, and I would like to add to the list of tips:

    If you're looking to encourage comments and increase the number of comments you get, make sure that the option to require a security code is not checked (you know, that annoying list of random letters that you're required to type before posting). I find that sometimes entering the code doesn't work, and then I end up not commenting. If spam is a problem stick with the code, but if it's not, I say ditch it!

  • Lauren R

    October 1, 2009 at 12:59 AM

    Of course, Melissa is right, if you DO plan to use your blog to make money, make sure you're using your OWN images, or public domain images.
    (see tip #1)

  • Duchess of Hardgrove

    October 4, 2009 at 6:59 PM

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! All information is so super helpful…and a big DUH why haven't I been doing this!!! I'm new to the blogging thing so this is a great post for the newbies!

  • Lauren Stowell

    October 5, 2009 at 7:29 PM

    I'm so glad this post has been of some help! Should I post more stuff on costuming/blogging?

    And Dreamstress, I totally learned some of these things from you – you are the first person who ever gave me a business card for your blog!

  • Beara

    October 8, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Thanks for that Guideline. It is very helpfull to see/know how to make my little blog better and interessting.
    Greetings from Germany.

  • Karen

    September 15, 2016 at 5:52 AM

    I'm not a blogger or a costumer. I'm one of those folks who dreams of one day giving it a try. Your blog is great because I learn and don't feel I'm not welcome. With bloggers like yourself I'm pretty sure that one day I will attempt a project myself. Thanks for all you do and share via your blog.


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