Patterns old and new

Pattern suppliers & resources

Women working on patterns at McCall's Magazine, New York, 1913 (silver gelatin print) by Byron Company. Museum of the City of New York, USA; American

Women working on patterns at McCall’s Magazine, New York, 1913 (silver gelatin print) by Byron Company. Museum of the City of New York, USA; American

Like fabric the topic of sewing patterns and that of costume and vintage patterns are non ending. The list could run into hundreds of resources. I have tried to pick a comprehensive mix of suppliers, links and books. Which like all my posts as always been updated.


‘We’re Europe’s largest distributor for authentic historical sewing supplies – we fill all your costuming needs! Benefit from our knowledge and our selection of the finest costume making supplies’.

Stock all the major brands and ship world wide.

Nehelenia Patterns
Stefanie Dettmers-Piasetzki und Christina Dettmers
Hubertusstr. 6a
59199 Bönen
Germany. E-mail:


Amazon Drygoods catalog was always a treat to read. Stepping back into time flicking through it’s pages, discovering the unusual and ‘must have’ items. Period sewing patterns now form a big part of the website shop. You can still (call them) buy the catalog, better still they have placed it on the site in PDF form.

3788 Wilson Street (Napoleon)
Osgood, IN  47037

‘So Vintage Patterns where the selection of patterns is greatest from aprons to gowns! Find thousands of true vintage sewing patterns for the unique styles you won’t find in stores.From the 1920s Great Gatsby flapper fashions to the 1980s, our specialty the 1940s and 1950s and home of the largest selection of vintage Vogue Couturier and Vogue Paris Original patterns.’

P. O. Box 1632
Oroville, WA. 98844
USA (250) 292-8070


‘We sell Burda patterns, Folkwear patterns, Jalie patterns, Laughing Moon patterns, New Look patterns, Sense and Sensibility patterns and Simplicity patterns.’ just sell pattern! The website is well thought out and easy to use. After dance patterns eg leo’s this is the place.
1 The Bungalows, Furzehill
Chard, TA20 1AU. Great Britain          E-mail:

Vena Cava stocks all the top brand you need when it comes to authentic costume patterns. Topped with great service.


‘We are first in the UK/EUROPE with the latest sewing patterns.
The latest pattern catalogues are on-line at Sewdirect, normally +6 weeks before other stores. We also have a selection of recently discontinued patterns.

Want a commercial pattern or need to do some research before going shopping for fabric. Take you time to look around the website for what you need.

+44 (0)344 880 1263


Stocking Mediaeval Miscellanea patterns as well as others this website is worth bookmarking.

Valentines, Long Marston, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 8RG.  phone/fax (01789) 722434    email



‘You can get patterns to make everything you need for any historical impression (and some fantasy ones) from Reconstructing History! Reconstructing History Patterns are based on surviving garments and each pattern contains both modern and period construction techniques.’

An online store where you can now download PDF some of their patterns. If looking for historical correct embroidered pattern Coif pattern look no further.

Reconstructing History LLC
Easton, PA 18042
Phone: 1-340-201-6579



One of the most popular brands for authentic and costume patterns. Best for Men’s and corsets. Use this website to order but also click on the tab to see the retailers who stock them near you. or call 916-254-0987


‘The crew behind Decades of Style lives, eats and breathes vintage sewing patterns. Our goal is to take the amazing styles from the 1920s through the 1950s and make them available to anyone who sews! All sizes welcome.’

A small online pattern company specializing in 4 decades. 

1474 University Ave. #165, Berkeley, CA 94702.     Tel (510) 847 6234



‘The Commercial Pattern Archive database, CoPA, provides a unique tool for researchers and designers to recreate or date clothing from 1868 to 2000. There are several collections from the States, Canada and the UK represented in the database which functions like a Union Catalog of pattern collections. The cornerstone of CoPA is the Betty Williams Collection. Betty Williams, a theatrical costumer in New York City, pioneered research on commercial patterns in the early 1980s. She became a leader in the field, establishing a major personal pattern collection and encouraging others to actively participate in the collection and storage of patterns.’




Corsets: Historic Patterns and Techniques

by Jill Salen (Paperback)

Drape Drape by Hisako Sato (Paperback)

Patternmaking for Fashion Design
by Helen Joseph Armstrong (Paperback)

Pattern Magic 2
by Tomoko Nakamichi (Paperback)

Pattern Cutting (Portfolio Skills)
by Dennic Chunman Lo

Draping: The Complete Course
by Karolyn Kiisel (Paperback)

Vintage Swimwear Patterns: Historical Patterns and Techniques
by Jill Salen (Paperback)

Men’s 17th and 18th Century Costume, Cut and Fashion by Ron I. Davis, William-Alan Landes

The Cut of Men’s Clothes: 1600-1900
by Norah Waugh (Hardcover)

Corsets and Crinolines
by Norah Waugh (Paperback)

The Cut of Women’s Clothes
by Norah Waugh (Hardcover)

FIT FOR REAL PEOPLE 2ND EDITION: Sew Great Clothes Using ANY Pattern (Sewing for Real People)

Sew Over It Vintage
by Lisa Comfort (Hardcover)

Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress: Patterns for 20 Garments Inspired by Fashion Icons by Dolin Bliss O’Shea (Hardcover)

Period Costume for Stage and Screen, Outer Garments, Book II: Dominos, Dolmans, Coats, Pelisses, Spencers, Calashes, Hoods and Bonnets Bk. 2: Dominos, … Spencers, Callashes, Hoods & Bonnet​s
by Jean Hunnisett (Hardcover)

Patterns for Theatrical Costumes: Garments, Trims and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915
by Katherine Strand Holkeboer (Paperback)

The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing Sixteenth-Cent​ury Dress
by Jane Malcolm-Davies, Ninya Mikhaila (Paperback)

Men’s Garments, 1830-1900: Guide to Pattern Cutting and Tailoring
by R.I. Davis (Paperback)

Patterns of Fashion 2
by Janet Arnold (Paperback)

Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1
by Janet Arnold (Paperback)

Period Costume for Stage and Screen: 1500-1800: Patterns for Women’s Dress by Jean Hunnisett (Hardcover)

Period Costume for Stage and Screen: 1800-1909: Patterns for Women’s Dress by Jean Hunnisett, Janette Haslam (Hardcover)

59 Authentic Turn-of-the-ce​ntury Fashion Patterns by Kristina Harris (Paperback)

Historic Costumes and How to Make Them (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
by Mary Fernald, Eileen Shenton (Paperback)

Victorian Fashions: A Complete Lady’s Wardrobe (Dover Fashion and Costumes) by Michael Harris, Kristina Harris (Paperback)

The Edwardian Modiste: 85 Authentic Patterns with Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques
by Frances Grimble (Paperback)

Creating Historical Clothes: Pattern Cutting from Tudor to Victorian Times
by Elizabeth Friendship (Paperback)

Patterns of Fashion: C1560-1620: 1560-1620 v. 3 by Janet Arnold (Paperback)

Reconstruction Era Fashions: 350 Sewing, Needlework, and Millinery Patterns 1867-1868 by Frances Grimble (Paperback)

Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 2: Evening, Bridal, Sports, Outerwear, Accessories, and Dressmaking 1877-1882 by Frances Grimble (Paperback)

Pattern Cutting for Men’s Costume (Backstage) by Elizabeth Friendship (Paperback)Historic Costumes

The Victorian Tailor by Jason Maclochlainn (Paperback)

Seventeenth Century Women’s Dress: 2 (Dress Pattern 2) by Tiramani Jenny (Hardcover)

Draping Period Costumes: Classical Greek to Victorian (The Focal Press Costume Topics Series) by Sharon Sobel (Hardcover)

Seventeenth-Cen​tury Women’s Dress Patterns (Womens Dress Patterns 1)
by Jenny Tiramani (Hardcover)

Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear by Haggar, A. Haggar, Ann Haggar (Paperback)

Fabrics and Pattern Cutting
by Winifred Aldrich (Paperback)

Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear by Winifred Aldrich (Hardcover)

Sewing Patterns: 200 Questions Answered by Sophie English (Paperback)

Fashion Pattern Cutting: Line, Shape and Volume by Zarida Zaman (Paperback)

Pattern Making by the Flat Pattern Method by Norma R. Hollen, Carolyn J. Kundel (Plastic Comb)

Pattern Cutting for Clothing Using CAD: How to Use Lectra Modaris Pattern Cutting Software (Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles) by Maggie Stott, M. Stott (Paperback)

The Art of Fashion Draping
by Connie Amaden-Crawford (Paperback)

Draping for Fashion Design
by Hilde Jaffe Professor Emeritus, Nurie Relis Retired (Paperback)

Integrating Draping, Drafting and Drawing by Bina Abling and Kathleen Maggio (Hardcover)

The Essential Guide to Stretch Pattern Cutting: Dresses, Leotards, Swimwear, Tops and More… (Essential Guides)
by Martin Michael Shoben (Paperback)

Essential Guide to Dress Pattern Cutting: How to Adapt the Basic Block Pattern into Ten Classic Styles (Essential Guides) by Martin Shoben (Paperback)

Pattern Magic: Stretch Fabrics
by Tomoko Nakamichi (Paperback)

Pattern Cutting for Menswear
by Gareth Kershaw (Paperback)

Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear
by Winifred Aldrich (Hardcover)

The Practical Guide To Patternmaking For Fashion Designers: Menswear
by Lori A Knowles (Spiral-bound)

Vintage Lingerie: Historical Patterns and Techniques by Jill Salen (Paperback)

How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns: From Shop-bought Patterns to Drafting Your Own: A Complete Guide to Fashion Sewing with Confidence by Lee Hollahan (Paperback)

The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen (Paperback)

Make Your Own Dress Patterns
by Adele P. Margolis (Paperback)

How Patterns Work: The Fundamental Principles of Pattern Making and Sewing in Fashion Design


Vintage Lingerie & Petticoats


Adding to the corset post, here I have put together resources and links to vintage lingerie and petticoats.

Below is a link to my Pinterest board full of images, book and tutorial links.


What Katie Did – faux vintage lingerie and hosiery. Online shopping at its best – and they have walk-in store’s – What Katie Did is a one stop shop for quality ready – made vintage lingerie or hosiery, they even have swimwear. If you need seamed stockings this is the place to buy them. Once on the website you chose which county you are shopping from ( left hand side drop box ) worldwide shipping. See my post and recommendation on how to shop worldwide.  London Boutique: What Katie Did, 26 Portobello Green, 281 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TZ Tel: 0845 430 8943

Los Angeles Store: What Katie Did, 7970 1/2 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, California, 90046 USA Tel: 1 877 221 2472 an on-line shopping store not just for petticoats! It’s headquarters are in China and supplies many other online retail stores. Make sure when placing your order it is not when a holidays is on. This will add to your shipping time.



‘Doris designs and sells boutique high quality petticoat skirts made of over 36 meters (adult version) of double layered soft light chiffon giving them great bounce and body. They are simply timeless and will turn heads wherever you go. From newborns to adults, there is a wide range of colours to suit any occasion.’  call 0843 289 6622 for an appointment to their Surrey store



Brabarella Intermate Apparel & Hosiery. Long line bras, open bottom girdles to wide striped tights and everything in-between. Brabarella offers vintage shapewear and lingerie at reasonable prices. Contact them through email is, 508-775-2226 Brabarella Lingerie. P.O. Box 635 Hyannis Port, MA 02647


ReSashay specializes in custom and readymade petticoats for all occasions, square dance apparel, western wear and accessories‘. Just one of the wonderful serveries offered is a chance to buy Pre-loved petticoats, as well as brand new. There ‘Create your very own’ petticoat is a joy for any designer who is in need of an unusual colour and fabric match. With Square Dance and Western wear y’hall have all bases covered here. Email: Phone: 301 761-1011 or 800 900-DANCE. ReSashay, 14833 Native Dancer Rd 1 Potomac, MD 20878, USA

‘ links to the best vintage inspired clothing, shoes, and accessories for sale online. We make finding clothes by decade, style and gender easy’. Blog website full of resource links to ready-made fashion and retro costumes.


Producer and Director of Petticoat Pond website is Tes Staylace. Along with her they make an invaluable and fun website with resourceful links.



Susan Jarrett, M.ED writes on the history of fashion and dress. Giving details into the crinoline and bustle



Simplicity 9764 Sewing Pattern Fashion Historian Martha McCain. Can be found in any good fabric shop or eBay search.

Bustle Undergarment Structure: different ways of attaching and making the bustle underneath the full skirts.

Corset and Crinoline Supplies

Corset Making

Actors love mental disorders, dialects, and corsets. Give them one of the three and they’re happy. ”  – Robin TunneyWhale bone, cotton and satin tails, 1885  Galliera, Musée De La Mode De La Ville De Paris: Whale bone, cotton and satin tails, 1885 Galliera, Musée De La Mode De La Ville De Paris

Here’s my tried and trusted resources on the subject of corset and crinoline making. Please contribute any that you use and trust by leaving a comment. If like me, this is an area of interest please enjoy looking over the websites and maybe start a new project?


Vena Cava Design inventory offers you everything you would every need to make a basic, historic to costumed designed corset.  Packed full of costume making resources, this online shopping website should be a must on everyone’s bookmarked list.


MacCulloch & Wallis shop one of the industry hangouts in London. Always great to be able to see in person what you are buying, you can also order online.25-26 Poland Street, London, W1F 8QN Tel: 020 7629 0311


Sew Curvy runs the School of Corsetry and has a tutorials on corset making. Their website sells corset making supplies that come with useful guides and charts to help you decide which boning is right for your project.


Buckles Express (Joseph Segal Ltd) I am hi-lighting the eyelets as there are many to choose from. What is great you can find the ones with the taller shank, which is helpful when it comes to corset making due to the thickness of fabrics. Cortress House, Julia Street, Strangeways, Manchester, England, UK, M3 1DQ Tel: +44(0)161 834 979


Yep an eBay store! They sell steel boning and rubber boning caps. Offer a service that you can have your boning cut to the length you require, all for a great price.



Not just for corsets – bra, hat and leather making supplies are catered from this well-established company. Based in Philadelphia. Website is very user friendly. Contact them – Delicious, LLC. 212 E. Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125   Tel: 215-413-8259

Old faithful Richard the Thread may be on the higher end of the price bracket but is reliable and all goods are trust worthy. A one stop shop for all your costume needs! Contact them – 1960 South La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034.  1-800-473-4997


This New York City store is a treasure trove and an institution within the garment district. Call them and they will help attend to your needs or visit the store for an education in its self.   239 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018 United States, b/t 7th Ave & 8th Ave, Midtown West Tel: 212 869-0321


Dragontown Corset Supply cater for the individual as well as wholesale quantities. Online shopping that is made easy with their photos and descriptions to the variety on offer. Take a look! Tel: 570.431.9042   M-F 9:00-3:00 Eastern, 420 Hermon Rd. Saxe, VA 23967. USA


Linda Sparks owns Farthingales Midwest Corsets & Supplies. She is also the author of “The Basics of Corset Building- A Handbook for Beginners”. An informative textbook for anyone wanting to learn corsetry. The website offers a host of information on the subject as well as selling top quality supplies for corsets and crinolines, as well as tools and patterns. HOWEVER, the store itself is closed. You can still order corset supplies on the website and they will be shipped from Chicago. BUT I would so and use their flagship company (see below) located in Canada.


A Canadian online company that has some ‘hard to find’ items listed. They ship worldwide to both the theatre and film industry. Tutu making and Garter making supplies are offered as well as Millinery and Patterns.



…”fascinating history of Spirella and the corsetieres who worked for this company…”

Primary sources are all over this wonderful German website. Do not miss the chance to read ‘The Corset and the Crinoline – A book of Modes and Costumes from Remote Periods to the Present Times’





  • Bare Essentials: Underwear – Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design: 1 by Jennifer Lynne Matthews
  • Corset Making: For Beginners to Intermediate
    by Julia Bremble (CD-ROM)Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh
  • Corsets: A Modern Guide by Velda Lauder
  • Corsets: Historic Patterns and Techniques by Jill Salen
  • Fashion and Fetishism: Corsets, Tight Lacing and Other Forms of Body-Sculpture by David Kunzie
  • Foundations of Fashion book (revised 2013) – The Symington Corsetry Collection 1860-1990 by Philip Warren and Sarah Nicol.
  • Foundations of Fashion: The Symington Corsetry Collection 1860-1990 by Christopher Page, Philip Warren
  • Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860: Vol 1 by Janet Arnold
  • Period Costume for Stage and Screen: 1800-1909: Patterns for Women’s Dress by Jean Hunnisett, Janette Haslam
  • Seventeenth Century Women’s Dress: 2 (Dress Pattern 2)
    by Tiramani Jenny
  • The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners
    by Linda Sparks
  • The Corset: A Cultural History by Valerie Steele
  • The History of Underclothes (Dover Fashion and Costumes)
    by C. Willett Cunnington
  • The Little Corset Book (Little Costume Workbooks)
    by Bonnie Ambrose
  • The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing Sixteenth-Century Dress
    by Jane Malcolm-Davies, Ninya Mikhaila
  • Tight Lacing: 1828-1880 Pt. 1: A Bibliography of Articles and Letters Concerning Stays and Corsets for Men and Women
    by Peter Farrer
  • Underwear by Wearden Jennifer
  • Underwear Fashion in Detail
    by Eleri Lynn
  • Vintage Lingerie: Historical Patterns and Techniques
    by Jill Salen
  • Waisted efforts: An illustrated guide to corset making
    by Robert Doyle