Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Creating Historical Sewing Patterns

My newest pattern is now ready to ship, so I thought I'd tell you a little about the pattern making process.

To create my patterns, I research everything related I can get my hands on. I love to do research, and often forget to create the pattern because the history is too fascinating. I go through my collection of Victorian patterns, photographs, magazines, catalogs and books, and the reprints by Dover. I pour over books by reliable costume historians, such as Janet Arnold, Nancy Bradfield, and Francis Grimble. I try to find a drawing of a pattern, even if it's only an inch tall. Then I recreate the pattern on my CAD program, grade it out from the original (usually) size 2 and test it. Usually several times. I write out instructions for each step, keeping in mind how the original seamstresses did it, if I was able to find their instructions. When it works, I print it out and put it on my website. I hope other people enjoy using my patterns as much as I enjoyed researching them! Look for my patterns at

When I can get hold of existing garments, I do draft from them. My Whistlestop Polonaise is taken from a polonaise in my collection, and I borrowed two of Animal X's collection, years ago, and drafted from them - the Mantlet and the 1820's Day Dress. I've drafted corsets and other undergarments from museum examples that I was allowed to study and measure. I have a couple of very boring bodices that I use to study sewing techniques.

My newest pattern is:

1875 -1890
Mystic Mine Basque
Ideal as a dinner bodice, a walking jacket or as part of a riding habit.
Two lengths of coat style sleeves, three styles of necklines.
Pointed or cutaway front, or with an overlap.
Narrow or wide box pleats in back.

This pattern comes in sizes 2 - 30, all included in one package, and retails for $23.00 USD.

1 comment:

  1. What is the cost of the patterns, and what is the size range?