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History Makes: Historical Patterns and Fit from Texts

March 21, 2020 - March 22, 2020


Have you ever found a beautiful pattern that fits your project requirements perfectly… BUT! It’s one of those pesky inch-grid diagrams? Although these patterns may seem inaccessible, turning them into usable tools for costume is more straightforward than you may think. These patterns are often taken from extant historic clothing items, making them excellent sources for crafting historically accurate pieces and expanding your understanding of historic shapes. This class is designed to expand your skill set and push outside of the world of pre-printed commercial patterns.

In this class, learn how to turn gridded patterns into full-size templates for use in your next costume project. Participants will learn the basics for enlarging patterns, as well as the steps for turning these original patterns into a fitted muslin for use in creating a finished garment. Time will be spent discussing sources of patterns, identifying useful patterns for particular garments, and recognizing quirks of patterns taken from original garments. Once participants choose a pattern to work with, materials and instruction will be provided for first creating a paper template, then a muslin for fitting. We will also work with participants to fit these garments, spending time on typical fit challenges and the process of adjusting and marking muslins for use as a pattern. Participants will leave the class with both paper template and fitted muslin.

Instructors will provide books and resources for a variety of garments to choose from. For this class, we will be working on upper-body garments (sorry – no stays or corsets!). If you would like to make a garment that requires foundational garments, such as stays or corsets, please bring those to class for fitting. If you have a pattern/garment that you would like to work on in class, please contact the instructor for approval prior to the class.

Saturday March 21 9am-5pm
Sunday March 22 9am-4pm

Instructor: Blair Farrar
All materials, catered lunch, and snacks provided 


Event Info


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