Recontructing History Patterns - Any good?

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claireviolet
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Recontructing History Patterns - Any good?

Postby claireviolet » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:16 pm

oooooo
Last edited by claireviolet on Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby steve stanley » Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:05 am

Yes......Very Good!
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Postby X » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:21 pm

I've got quite a few for 17th C clothes, having had to acquire kit in a hurry last year. To make up, they're pretty good - all the clothes I've made have gone together like a dream (one of the good ones, not one of the ones about being chased by a nameless something down a spiral staircase). I've also received excellent feedback on the finished garments, which is always nice.

I would say, check your sizes before you start. You can't rely on knowing you're a size 12 and therefore making the size 12 garment. I made an English Jacket for someone who is a size 12, and luckily checked the chart first - discovering that I needed to be cutting out a Reconstructing History pattern size 16!



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Postby Miss Costello » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:08 pm

Can I resurrect this thread?

I have been considering purchasing the ECW bodice pattern, and although it says authentic etc I am concerned that it then says you will need 'hooks and eyes'

:?

Anyone? Help....or are there olde worlde ECW hookes and eyes.... :lol:

Thanks K



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Postby Eric the well read » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:11 pm

Miss Costello wrote:....or are there olde worlde ECW hookes and eyes.... :lol:


Yes, there are.

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Postby The Iron Dwarf » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:14 pm

annie the pedlar or lucy the tudor or many others trading in that sort of thing may be able to advise


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Postby Miss Costello » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:31 pm

Blimey, superfast!

Thanks for that, I know my own era 100% but don't want to get fleeced and spend unnecessary dosh at the moment.

K



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Postby The Iron Dwarf » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:53 pm

well the people here can give you advice and some of them make such items or if they dont they can tell you who does


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Postby Drachelis » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:05 pm

I would say, check your sizes before you start. You can't rely on knowing you're a size 12 and therefore making the size 12 garment. I made an English Jacket for someone who is a size 12, and luckily checked the chart first - discovering that I needed to be cutting out a Reconstructing History pattern size 16!


that is because a modern size 12 has more or less the same measurements as the size 16 measurements used to be!!!!!

Vanity sizing the call it :shock:

I am always surprised when I measure someone because I grew up with the old measurements. that is why I make the garments to exact measurements not dress sizes - ther sizsing also varies from shop to shop.

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Postby Jackie Phillips » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:35 pm

I've only used RH patterns twice, both times I thought to be quicker than drafting them from scratch.

How disappointed was I?

The 1670-1720 lady's hunting outfit, the sleeve heads were miles too small for the opening, side seams were different lengths when they clearly shouldn't have been and a variety of other small problems I've since forgotten about.

This morning I set out to make the 1740-1790 stays pattern in mock up form for a fitting. It is really not obvious which pattern pieces are for which style and once worked out, they didn't match up at all. Side pieces are too short for the back, tabs do not appear to have seam allowance included but the overall piece does and none of it looks anything like the picture on the packet.

Bear in mind I am not at all inexperienced, but trained in pattern drafting. I now will not touch these patterns with a barge pole. They have so far caused me more trouble than the price of them led me to believe they were worth.

Very disappointed.

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Postby lidimy » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:56 pm

Jackie - forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't tabs not supposed to have seam allowances because they're bound? Along with the neckline and shoulder straps?

Not that the pattern shouldn't have specified, just wondering...


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Postby Miss Costello » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:02 pm

Thanks Jackie, same here trained in costume but sheer laziness that I need a basic ECW ladies ensemble as I'm helping a friend out next yr.

K



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Postby seamsmistress » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:56 am

Soooo.....at risk of opening several cans of worms.......

Would making type people on here say that the historical pattern market is adequately covered? Is there is a need for solidly researched, properly sized patterns* from a reliable UK source? With a decent set of instructions for handsewn and machined with diagrams? Perhaps with a link to an online help forum?

and if so, what patterns for what periods?



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Postby Miss Costello » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:31 am

Definately no!

Lots of room for more, better researched patterns for a lot of eras. Although Sense and sensibility cover the WW1 and ww2 era, they aren't terribly accurate.

Would love to see more!

K



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Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:04 pm

How far can you go with paterns? I thought that a lot of the older stuff was made to measure, rather than made to patern (if you get my drift).

That said, if anyone can start doing paterns for medievalshoe uppers, I'd be willing to try them out. Even a starting point to 'tweek' would be useful as I'm awful at patern drafting.


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Postby Miss Costello » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:53 pm

I have seen some medieaval shoe patterns...not sure what they are like.

I made my own many moons ago and they were bloody awful! We live and learn....

:lol:



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Postby Colin Middleton » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:07 pm

I beleive that to make much progress with shoe-making, you need a good last to work on.


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Dress Patterns

Postby Jonquil » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:02 pm

I have about 2 thousand authenticated dress patterns from Roman through to 1945. Specialise in 14/15th/16/ Cent mind. The patterns are not cheap and are made for the person. You can adjust them if you wish to use them for other people. Pm if interested



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Postby Tuppence » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:28 am

that is because a modern size 12 has more or less the same measurements as the size 16 measurements used to be!!!!!

Vanity sizing the call it


Ah, yes, I love how I know I've put on weight since I was 15, but I'm the same dress size...


aren't tabs not supposed to have seam allowances because they're bound? Along with the neckline and shoulder straps?


According to Arnold and Waugh, yes, but a pattern should have that info included, if only because a novice (in a historical sense) couldn't be expected to know that.


How far can you go with paterns? I thought that a lot of the older stuff was made to measure, rather than made to patern (if you get my drift).


Depends how far back you want to go, and in what social context.

Most modern methods of pattern cutting have their roots in history.

If you go really far back, to when the shapes are much simpler, then yes, there would be no pattern, as likely as not.

Same applies to shirts and shifts and other linens later on. Anything where the shapes are generally geometrics.

If you go to poorer people, slightly later (post around 13th century), the most likely course of action is that when something wore out they'd use it as a pattern for a new one before recycling it into children's clothes or stuffing, etc.

If you go to higher status people (again ish post 13th century when clothes began to fit better), then tailors would have all had their own patterns.
Some would have had them in books, and they'd have been altered to the measurements of the customer, more or less the same way as made to measure is done today.
Many tailors would have kept their patterns in their heads, though, and would have used the old traditional 'drawn on the cloth' method. Where the tailor knows the shape that pieces have to be to make whatever piece, and would draw that out on the cloth in chalk to fit with the client's measurements. Some tailors (most interestingly some on saville row) still use that method today.


My tip to everybody - learn to cut your own patterns - it's not that hard and then who cares how good or bad commercial patterns are.


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Postby Shadowcat » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:48 am

Tuppence wrote:Many tailors would have kept their patterns in their heads, though, and would have used the old traditional 'drawn on the cloth' method. Where the tailor knows the shape that pieces have to be to make whatever piece, and would draw that out on the cloth in chalk to fit with the client's measurements. Some tailors (most interestingly some on saville row) still use that method today.


My tip to everybody - learn to cut your own patterns - it's not that hard and then who cares how good or bad commercial patterns are.


I was taught by a tailor who worked with chalk on cloth - no pattern - and I so envied his skill. (He had patterns for us trainees though!) Then just recently I had mislaid a pattern for a sleeve, and found myself drawing it freehand. The best bit? It worked! I hate paper patterns, except the ones I make myself from the calico toiles I make myself.

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Postby Tuppence » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:35 pm

Oh, I use drawing on the cloth for sleeve patterns all the time (just about the only thing I trust myself to do freehand). For quite a lot of things I draw a diagram and then draw it out, never cutting an actual patter, but sleeves are the only thing I often don't bother doing that with.

I ususally keep a quick sketch and note down the maesurements for the records though.


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Postby behanner » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:21 pm

Slightly different perspective. Since the 1960s or so most people who learned how to sew at home in the US learned to sew from purchased patterns and many of them can't hardly sew without them. My mother being one of them. So atleast on this side of the pond patterns are pretty much a nescesity.



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Postby Tuppence » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:12 am

Learning to sew from commercial patterns is the usual thing here too.

Which is why I said learn to cut your own patterns.

I learned to sew from commercial patterns.
I quickly realised that to do what I wanted to be able to that wouldn't be enough, so I went off, read some books, and learned to cut patterns (which, as I said, isn't as hard as people seem to think - I was about 12 when I started learning and designing things myself, and making them up from my own patterns).

Commercial patterns are only a neccessity if you either have no aptitude (in which case what the hell are you trying to sew for anyway?!), or if you're just too lazy to put in the effort.

You can learn at least the basics of pattern cutting, and enough for many historical projects, in a couple of months if you only have your spare time. That's how long it takes to do one decent historical outfit in your spare time (or mine aat least, and I don't have as much spare time as others).
There are excellent books around that can help, like those by Jean Hunnisett and others.

Otherwise commercial patterns should be a help and a guide - if a fairly poor one in the case of all the ones I've looked at which claim to be "historical", if only because modern pattern terminology and symbology doesn't really fit them, so they end up being stuck half way between modern and historical, or just having no clear information on them, and because as Colin pointed out, most historical garments, especially in the periods that *should* involve corsetry (male and female), would have been cut to fit the wearer - by definition commercial patterns can't do that, so the fit is never quite right.

And many period clothes require extremely advanced sewing skils to make them look anything like actual historical garments - somebody with no aptitude for shape and fit simply couldn't do that, so why waste time and money being limited by which patterns you can buy? It really does defy logic.

Besides, if you only use bought patterns you're reliant on the research (some of which is abysmal to the point of being backward) and the range (which is usually market led, so in the us you get lots of acw, here you get lots of ecw (etc)) of the producer(s).

If you can cut your own patterns you get to do the research, so can be as pernickity or not as you want to be, and you're only limited by your imagination and interests.


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Postby behanner » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:17 am

Tuppence wrote:Commercial patterns are only a neccessity if you either have no aptitude (in which case what the hell are you trying to sew for anyway?!), or if you're just too lazy to put in the effort.


This pretty much sums up us Americans. :lol:



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Postby Hraefn » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:59 am

Reconstructing History patterns, bloody brilliant! Easy to follow, almost idiot proof, come with full instructions (remember RTFM, twice, before you pitch in with the scissors) backed up with some superb after sales service. Bought some from Paul Meekins, I dint understand something 'bout the pattern emailed them and Kass got back to me very quickly(within the day, not bad when you consider the time diff), even phoned me and talked me through it. I'm just looking for an excuse to get more ........................ hmmmm 18thC sailor stuff :D


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Postby gregory23b » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:57 pm

Hi hraefn, I remember our convo about that kind f stuff the other day at the big hoose, that reminds me. thanks


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Postby Alice the Huswyf » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:20 am

I would love to have a choice of a well researched, properly drafted period clothing pattern that actually equated with modern sizing (vanity or otherwise - my bugaboo when buying fashion patterns and having to explain to someone that I need to buy a size 22+ for them, not aa size eighteen)

Most of all I would love to have access to such a range based on ENGLISH garments, not a hotch-potch of nationality based on what the pattern drafter most liked, or could most easily access for study.

If I am going to spend money becuase I am short of time, I won't have time to do extra research to check that the pattern's suitability. I am anal, perhaps, but if going to the effort, I would also like a precis of the garment's development to that point, it's status and where it was worn.


And as to learning how to draft a pattern - I have a GCSE needlework 'O' level. 'A' level was not on offer. I learnt to draft by deciding to do something or to change a bought pattern, getting into problems halfway through, sorting it and then realising after the project was completed that it was far to complex for me to have attempted in the first place. Probably the way most of us learn.

There are some exellent books on the subject out there. Years ago I was pointed at "Introducing Pattern Cutting" by Ann Tuit , Heineman Educational books ISBN 0 435 42860 8 published in 1974 - mine being the 1983 reprint. If the library can't get it for you, I am sure there are many more books whih have replaced it. Shows how to build a basic man's woman's or child's block from measurements, and then how to adapt these basic blocks for most variations. Very approachable.



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Postby gregory23b » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:11 pm

Patterns ordered from the States, as Hraefn says, excellent service and I haven't even got them yet.

I will give my feed back as a non-needler, ok I do make my own kit and am not averse to sewing but would not say I am in any way gifted or otherwise trained in the said art, just too tight to spend hundreds on my new mid 18thc kit, besides us impoverished school based people need something to do in th holidays.


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Postby Alice the Huswyf » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:52 am

People might find this site worth a visit - the great pattern review

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur ... n%26sa%3DG


Everyone seems to be listed and those who have used the patterns discuss the process and include pictures of the finished garment they have made.

Reconstructing History reviews can be found here

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur ... n%26sa%3DG

Mind you - I am an experienced sewist (I refuse to be a sewer in print) and often find instructions on simple modern garments hard to follow, even though I've been a technical author and know how hard it is to write clear, simple instructions


Edited to make sense
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Postby JC Milwr » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:58 pm

that's the same URL twice, hon!


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