People Were Smaller Back Then… right?

One of the misconceptions about historical costume is that people were smaller “back then”.  Would it surprise you to know that the average woman living in London in the Middle Ages was the same height as the average female Londoner today? There are a couple reasons for this misconception.  Historians used to use door heights… Continue Reading

Why are There No Sewing Patterns for Men?

Why are There No Sewing Patterns for Men?

Poor men.  In the realm of sewing patterns, and historical clothing, they really get the short end of the stick. Sewing is a “woman’s hobby”.  One might even hear it called “woman’s work”.  When a man turns up at a reenactment impeccably dressed, he is inevitably asked, “Did your girlfriend make that?” It’s infuriating. One… Continue Reading

Make Yourself a Winter Coat

Summer has ended.  Although the temps are still high, do you find yourself wondering what you’ll wear for a coat this winter.  Reconstructing History has a lot of vintage coat patterns that can serve your every whim.  Does a classic Chesterfield suit your fancy?  We have a pattern for that of course.  Or are you… Continue Reading

Steampunk Without Brown

Steampunk Without Brown

Steampunk:  When Goths Discovered Brown.  So the joke goes.  But there’s no reason your Steampunk ensemble has to be restricted to the palette of a sepia photograph.  Mid- and late Victorians were incredibly fond of colour.  Rather than wearing brown and black all the time, western people in the 19th century wore shockingly bright colours.  Some… Continue Reading

5 Reasons Why RH Vintage Reproduction Patterns Are Better

Vintage reproduction patterns have become very popular in recent years.  Even the big pattern companies like Simplicity and Vogue are reissuing their old stock to fill the demand for vintage patterns.  But all vintage patterns are not created the same.  For many reasons, they can be downright frustrating for modern seamstresses to use.  That’s why… Continue Reading

Patterns for Browncoats

The Browncoat Ball is coming up and you don’t have a thing to wear! Well, let me help you! I’m sure you’ve already read our articles No Sew Browncoat Ball Costuming and Dress Like a Companion without Sewing.  But what if you want to make your own stuff? Darlings, I don’t run a pattern company for nothing.… Continue Reading

Five Ways to Cut Chiffon with Confidence

So I’m working on this lovely outfit worn by Inara in the “Jaynestown” episode of Firefly to wear at the Browncoat Ball in Virginia Beach next month. And yesterday, my chiffon arrived. So today, I have to cut it. Okay.  I can hear you shivering from here.  You’re worried about cutting chiffon.  “It’s too silky!”  “What… Continue Reading