Some Early Modern Stitching…

It was long thought that the most common stitch on early modern garments was the running stitch. Recent re-examinations have shown that this is inaccurate. Those who have tried to sew their replica garments using only running stitches will not be surprised. Even if one makes the stitches 2mm to 4mm apart, the running stitch simply isn’t strong enough to… Continue Reading

Pattern History

Patterns have only been commercially available since the late 19th century when companies began to produce patterns intended for homemaker use. But the history of patterns stretches far back through the centuries. As apprentices, tailors learned how to take a customer’s measurements and draft the pieces that would make up the clothing to be constructed. The patterns a tailor made during his apprenticeship would often stay with him throughout his entire career. Needless to say, patterns were closely-guarded commodities and were not shared for fear of losing business. Continue Reading

16th and 17th century Polish Dress — Overview

In the early 16th century, poets and satirists commented upon the diversity in Polish clothing and encouraged their audience to shun “unfashionable” German styles and wear native dress instead. But the real emergence of Polish dress dates to the appearance in Parliament in 1562 of King Sigismund Augustus wearing a grey nobleman’s coat. Continue Reading

16th and 17th century Polish Dress — Kontusz

Possibly in response to recent wars in Europe and related shortages in fabric, Polish dress became fairly uniform around the 1630s and 40s and remained so until the end of the 18th century. The kontusz replaced the delia completely as the over-garment worn with the zupan. And this combination, zupan and kontusz, was de rigeur until around 1760. Continue Reading