this flickr album of Vintage fashion plates, as well as the University of Washington's digital collection. I'm also rather in love with the fashion plates on 18thCenturyBlog. I've also recently acquired Victorian Fashions: A Pictorial Archive with Over 1000 Illustrations of Women's Fashions from 1855-1903, which lovely, though rather crowded and the lack of context makes some of the pictures rather baffling. (That said, the Designer and myself did spend ages somewhat childishly snarking the illustrations.)
Unfortunately, for all the ready inspiration, the art-shoe-box hasn't really been deployed of late. There should be ample time after Nerd East this weekend. I've managed to lose the original file for my business cards and the .pdf left off my phone number for unknown reasons and almost crashed the laptop.
In other design-related thoughts processes, am expressing bafflement at the phrase "steampunk weaving machines" in the Steampunk Style Test. I'm not sure weaving machines could get more steampunk or better at their job considering what actual historical Victorians were turning out. After all, weaving machines with their pattern punch cards are the great precursor to computers. Joseph Jacquard was an immense influence Babbage.