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How cool is this? 1920’s patterns/draft manual with gorgeous illustrations (unfortunately some are products of their time) from P. Clement Brown’s “Art in Dress 1922”. Time to break out the colored pencils!


Art in Dress

Some are at: http://historyoffashiondesign.com/images-and-patterns-from-p-clement-browns-art-in-dress-1922/

And the Internet Archive has the full book: https://archive.org/details/artindress00brow

Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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I did sewing today finally! English Fitted Gown I took on to keep a friend from lighting it on fire, went on its way to the post office today along with a gift that I quickly hand sewed an hour before. 

I drafted, cut and sewed a pair of trunkhose. I then unpicked them because I once again tried to bag line them and ended up with an endless case of pants. Got that sorted by unpicking the crotch seam and pulling it out the leg hole and sewing it back together and then tacking the crotch seams together. 

Tomorrow is making the pants poof, tacking a few more things in place, waistband, and possible codpiece. No eyelets until I get a final fit on a doublet and that will not happen until Sept. Also need to mock-up the doublet in the extra twill fabric I have with me. Hopefully I have enough.

Started to pack up for the move! My fabric is all in boxes and safe from the cat for now.

Tonight I need to cut out my half sleeve, that I made too small last time and then my long neglected screaming red kirtle will be done.

Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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Pattern Adjustments and Mock-ups

To me this is the annoying and tedious part of sewing, but once it is done we will have a bodice pattern that fits and we can use for various projects. If you already have a block pattern by all means use it. I’m starting from the beginning because this is stuff I wish I knew when I was starting out.


A small scrap of cardboard
Measuring tape
A long Ruler
Paper to trace your pattern on
Muslin or calico for Mock-up(s)
Narrow Elastic or Ribbon
Tracing Wheel (optional)
A pin


To start we need a few measurements, so take a second to change into a fitted knit top and if you wear extra support under your garb put that on too. I’m wearing modern jeans to show where where your waist is not.

Natural  waist: ________ Take string or narrow elastic and tie it snug around your waist, wiggle around from side to side till it settles.  Make sure it isn’t twisted like mine is. This trick for finding the waist doesn’t always work, so a second way of finding it is to look at where your elbow falls, that will roughly tell you where your true waist is. (Thank you Elizabethan Costume facebook group for teaching me that proportional trick.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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Since getting The Queen’s Servant’s I’ve been coveting the pointed hood with a sort of fiendish glee, it also might be an under layer to the strange headdress in Holbein the Younger’s drawing.

A month ago I scaled up the pattern and made a mock-up. It was huge, it devoured my head. I have a normal size head, but the hat made it look like a peanut.

Not the look I want. Just no.

Thinking perhaps I scaled it up wrong I set about slashing the pattern and scaling it down to no avail. I took in the mock-up 3 or 4 times before toss it in the corner.

It was Franken-hood. I don’t have any photos of the monstrosity.

Tonight I decided to try it again, I took 3 or 4 measurements and scaled the pattern up to my head depth and jaw level.


The red line shows where I pinned along the seam line.


It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t happy with the shape in the back, it didn’t look cute, it looked like I had a copernican attached to my bun.


Tudor hood mockup adjustments

The green line shows what needs to be tweaked.

Much cuter. But something niggled at the back of my mind. Why was the scaled up pattern from the book so big? I went back and looked at the scale ratio and reread the instructions, then I noticed the little line drawing on the side. The round hood had the front folded back. This wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the book, and it is hard to see from the photos when everything is black velvet on black velvet.

So I scaled up the original pattern again.

Tudor Hood Pattern Comparison

Another round of pinning and I have this when I fold back the front edge and let it form the frontlet.


The yellow line shows the depth of the fold.

Much much better. The simple version in the book doesn’t look like it is worn with a separate frontlet, so I am going to use the frontlet pattern as a facing for the turn back portion of the hood.

Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.

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I’ve been a bit neglectful of posting since I was down to the wire with the Green Tudor Gown. It is and it had its first outing, but I don’t have pictures yet. I have a list of excuses but first and foremost  the temperature has shot up into the mid 80′s. For Florida which is a bit much for this time of year, add to that layers of velvet and silk and I’m looking at one very warm afternoon.

Once I get some time charted out, a good camera and can rope someone into it I will get some pictures taken, hopefully before it hits 90 degrees and I implode.

Now that the Tudor Gown of Doom is out-of-the-way I’ve started fussing with a few more projects. I’m doing more pattern drafting and trying to teach myself grading from a book that gives very little in the way of instructions. If I can get it working to my satisfaction I’ll shoot a video on it, in the hopes it will help someone else.

There is very little grading information on the web that is easy to understand and makes sense. It process isn’t actually hard, move and shift the master pattern around if doing it by hand.

The fuzzy part is the grading rules and where the increases and decreases go. I have a ton of thoughts on this but that will be a post in itself.





Originally published at Centuries Sewing: Historical Costumes and Clothing. You can comment here or there.


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December 2016

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