About

Century Patterns make patterns of period clothing for modern people. Ideal for home dressmakers and costumers; historical interpreters, re-enactors and museum specialists; period theatre, music and dance performers; for experts and amateurs; for costumed events and for fun. Our patterns provide historically accurate cut, construction and fit for today’s figure.

Century Patterns are copied from rare, antique originals, which are then adjusted to standard modern pattern proportions and graded from Misses’ size 6 to 26 (Bust 30, Waist 22, Hips 32 inches to Bust 48, Waist 40, Hips 50 inches). Care is taken to retain as much of the period fit and silhouette as possible. We recommend the use of corsetry for those eras which require it, but we do not expect modern wearers to achieve the proportions of women who trained their figures for years to match the ideal of the day.

One of the highlights of Century Patterns is the printed booklet accompanying each paper pattern. These include:

  • Complete step-by-step instructions for cutting, fitting and assembling the garment
  • Extensive historical notes documenting each garment and putting them into period context
  • Copious technical drawings, period illustrations and diagrams
  • Options for personalising and adapting your garment
  • Cutting layouts and yardages
  • Suggested fabrics, trimmings, haberdashery and acceptable alternatives for period choices where necessary

For the period costume enthusiast, the booklets are a sheer joy to read. We believe they alone are worth the money.

Modern historical costumes often only look correct from a distance. Seen close-up, they can be disappointing. Century Patterns make it possible to sew garments that are correct inside and out and stand up to close scrutiny. Our patterns can be used to make “costumes”, but they are designed to help you to make and wear real clothing from the past.

Until relatively recently, few period patterns and even less accurate construction information was freely available. Over the past twenty-five years we have drafted patterns and made garments based on our own first-hand research, drawing on many original sources, some rare or even unique, including period patterns, drafting manuals, extant garments, sewing and needlework books, fashion plates and periodicals of the past. We have over twenty-five years’ experience researching historical costume, drafting patterns and reproducing period garments. We have sold patterns online since 2003. We understand what we would like from historically accurate patterns and strive to produce the best quality patterns we can.