Historical Costume Patterns

When you think about the words “historical costume patterns,” you might think about patterns used to make costumes in a Shakespearean play. Or you might think of the patterns you buy to make a Halloween costume. But the American Heritage Dictionary defines costume as: “A style of dress, including garments, accessories, and hairstyle, especially as characteristic of a particular country, period, or people.” The word “costume” comes from the French word costume which is from the Italian, style, dress, from Latin cônsuçtûdô, custom.

So historical costumes doesn’t mean the stuff that gets worn in a play or to a fancy dress party. It means the clothing and accessories of another time and place.

Historical costume patterns are patterns used to replica the clothing of the past. Historical costume patterns allow people who are not historical costume experts to make historical costumes that are as close to the original costumes as possible while still conforming to modern ideas of fit and construction.

Unlike costume patterns used for Halloween parties, historical costume patterns take the design of original historical garments and redrafts them using modern patternmaking techniques so that modern seamstresses can easily use them.

costume. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/costume