Patterning books

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Patterning books

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:36 am

Patterns of Fashion 1-4.
What can be said that hasn't already been said before? Absolute must haves for the serious historical costumer. Patterns drawn from extant garments and notes based on the examination of said garments as well as historic texts.
Due to the care required when handling the garments some patterns may be slightly off and of course as they were originally created for different individuals they are not perfectly scaled for everyone!
My one caveat is Ms Arnold's use of the term "cartridge pleating". For the ruffs stroked gathers would have been more appropriate for instance. But that is a minor complaint compared to the sheer volume of information she provided.
I have used several of the patterns as starting points for my own work:
1905-7 Day dress on pages 54-55
1874-5 Day dress on pages 32-33
my first really historical garment was based on the 1882-3 Dinner gown on pages 36-37, I made it in shot blue taffeta.

Alcega's Tailor's Pattern Book, 1589
Invaluable. All period tailoring manuals offer information that frees us in how we think about historical garments. The focus was to make best use of the fabric available rather than vice versa- today we buy fabric to fit the pattern. It allows us to think beyond the edges of the fabric to see it as a near endless variety of shapes.
Some of the translations can be a bit suspect, and if you are not a fan of puzzles it will appear rather daunting at first!

Cut of Women's Clothes and Cut of Men's Clothes, and Corsets & Crinolines, Nora Waugh
More patterns and a heck of a lot of contemporary text that illuminates how garments were viewed by the wearers as opposed to the makers- lists of colours and fabrics bought for various items etc.
Also patterned from extant garments there is a bit of overlap with Patterns of Fashion. There is also some overlap with Blanche Payne's History of Costume (first ed. with the pattern suppliments).

History of Costume, Blanche Payne
By pass the newer edition and track down an out of print first edition. It has several pages of pattern diagrams in the back most of which are not to be found in the above books. Many of the patterns are of garments in the US. They start with a purpoint and end with a duster from the 1890s.

Period Costumes for the Stage and Screen, Jean Hunnisett
Beautiful clear diagrams. The earlier books are full of fairly modern interpretations but the 17thC on is very close to what can be seen in extant garments. Definitely recommended for those wanting to bridge from modern to historic and don't want to leap feet first into period manuals!

Patterns for Theatrical Costumes, Holkeboer
A real mixed bag! Definitely ideal for the title, but there are a few choice bits for a reenactor too. There is at least a pattern for a shaped skirt for the 16thC (which is so often lacking in modern recreations) and the Spanish robe is also nice. The mid 17thC shapes are ok as are the 18thC.

Evolution of Costume
Similar to the above with a mix of useful and not. Nice patterns on the whole but some need more adapting than others.


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