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I have a friend who lives in the wilds of Oklahoma, her local medieval fair runs for only three days. She has needed a costume to attend just for fun but being a fellow history nerd wanted something that would work. Her fair set in 1360, it has a different flavor than my local fair that tends toward the 1540’s which means my go to comfy bodice and skirt kirtle wouldn’t really fit.

A few years before we got some lightweight wool suiting in plum color from Fabricmart and then I sat on it like an egg as we went back and forth over what style of dress she wanted.

  • Bliaut? (which we started to call a blablahblu because we were never sure of how to pronounce it..) It is earlier than the fair timeframe, but she liked the look of them (Possibly watching too much Brother Cadfael at a young age.) Buuuut large flappy sleeves can get in the way and being able to get dressed by yourself is a good thing.
  • Go for an Elizabethan kirtle anyways cause I can make those in my sleep? Fashion forward!

We pinned a lot of photos, used historical doll makers to share ideas and when she came down in 2014 for my wedding I got her measurements, drafted a block, and fitted a mock-up.

The best-laid plans…

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Originally published at Centuries-Sewing. You can comment here or there.

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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’ve made three English Fitted Gowns based on the Tudor Tailor’s pattern so far, and with each one I’ve tweaked how I’ve put them together.

olive wool fitted english gown

Light weight worsted wool gown lined with linen rayon blend

English Gown Front View

Black Velvet “Mockado” Gown lined with cotton broadcloth

Market Woman side shot

Wool broadcloth blend lined with cotton broadcloth

Issue one: Sleeve Dimples

Fitted gown sleeve dimple


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

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Can anyone shed some light on how to scale up the patterns with the little boxes?

For example on [livejournal.com profile] koshka_the_cat 's site http://www.koshka-the-cat.com/1880rpattern0.html 
None of the costume books I have show them like that and aside from a few ideas I'm drawing blanks on it.

Do I need to scale them up till the box is the size of an inch, or does it mean I multiply the measurements of the print out by 4?


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December 2016

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