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Colonial Pattern

bethaten | Posted in General Discussion on


I am looking for a simple dress, apron, and cap pattern for a colonial reenactment costume…I know I have seen some on line instructions cut from very simple shapes which is what I am after but I can’t seem to find it now that the date is drawing near for my daughter to be an apprentice in a heritage celebration.  Last year she wore my 1976 bicentennial dress but felt she was too formal, wants to be more of a peasant this year.  Any leads would be welcome!



beth aten  stitched works in fabric & paper

http://bethaten.com  http://studiodays.wordpress.com




  1. jane4878 | | #1


    Folkwear.com has prairie skirts, blouse patterns etc.



  2. stillsuesew | | #2

    You can do a simple drawstring skirt and apron that shouldn't be too hard to figure out - just big rectangles. A simple white cap can be made with a 20 to 24"circle. Cut a circular facing 3" wide for the hem facing. Sew the facing on and, turn, press and then stitch two rows of stitching to make a casing and to hold the facing in place and put elastic through the casing. I don't think I can explain how to make the blouse but you should be able to find a peasant blouse pattern or hit the stores for the Halloween costumes that are out there.

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #3

    The place I like to start looking for things like this is The Costumers Manifesto. It is a HUGE site with all sorts of Historic Costume links and free patterns. http://www.costumes.org/ It is a great resource, and well worth bookmarking, even if it does not have what you need right now. Cathy

    1. sewluving | | #4

      Wow, another website to add to my list.  Since I've started reading here on Gatherings my page of Favourites under my Sewing headline had grown so much.  I don't know when I will get to read them all.  Probably this winter when it is cold and nasty outside. 

      Heather in Calgary

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #5

        Oh yeah. I find at least one a week, often more. It is one of the best parts of this place, tee hee hee.
        I have found a few on my own that have cropped as highly recommended sites by other posters, and added a lot on their suggestions.
        I still have not read or browsed them all thoroughly, but have a good enough handle on them to know where to look for answers to some questions.
        I hear you are having a lot of lovely late summer weather out west. Enjoy it while you can. We are having the cool wet set in already here in Ontario. Cathy

        1. sewluving | | #6

          Yes Cathy,

          The weather here has been gorgeous this week.  Plus 33 C one day and today was about plus 26 C.  However they are predicting 'real' fall weather here starting Sunday or Monday with temps in low teens.  Guess we have to bring in the tomatoes that we plant in pots and some of the geraniums that I keep blooming all winter. 

          We were supposed to be on vacation in MB right now but hubby ended up in hospital from the 16th to the 21st.  He is doing pretty good now.  But we are missing a mini-family reunion of his siblings. 

          On the upside I did get to the Sewing Show today.  Bought some lovely fabric (one piece) and a few other little goodies also the book by Nancy Nieman on pattern fitting.  There were mainly quilting and scrapbooking showings and oh yes all the sewing machines.  I missed the Linda MacPhee fashion show which I love.  Didn't find out till after I was there that it was on at 12:30 pm and I never got there til almost 2 pm.  Drat.  I did talk to her though.  Wish she had her store and classes here in Calgary instead of Edmonton.

          Bye, Heather

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #8

            Hope your DH is up and around quickly. Missing out on Family Gatherings is such a disappointment. We were off to Trenton to visit our newest addition to the family again this weekend, and to see our other daughter's new home. She and and her BF, ahem, let me correct that, Fiance, just bought a house. He sprung a big surprise on all of us by proposing to her this weekend. Whooopeee!
            Did manage to scout out a few new fabric and yarn shops to pop into when I have time on my next visits down too. he he he. Cathy

          2. sewluving | | #10

            Congratulations to your daughter and also to you 'mother-of-the-bride'.  Do we see a lovelyoutfit in your future?  Wedding plans etc. bride, bridemaid dresses etc etc.  Lots of fun ahead.

            DH (I'm assuming that means Dear Hubby) is doing pretty good now.  Just a few issues to straighten out.  Upside for him too was to be able to attend a volunteer banquet that he would have also missed if we had been away.  Some give and take.

            Weather is cooler here.  Feels like fall.  Temp was about plus 21 C today so not too bad.  I have been to Trenton about 45 yrs ago.  X had family in forces there. 

            Heather in Calgary

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            We don't know yet what DD (dear daughter, darling daughter) has in the plans yet. It won't be for a year or so yet, They Say...he he he. We shall see. LOL, some of the shorthand here does take a while to figure out. Had to get my girls to translate some of it at first. Cathy

          4. sewluving | | #12

            Thanks for the 'shorthand' lesson.  I am still getting used to this Forum and really liking it.  I can see making new cyber friends will be easy here. 

            Heather in Calgary

    2. Cityoflostsouls | | #7

      Thank you.  Corey will consider the Backugan outfit to die for!!!  Thank goodness he wears his two years.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #9

        Is that not the most amazing site? I thought I had died and gone to history heaven at first, and then realized there was sooo much more! I believe it started out as a costume resource site, but evolved...
        Corey should enjoy several years of picking out costumes from there I think, tee hee hee. ;) Cathy

    3. Ocrafty1 | | #13

      Girl, you've done it again!!!  What a wonderful website!!! I've spent the last 45 min just STARTING to check it out.  We went to a reenactment of the Battle of Mississinewaw (War of 1812) today and I may start making some reenactment costumes...if I can find any clients.  Next weekend we're going to a Civil War reenactment....can't wait.


      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #15

        I was trying to find a 1920 dress when I stumbled across that site. Not the bias ones that you usually see, but a day time dress. Harder to find than you would think. It was for a school project, and we needed a picture. I have used that site for soooo many things since. I have a good collection of historical fashion books, and the site rounds it out nicely. Cathy

    4. decoratrice | | #17

      Wow!  What a site!  I could get lost for days, but there's that pesky work to be done........

  4. Ocrafty1 | | #14

    I just came from a War of 1812 reenactment and got the catalog for this site...they have lots of patterns and you can buy them online or order from their catalog.  Hope this helps.



  5. User avater
    bethaten | | #16

    thank you all for your suggestions on this matter.  My daughter had a wonderful time being an apprentice quilter at the heritage days celebration and has finished a small quilt she started there last year.  I made butterick pattern 3992 without any trim in a rusty brown calico, a "pin apron", and she wore her one of her bonnets.  Now I am going to use the sources you suggested to find a more authentic pattern, ie, no zipper, for next year and get an earlier start.  It was a twilight zone moment at the mennonite owned fabric store near my house....me in my jeans and boots walking around with my pattern while many young women dressed in their bonnets and aprons and dresses looked for fabrics, I love the juxtaposition of cultures in central pa.  I am fascinated by the reenactment culture as well and want to investigate that more, of course all the textile demonstrations were inspiring, in particular the tape maker.  I think a trip to the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster will be my next step!  Take care~


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