Free Patterns & Tutorials

Monday, 19 October 2015

Victorian Sewing & Vintage Research

Confession time ... I am a major geek when it comes to vintage needlecrafts research.  I have a small office with two bookcases full of vintage books & magazines which I use when designing garments or researching workshops & tutorials.  Among my earliest resources are several turn of the (19th) century journals such as La Mode Nationale.  These feature some amazingly complex pattern sheets to be traced:

so far I haven't succeeded in using these, simply using the illustrations & small scale pattern piece diagrams for inspiration.  But there are some real gems I would like to attempt such as this incredible "sports corset" ... yep, the mind boggles:

also some beautiful underwear:

The illustrations (some of the cover ones are hand coloured like the one above) are so interesting & even the adverts show an insight into the social history of the time.  It seems that worrying about grey hair or weight, or considering consulting a fortune teller are not exclusively modern day concerns: