I’m really excited about a Tumblr site I just discovered. It’s a great resource for Victorian, Edwardian, 1900s, 1910s and1920s original patterns. It’s called Real Historical Patterns.

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I’ve only scrolled through about a year and a half of the archives so far, but there are a plethora of patterns, copied from various magazines of their day. Not only are there many, many women’s patterns to browse, but I saw a decent smattering of children’s and men’s patterns, with more men’s being promised soon.

The individual who runs the site has decided to find as many of these old patterns possible and present them for free, as many of them were originally published, instead of offering modern interpretations for sale. To this person I say “Huzzah! You make a historical seamstress so happy. And thank you.”

Enjoy everyone! Oh yes, they take submissions, so share the knowledge and send in a scan of that natty old coat pattern you found moldering away in grandma’s attic.

P.S. I’m making that tail coat jacket right now, rather, something very similar and slightly earlier. Photos soon.

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I just found a pic of our illustrious Lord Mayor on Ravin’ Mayven‘s Pinterest board for ren costumes. She’s got links to some nice costumes, though not all are Ren or historical. There are a few custom order listings for Ren/Tudor/Snow White costumes, among others. She also links to some other Ren / SCA costume boards that seem to be worth taking a peek at.

Thanks to Ravin’ Mayven (and Rachel for originally pulling the pic of our Lord Mayor onto the realm of Pinterest).

Alter Years Pattern Multiple sizes Sm - XXlg

Alter Years Pattern
Multiple sizes Sm – XXlg

 

This summer, our guild recruited two fine young men to join us in our Renaissance Shenanigans.  As a result they both need a full costume. These costumes will consist of a shirt, jerkin, and trousers.

For the Jerkin I have a copy of the “Easy Peasants / Servants Jerkin”, by Alter Years Patterns. This is a basic pattern, and as the title implies, it is easy.

The pieces fit together well. There is no need to trim edges off, because the seam edges were off, or any other funny business. I find these flaws in many more commercial patterns. Once the pieces are all cut out and sewn together, it looks beautifully tailored and finished. P1020325

There is one thing to keep in mind. Make a mock up. For the two that I have recently finished, I skipped this step. As a result, they do not close all the way in the front. If I had taken the time to make a mock up, for the Medium size, I would have know that the front needed to be adjusted.

 

As you can see to the right the jerkin looks very nice, but it does not close in the front. I am debating on whether to make eyelets down the front. I still may, if I have the time before our next faire in July. (more…)

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Corsets from different periods mold the body into very different shapes, which is why it’s important to wear the correct corset for the correct time period. My grandmother used to refer to undergarments as “foundations” and indeed, real corsets – the ones meant to change your shape – are exactly that. You can’t create the correct period effect with your costume without first having the right foundation.

More after the jump. (more…)

Linen is a great fabric for historical costuming. It’s sturdy, versatile, takes color well and washes ever softer and softer. And it’s historically accurate – ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Ireland, Israelites, the Mediterranean, Cornwall, as armor, in the Renaissance, Victorian England and beyond, until cotton became cheap to manufacture.

Elizabeth's late 1500s Italian working class costume via FabricsStore Chronicle

My favorite linen source, Fabrics-store.com has a piece on enthusiastic historical costumer and author, Elizabeth, who works in linen. (more…)