View Full Version : Database of historical costuming resources - long term WIP

07-12-2010, 12:14 AM
So, I'm pretty stoked that we've now got a historical costuming forum! To celebrate, I'm starting a Compendium of Knowledge for online historical costuming resources. This is by no means a comprehensive list, nearly all of my experience is with 19thc women's clothes. Feel free to add your own links.

Shopping: commercial patterns[B]

Truly Victorian: http://www.trulyvictorian.com Probably the best commercially available Victorian patterns for women. Recommended for beginners, since all patterns include detailed fitting instructions.

Laughing Moon Mercantile: http://www.lafmoon.com Men's and women's patterns from the mid 19th c up through the Edwardian era.

Past Patterns: http://www.pastpatterns.com Men's and women's patterns from the 1780s through the 1940s. They also sell re-prints of original period patterns.

J.P. Ryan: http://www.jpryan.com Men's and women's patterns from the Georgian era. Expensive, but I hear they are worth it.

Sense & sensibility: http://www.sensibility.com Women's and girl's patterns from the Regency, Romantic, Edwardian, 1910s and 1940s. Best known for the Regency patterns, and highly reccommended for beginners because of the detailed instructions and some photo tutorials on the website. Website also includes a database of extant dresses and fashion plates.

Reconstructing History: http://www.reconstructinghistory.com Men's and women's patterns from the Medieval era to the 20th century. Website also has many useful article, and they're expanding their inventory to include period correct materials and supplies.

[/u]Ageless Patterns:[/u] http://www.agelesspatterns.com Re-prints of original period patterns. Proceed with caution, these have minimal instructions, come in a single size, and are not for the faint of heart.

Lynn McMasters: http://www.lynnmcmasters.com Hat patterns from many eras. The website has useful hatmaking articles and Lynn's beautiful portfolio.

Mantua Maker http://www.mantua-maker.com Women's patterns from the Renaissance to the Victorian era.

[B]Shopping: Supplies, materials, and accessories

Timely Tresses: http://www.timelytresses.com Bonnets and supplies for the 19th century.

Reproduction Fabric: http://www.reproductionfabric.com Cotton fabrics in reproductions of prints from the 18th through 20th centuries.

Farthingales: http://www.farthingalesla.com (LA store) http://www.farthingales.on.ca (Canadian store) Corset making supplies and more

Vena Cava: http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk UK based corset supplies and more

Judith M. Millinery: http://www.judithm.com Stuffs for making hats

Fugawee: http://www.fugawee.com Reproduction shoes, stockings, and buttons from the 18thc and Civil War

Jas Townsend & Son http://www.jas-townsend.com Pretty much anything you could want for the 18thc.

Free patterns and how tos:

Elizabeth Stewart Clark: http://www.elizabethstewartclark.com/gamc/index.htm Mid 19th c tips and tricks, and a handful of patterns.

La Courtouiere Parisienne: http://www.marquis.de Many free patterns and tutorials from many eras. Mostly for women, but there are a few men's things hidden in there too.

Demode database of real women's clothing: http://demodecouture.com/realvict/ Links to photos of extant clothing from 1600-1919

Koshka the Cat: http://www.koshka-the-cat.com Mostly a portfolio site, but the webmistress also shares detailed photos of antique clothing, fashion plates, and photos.

Many, many museums: Too many to list. A lot of big museums have photos of their collections online. Think of a well known museum, google it, and see if they have anything relevant to your interests on their website.

eBay: http://www.ebay.com Yes, eBay. You can usually find fashion plates, antique clothing, etc on eBay, and save the images to your computer for free research. However, proceed with caution, the seller could mis-represent the product or just have no idea what they're talking about. Still, fashion plates are pretty safe.

07-13-2010, 01:17 PM
Folkwear Patterns (http://www.folkwear.com/index.html) has some good historical patterns. I have personally used the Korean Hanbok pattern, and found it very helpful and easy to follow. Like the Reconstructing History patterns, Folkwear Patterns include some historical notes, but they are not always as comprehensive.

07-14-2010, 08:45 AM
You forgot the 'n' in the link for Laughing Moon Mercantile. It should be lafnmoon.com

And thanks for posting all these. ^^

07-17-2010, 02:51 AM
Here are some of my favorites.

Under the category of supplies...
www.fabrics-store.com - best place to get 100% linen at a good price, bar none.

Vogue Fabrics (http://www.voguefabricsstore.com) - lots of fantastic fabrics sorted by both specialty and content as well as some harder-to-find notions like corset-making supplies (can we say "front closing busks"? I knew you could!).

Tandy Leather (http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/) - lots of useful leather-working supplies, including belt buckles and blanks.

Under the category of research...
The Timeline of Costume History at the Costumer's Manifesto (http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/timelinepages/timeline.htm) - lots and lots of image reference for time periods from ancient Egypt all the way through the 20th century.

The Renaissance Tailor (http://www.renaissancetailor.com/index.html) - lots of info on source material from period and some tutorials on measuring and drafting patterns.

07-19-2010, 04:40 AM
Awesome new historical costuming forum is awesome.

Medieaeval Miscellanea (http://www.mediaevalmisc.com/) a.k.a. 'Period Patterns': they have a lot of medieval and renaissance patterns and some tudor and elizabethan too. I read these patterns are historically accurate.

07-22-2010, 03:03 PM
I second the Elizabeth stewart clark page, wonderful ladies full of information about late 1840s to late 1860s

07-23-2010, 10:25 PM
Very helpful links- thanks!

08-04-2010, 04:18 PM
Seconded on JP Ryan and Renaissance Tailor being fabulously useful, and good that somebody mentioned Folkwear.

The Costumer's Manifesto (http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/costhistpage.htm) is another compendium of links, some more useful than others.

La Couturiere Parisienne (http://marquise.de/en/index.html)-- A German site (don't ask) with lots of tutorials for garments from various times and places. The link is to the English version. The kimono-making tutorial is a good one, as long as you know that it's for a women's kimono. The western-wear tutorials are much better.

08-07-2010, 10:12 AM
Elizabethancostume.net (http://www.elizabethancostume.net/)-has tons of information about period clothing, including tutorials on pattern drafting and places to by period accurate supplies.

08-08-2010, 06:53 AM
Free online patterns:

Create a couture inspired gown
Now this is great, instructions, pattern and layout all able to be printed at home :)

Late historic
Cutter's Practical guide. Men's patterns from tailcoats to military uniforms.
Thompson's Universal System, by Mrs. F. E. Thompson, c.1899. Women's patterns of 1899
The Ladies Tailor, Vol. XXVII. No. 3. March 1911, London.
Thornton's International System of Ladies' Garment Cutting (London, c.1912)
Patterns and Pictures from Maurice Leloir's Histoire du Costume (17th to 19thC)
18th Century Clothing Patterns
Women's Clothing Patterns and Household Design Templates from St. Petersburg's "Neva" Magazine 1905-1913
Other Over Printed Patterns For Download
Tara's Historical Patterns from Antique & Vintage Clothes

Danish museum patterns
http://tidenstoej.natmus.dk/index.html (just click the first date then "naeste" to see the next costume and then the thumbnails for different views and patterns)

Victorian links

Enlarging historic patterns

Historic patterns from the above site

Early historic
Modern drafting for 16thC bodice

17th C. Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth Costume

16th and early 17thC diagrams

16thC cutting books

Smock generator

Elizabethan corset generator

Waterfall drapery (yes mine but it's online and free)
half circle skirt (yes mine but it's online and free)
can can petticoat (yes mine but it's online and free)

Holme Peros
08-23-2010, 11:21 AM
Alpha, just letting you know that your La Courtouiere Parisienne link is missing an e at the end of marquise... so the link you have up there now takes you to a completely different site. Just thought you should know so you can change it ^_^

TR Rose
09-27-2010, 12:30 PM
Commercial patterns:

Margo Anderson's Historic Costume Patterns (http://www.margospatterns.com/)
Seems to be mostly Renaissance with some Tudor. I have heard wonderful things about these but not used them myself.

10-20-2010, 07:26 PM
Reconstructing History is opening a store in Easton, PA. The address is 526 Northampton St. in the Mercantile Building. The grand opening is November 7 from noon to 6 pm. So if your in the area stop by.

02-08-2011, 07:03 PM
I found 3 patterns for men's coats that may be of interest to those into historical costuming. They were linked today in my Threads newsletter and are hosted and generously shared by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (http://www.lacma.org/art/ffpatterns.aspx). Visit the link to view the garments and read about materials used, size, and the history.
Manís At-home Robe (Banyan), China, 1700Ė50 Download Pattern (http://www.lacma.org/art/pdfs/FF_patterns_mansrobe.pdf)
Manís Waistcoat, China for the Western market, c. 1740 Download Pattern (http://www.lacma.org/art/pdfs/FF_patterns_China.pdf)
Manís Waistcoat, France, c. 1750 Download Pattern (http://www.lacma.org/art/pdfs/FF_patterns_manswaistcoat.pdf)
Manís Coat, France, 1790Ė95 Download Pattern (http://www.lacma.org/art/pdfs/FF_Patterns_Manscoat.pdf)

01-04-2013, 10:40 AM
Alpha, just letting you know that your La Courtouiere Parisienne link is missing an e at the end of marquise... so the link you have up there now takes you to a completely different site. Just thought you should know so you can change it ^_^

Seconded Dx The link is actually http://www.marquise.de/en/ (I googled it). That link takes you to a fetish clothing site... eep...

01-04-2013, 05:11 PM
There is the useful Draft your own corset pattern (http://foundationsrevealed.com/articles/free/beginner/74-draft-your-own-corset) tutorial a basic 1870s corset at Foundations Revealed, which also has a handful of other useful articler about corseting.

11-21-2013, 08:48 PM
I don't know how often this section of the forum is utilized, but http://historicalsewing.com/ is an absolutely fantastic site for 19th century costuming. Jennifer Rosburgh is very knowledgeable and also hosts online classes for certain items and has numerous tutorials and guides on how to make the most out of your historical costuming experience.

Ororo Monroe
02-22-2014, 10:47 AM
The Costume Page. While it is older, it was one of the first pages I came across and used many, many years ago.

06-20-2014, 01:01 PM
La Courtouiere Parisienne: http://www.marquis.de Many free patterns and tutorials from many eras. Mostly for women, but there are a few men's things hidden in there too.

You sure you typed the correct address? This sent me to a fetish site...

06-23-2014, 12:55 AM
Missing e there :)

Marquise not Marquis :) I also linked to the English page which may not be quite as frequently updated :)

06-30-2016, 05:14 AM
This is so helpful! Thank you!