George Washigton's CoatWhile we do use modern sewing machines and irons to alter, fit or refashion your wardrobe to your liking, walking through the shop you will notice many antique tailoring tools.  Even our name, Smoking Iron Alterations, comes from the old-time charcoal burning irons used by 18th and 19th century tailors.  We have a passion for history and especially for creating custom, historically-accurate period clothing and headwear for men, women and children. 

We can create just about anything and enjoy doing it.  Please contact us for more information or to place a custom order.


Historical Clothing Offerings: 

Custom Orders

We have extensive experience studying and making historical clothing. It has been a hobby and a passion of Smoking Iron Owner, Michael Dollinger, for the majority of his life. In addition to experience, he has also amassed a substantial collection of books, journals and other resources on clothing from the past, which can be consulted to insure the accuracy of your custom order. While we specialize in Colonial and early federal period or Napoleonic era and also enjoy the Renaissance era, we can create, from scratch, any item of historical clothing you are interested in. We ask clients to provide a photo and/or a good description of the desired garment. If you determine a particular time period or era you want, we can also work with you to create a concept for your garment. We can create museum-quality copies of other garments or create a replica to fit you.


We offer custom-made pieces for reencators of all eras. Although many people think of reencement as just military, we have seen a growth in the demand for civilian garments and so offer these as well.

Costume Rentals

We offer a modest selection of historically accurate rental options for children and adults. We can help you portray the right styles and fashion for the era you desire. Some examples include elementary students studying colonial history and wanting to dress up for class; we've even helped out by supplying accurate costumes for plays, musicals and movies.

Choose Your Decade

Some of our clients are looking for historical clothing that is much more recent. We’re created pieces for car club members who are searching for clothing to match the era of their vintage automobile. We can help by altering items you’ve found or creating new garments to your liking. Other clients just simply like the way clothing looked in a certain time frame, for example the 1960’s. We can help you portray the image you are going for by modifying your current clothing according to the trends of another time, altering garments from your era to fit you, or creating new custom garments.


Please contact us if you need advice and recommendations on historical clothing. We have extensive experience and resources and enjoy consulting. We’ve assisted the Indiana State Museum when they were creating a promotional piece, other museums as well as music videos, movies and the like.

Upcoming Events

We'll be attending the following events, selling clothing and take custom orders.  Be sure to stop by and see us! 

Kalamazoo Living History Show
Kalamazoo County Expo Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan
March 15-16, 2014
     Saturday from 9am to 5pm
     Sunday from 9am to 4pm
For More Information:

Old Fort Wayne Time Line 
Time line event 10 AD - 1973
May 17-18

NMLRA Spring National Shoot
June 14-15-16
Friendship, IN

KohKohMah Foster Living History Encampment
Sept 19-21


Suzanne L. as "Mad Anne Bailey"

Over the past 10 years Mike has made several custom-fit, hand-made items for me. My favorite is a 1780\'s style burnt-orange linen round gown. I came to Mike with the material and asked for him to fit, design and make me a historically-accurate gown I could wear in my performances as "Mad Anne Bailey," an early American frontier heroine. We spent about an hour looking through several books of historic clothing and patterns, he measured me, went to work on it, and about three weeks later I was wearing my gorgeous new gown. Knowing I would wear the gown often and am rather hard on my clothing, Mike re-enforced the seams and made me a sturdy, beautiful gown I am very, very happy with and receive many compliments on.

Painting by Luann Houser