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Unread 07-12-2010, 12:14 AM   #1
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Database of historical costuming resources - long term WIP

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.

[b]Shopping: commercial patterns[b]

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

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

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

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

Sense & sensibility: 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: 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] 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: Hat patterns from many eras. The website has useful hatmaking articles and Lynn's beautiful portfolio.

Mantua Maker Women's patterns from the Renaissance to the Victorian era.

Shopping: Supplies, materials, and accessories

Timely Tresses: Bonnets and supplies for the 19th century.

Reproduction Fabric: Cotton fabrics in reproductions of prints from the 18th through 20th centuries.

Farthingales: (LA store) (Canadian store) Corset making supplies and more

Vena Cava: UK based corset supplies and more

Judith M. Millinery: Stuffs for making hats

Fugawee: Reproduction shoes, stockings, and buttons from the 18thc and Civil War

Jas Townsend & Son Pretty much anything you could want for the 18thc.

Free patterns and how tos:

Elizabeth Stewart Clark: Mid 19th c tips and tricks, and a handful of patterns.

La Courtouiere Parisienne: 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: Links to photos of extant clothing from 1600-1919

Koshka the Cat: 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: 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.
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Unread 07-13-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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Folkwear Patterns 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.

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Unread 07-14-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
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You forgot the 'n' in the link for Laughing Moon Mercantile. It should be

And thanks for posting all these. ^^
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Unread 07-17-2010, 02:51 AM   #4
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Here are some of my favorites.

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

Vogue Fabrics - 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 - 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 - lots and lots of image reference for time periods from ancient Egypt all the way through the 20th century.

The Renaissance Tailor - lots of info on source material from period and some tutorials on measuring and drafting patterns.
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Unread 07-19-2010, 04:40 AM   #5
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Awesome new historical costuming forum is awesome.

Medieaeval Miscellanea 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.
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Unread 07-22-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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I second the Elizabeth stewart clark page, wonderful ladies full of information about late 1840s to late 1860s
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Unread 07-23-2010, 10:25 PM   #7
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Very helpful links- thanks!
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Unread 08-04-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
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Seconded on JP Ryan and Renaissance Tailor being fabulously useful, and good that somebody mentioned Folkwear.

The Costumer's Manifesto is another compendium of links, some more useful than others.

La Couturiere Parisienne-- 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.
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Hey it's cosplay, people sew things to their pants all the time! =D
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Sewing commissions are on hold, but I still do custom pattern-drafting. PM for details.

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Last edited by Garen : 08-04-2010 at 04:59 PM.
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Unread 08-07-2010, 10:12 AM   #9
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Posts: 527 tons of information about period clothing, including tutorials on pattern drafting and places to by period accurate supplies.
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Unread 08-08-2010, 06:53 AM   #10
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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 (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)
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Unread 08-23-2010, 11:21 AM   #11
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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 ^_^
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Unread 09-27-2010, 12:30 PM   #12
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Commercial patterns:

Margo Anderson's Historic Costume Patterns
Seems to be mostly Renaissance with some Tudor. I have heard wonderful things about these but not used them myself.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #13
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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.
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Unread 02-08-2011, 07:03 PM   #14
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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. Visit the link to view the garments and read about materials used, size, and the history.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 10:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Holme Peros View Post
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 (I googled it). That link takes you to a fetish clothing site... eep...
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