Folkwear patterns can be as individual as you are! Check out this gallery of fashions from people like you, and then share your own fabulous Folkwear interpretations.

If you would like to submit photos of your Folkwear creations for others to see, visit the Contact Us page and send us an email attachment of a high-quality digital image along with your name, address, and any comments you would like to make about the garment. We won't publish your last name or street address, but we'd like to know your first name and your city, state or province, and country.

You can also mail a photograph (along with name, address, and comments) to Folkwear, The Old Fire Station, Box 189, Barnardsville, NC 28709-0189 U.S.A. Folkwear management reserves the right to select or decline images. Hard copy snapshots or prints will not be returned.

click on the photos for an enlargement


 

When Michelle costumed a production of Enchanted April for Theatre in the Round in Minneapolis, MN, she used #266 Greek Island Dress in two different ways, #508 Traveling Suit for the older character, and #261 Paris Promenade Dress to create the perfect flow for the "free spirit" character. She says, "Thank goodness for Folkwear patterns."

 

Joe made a #137 Australian Drover's Coat for himself and a matching one for Brigitte the Dog. He created the embroidery designs, using a combination of pdf images and Photoshop, then adjusted them to fit the largest embroidery area of his "ancient" Pfaff sewing machine.

 

 

Here is a fun and creative, slightly shortened interpretation of #254 Swing Coat. Dinette, from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, made it from a high-quality wax print cotton. Because the print looks just as good on the wrong side as the right side, it's perfect for this unlined jacket.

 

 

Jeannie, from Vancouver, British Columbia, made this cozy-looking #153 Siberian Parka from wool fabric she got from the Bemidji Woollen Mills. The photo was taken by Renee Rodin.

 

 

 

Adam, from Herefordshire, Great Britain, says he was trying to make "just" a winter coat, but (as usual) got slightly carried away. His customized version of #150 Hungarian Szur is made from handwoven red wool that was on his shelf for several years waiting for a vision. He put a zipper in the front, lined and interlined the jacket, and tapered the sleeves to result in this "splendid" coat.

 

 

Mary Kate, from Beacon, NY, costumed her daughter's home school group's production of Oscar Wilde's 1890s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, and found that #209 Walking Skirt was perfect for creating the early Edwardian look they wanted. She says the skirt was perfect because it could be easily adapted to the different characters and their personalities.

 

Fran, from Melbourne, Australia, made #264 Monte Carlo Dress for her daughter to wear to an afternoon tea event in honor of local author Kerry Greenwood. Ms. Greenwood has written a series of books titled Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which are set in 1920s Melbourne. The televised series has become hugely popular for showing Miss Fisher's fabulous period fashions and accessories, not to mention her sassy attitude while solving murders.

Bonnie, from Fayetteville, Arkansas, made the Mexican Dress from #109 Little Folks for her new grandbaby Stella. She's very happy with how it turned out, including the embroidery she designed herself.

For her wedding day, Teri, from Vancouver, Washington, made #205 Gibson Girl Blouse out of lightweight linen, with pin tucks and lace inserts, to wear with #209 Walking Skirt in heavy linen. She also made the Petticoat from #203 Edwardian Underthings to wear under the skirt. Because her vintage 1891 and 1910 treadle sewing machines don't do zigzag, she applied the lace inserts to the blouse with hand-stitching!

 

Carmen wears her #240 Rosie the Riveter at her job at the educational Cogges Manor Farm in Witney, Oxfordshire, UK. She says, "This outfit provokes questions (which is what every teacher wants) about farming, WWII rationing, and Land Girl work."

Ride 'em, cowboy! William, from Hurst, Texas, made this Western-inspired version of #150 Hungarian Szur from thick wool felt. The pockets and edges are lined with brown Hermes ribbon.

Brenda Brenda, from Sumter, SC, needed something comfortable to wear to a Cosplay picnic with her daughter and two of her daughter's friends. She made four sailor versions of #253 Vintage Bathing Costume: Jupiter (green), Mars (red), Uranus (navy), and Mercury (royal blue), and lengthened the pattern's front ties so they could be tied into bows. Brenda, who is wearing the green version, says "We always have so much fun in these. They are so comfortable to wear."
Marcia Taylor Marcia, from California, made #264 Monte Carlo Dress to wear to a wedding. She used gold stretch panne velvet and then decorated the neckline, armholes, and hem with aqua, gold, and iridescent glass beads. The tunic is in a shimmery aqua/gold organdy-like fabric and the edges are also beaded. The final touches are a vintage button for the shoulder closure and tassels at the bottom corners.
Velvet Smoking Jacket Mary Grace, from northern Indiana, made this #238 Le Smoking Jacket for her brother (who loves it!). The fabric is dark paisley print velvet, with black velvet for the collar, lapels, and cuffs. She says that the project was inspired by Gomez from The Addams Family.
Chinese Jacket Dinette, from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, made this #114 Chinese Jacket from assorted cottons. She lined the jacket with the same green cotton that she used for the armbands, and applied the decorative facings to the inside instead of the outside, for a different look that accentuates the beautiful fabric. Because she is tall, she also lengthened the jacket and the sleeves, and slightly altered the underarm curve for her comfort.
Belgian Military Chefs Jacket Melissa, from Newnan, GA, made #133 Belgian Military Chefs Jacket as a Drum Major jacket for her son. She built her own shoulder pads to extend the shoulders for a more dramatic "drum major" look and also used tailoring techniques like padstitching to give it sturdy structure. She said "the pattern really lends itself to interpretation and really answered my need for this project."
Metropolitan Hat D'ellis, in northern Virginia, chose 1/4"-thick fleece for this #269 Metropolitan Hat. Because of the thickness of the fleece, she deepened the tucks. It sure looks warm and cozy to us, perfect for cold spells. You can follow D's many sewing adventures on her blog, CurlsnSkirls.
After making #107 Afghan Nomad Dress in many "revised" versions, Katie, from Ontario, Canada, created this version to wear for her family Christmas. It is authentic, except for a belt in the back, the sleeve cuffs, and machine embroidery – her personal touch. She says was she was inspired by Carrie's dress (scroll down to see).
Margaret lives in Germany and attends medieval events held at castle ruins. Here is her daughter wearing #148 Black Forest Smock as the underdress and #128 Russian Settlers Dress Jumper, both sewn and decorated to reenact the early Viking period.
Rebecca, from Trenton, Florida, made this #201 Prairie Dress to wear for reenactment at Dudley Farm Historic State Park in Newberry. She says she kept true to the pattern in every way, from buttons at the back of the apron to the keyhole pockets.
Japanese Field Clothing Jules, from Medford, Oregon, made this lovely version of #101 Gaza Dress with beautiful embroidery. She has made this pattern in several different variations and used customized embroidery patterns for the front and back yoke. Enlarge the photo to see detail shots of the embroidery.
Japanese Field Clothing Jules (above) also likes to make #104 Egyptian Shirt in long and short versions. She says it's a great pattern for combining complementary fabrics, with or without the appliqué design included in the pattern. Enlarge the photo to see her arrangements of the appliqué design on other shirts in progress.

Japanese Field Clothing Rebecca, from Yellow Springs, Ohio, made this Hippari from #112 Japanese Field Clothing as a special gift for a friend's 60th birthday. The patchwork is pieced entirely from silk scarves.
Armistice Blouse Elizabeth, who works at Folkwear, got a lot of use from this short-sleeve version of #210 Armistice Blouse during our hot North Carolina summer. She used complementary linen fabrics -- plain white and pale blue/white stripe. She didn't want to make all the tiny buttonholes for the ¼-inch buttons, so she just sewed them to the blouse through all the fabric layers and pulled it over her head like a middy blouse. Extra buttons make a nice accent on the sleeves.
Kinsale Cloak Laurie's daughter was married in a January snowstorm in Rochester, New York, but stayed warm in her #207 Kinsale Cloak, made of lilac wool boucle and lined in white silk. Laurie embroidered the wedding details on an inside pocket. What a perfect garment for a beautiful wedding in the snow!
Paris Promenade Dress Donna, from Iowa, sent us this photo of the pretty #261 Paris Promenade Dress that her daughter, Spenser, made out of a pretty floral fabric.
Vintage Bathing Costume Brigitte, from Ottawa, Ontario, models the #253 Vintage Bathing Costume she made for the Canadian National Steampunk Exhibition convention in Toronto. Scroll down to see some of her other creations.
Paris Promenade Dress and Tango Dress Here are #261 Paris Promenade Dress and #237 Tango Dress on two dancing aficionados in San Diego, CA.
Smoking Jacket Douglas, self-professed author, artist, librarian, musician, and gadabout from Ontario, Canada, had a crafty friend make this #238 Le Smoking Jacket to wear in an author photo for his publisher.
Flamenco Dress Alice, from Quebec, Canada, finished #140 Flamenco Dress to celebrate Halloween with her fellow ballroom and latin dance class members. She reported that sewing the black lace edging of the flounces took a long time. We think it was worth it! She also shares a photo of her grand-niece wearing #136 Child's Kimono (click on the photo to see it).
Greek Island Dress Marcia made #266 Greek Island Dress in a glittering choice of fabrics and embellishments: maroon stretch panne velvet for the dress and multi-colored iridescent fabric for the tunic. She then added clear glass beads and gold filigree buttons to various edges, for a sparkling overall effect.
Monte Carlo Dress

Even though she has been sewing for only a year, Sabrina, who lives in New South Wales, Australia, finished this glamorous version of #264 Monte Carlo Dress in under two weeks, including all the hand-beading on the dress as well as the bandeau and stole she made to go with it. The fabric is slightly sheer and appears like a burnout velvet, but is a machine-embroidered synthetic. To give it some stability and keep it from stretching out of shape, Sabrina added a full lining to the bodice. She says, "I'll be wearing this dress to 1920s themed events with period accessories, but it will also go with modern accessories and not look at all like a 'costume.' It's a very timeless pattern."

 

Eyelash Pocket Skirt

D'ellis made this skirt from a favorite Butterick pattern, but it sat in the closet because it was too short and didn't have pockets. She says, "In a burst of early summer enthusiasm, it went into the redesign pile. After some trial and error, I decided to use the eyelash pockets from #249 1930s Day Dress to give the skirt a retro look. Not only was it the perfect choice, but the turning point of the redesign." Follow more of her creative adventures on her blog, www.curlsnskirls.wordpress.com.

 

Eyelash Pocket Skirt

Brigette, from Ottawa, Ontario, made her Captain Ukitake costume for the G-Anime Convention that takes place at the Palais des Congres in Gatineau, Quebec. She says that while it's a French-based convention, the panel discussions, anime showings, and attendees are bilingual. Brigette used #113 Japanese Kimono, #129 Japanese Hapi & Haori, and #151 Japanese Hakama for her character. She also used #113 and #151 to make the costume for Rukia, her ball-jointed doll (enlarge photo to see doll). The two characters, Captain Ukitake and Rukia, are based on the anime called "Bleach" about a young man named Kurosaki Ichigo, a normal teenager who can see sprites.

 

Le Smoking Jacket

Ron, from Hollister, California, created this incredible #238 Le Smoking Jacket out of chocolate buttery-soft deer-tanned cowhide and damask upholstery fabric. A very innovative choice of fabrics for this pattern!

 

Monte Carlo Dress

Julie, who lives in New South Wales, Australia, recently completed #264 Monte Carlo Dress for a fancy dress party. She says it was a lot of fun to make and she enjoyed wearing it.

 

Metro Middy Blouse

Martha, from Roswell, GA, has finished a gorgeous second version of the #270 Metro Middy Blouse out of handkerchief linen (see her first version in red cotton canvas below). She says, "The blue linen came in large panels with the white flowers splashed all over. Each panel was more than a yard long, which gave me the opportunity to spread the design out in a way that is pleasing to me." She added white pique piping all around the collar to provide a perfect design accent.

 

Rodeo Cowgirl Jacket

Christina, in Southern California, has made five versions of #242 Rodeo Cowgirl Jacket so far. Two of them were for her teenage nieces. She says, "The older girl got the more ladylike one, made out of embroidered Ultrasuede and moleskin. The younger one (shown here) is definitely a rodeo cowgirl clown, and I used that eco-felt made out of recycled plastic soda bottles in every bright color imaginable, with appliquéd-on polka dots." A friend "practically stole my rayon/wool felt one off my back so I had to make another. I've barely begun to explore the possibilities."

 

Diane, from Portland, OR, calls herself a "cloth engineer" because she's been designing and fabricating costumes, clothing, luggage, and other items for years. She's an architect, which has trained her eye to visualize and execute 3-D shapes in 2-D materials. She is also grooming the next two generations of sewing aficionados (click on the photo to see her daughter making pleats in #117 Croatian Shirt and her granddaughter learning her way around a sewing machine). You can tell Diane had fun making an outfit inspired by Folkwear patterns for her granddaughter, and she adapted some features of #107 Afghan Nomad Dress for this cute mini-garment with ball fringe at the front. She hid some removable tucks into the dress and made a very deep hem that will enable this outfit to grow with its owner.


Martha, from Roswell, GA, jumped right in and made #270 Metro Middy Blouse as soon as the pattern came out. She made the first one as a jacket in red cotton canvas, and has the pattern already cut out of handkerchief linen to make as a blouse. She says, "I made some mistakes (design opportunities?) on this first blouse. I ran short of fabric and had to piece the sleeves, hence the piping about 3" above the sleeve hems. I also created the hem facing from a bias-cut quilt cotton and used bias bindings for the seams and the appliquéd circles on the collar points." About those so-called mistakes? We think they are lovely design features!


Pat, from Jersey City, NJ, used men's shirting fabric and a piece of vintage handmade lace to make #210 Armistice Blouse for an Armistice Day Ball in November, 2010. She says, "I was going for a 1919-ish 'shop girl' look. It got a lot of good reaction even though most of the other women wore formal."

Stacey, from Austin, TX, took advantage of the collar and cuffs of #255 Swing Suit to do some elaborate machine embroidery. She says, "This was made for a machine company convention. We were given the fabric (maroon and ecru silk with maroon crepe for the lapels). I 'deconstructed" a large (150 x 360 mm) embroidery deign into smaller elements, then put them back together to conform to the stitching line of the lapels and cuffs. The embroidery stitches number more than 350,000! The hours were worth the effort."


Marilyn was living in rural Eastern Oregon when she made #201 Prairie Dress for her daughters. The dresses are made from 100% cotton, with hand-embroidered small details at the cuffs and collars. The buttons are handmade shell from an old factory. She says, "We had a great time that day taking photos out in the sagebrush."
Inez, from Alberta, Canada, made #205 Gibson Girl Blouse and #209 Walking Skirt for her costume in the Beaverhill Players' production of Arsenic and Old Lace. She says, "I adjusted the blouse front opening for easy and quick costume change, and made the sleeves a little fuller just for effect."

Shannon, from Bowie, Maryland, went to the 2010 Brewer's Octoberfest with her boyfriend, Billy. She made #123 Austrian Dirndl in dark brown corduroy, with a red twill apron and off-white blouse. She says, "It was a lot of fun and a little challenging to make the dirndl. I've never made a costume that was of this high quality!" She also made Billy's lederhosen out of an old pair of corduroy pants and "about five packages of maxi piping."

 

Nicole, from Linlithgow, Scotland, made #253 Vintage Bathing Costume for a Beach Belle party. She says, "I preferred to leave the skimpy 1950s outfits to the young girls. Instead, I opted for this incredibly fun outfit, which got a lot of compliments and was a real hoot. This must be one of my favourite costumes ever."
Deb and her husband dance historic dances from the 1920s-1940s in the Virginia/Washington DC area. She has made #237 Tango Dress twice and says "it is perfect for our 1920s Charleston, Castlewalk, one-step, and Peabody dances. The skirt looks great spinning."

Ginny, from Atlanta, made this elegant, yet festive, #207 Kinsale Cloak for a Yuletide Tour in Mooresville, Alabama and then wore it for every holiday event back at home. She used 100% wool flannel for the cloak fabric, a heavyweight rayon with narrow woven stripes for the cloak lining, silk dupioni for the hood lining, and 100% cotton voile for underlining. She said that "because of the dense pleats across the shoulders, it is incredibly warm."


Melanie, in Kew, Victoria, Australia, made #269 Metropolitan Hat in a medium-weight cotton with no extra lining so it would stay floppy. She suggests making a muslin the first time around, to get used to all the clipping and notching that needs to be done on the curves. See more about her hat on her blog.
Catherine, from Ontario, Canada, made #011 Bethany Dress from silk dupioni with some gorgeous embroidery on the front. She says, "I took liberties, of course. I used machine embroidery stitches, but I tried to use traditional colours for the fabric. I free-hand stitched the Qabbeh (front panel) and used large red rickrack around the edges. Only the neckline is hand-embroidered"
Martha, in Roswell, Georgia, made #213 Child's Prairie Dress & Pinafore for granddaughters this past Christmas. This one was made as a nightgown out of pink tone-on-tone striped pima cotton with white waffle-weave cotton for the lace-edged collar and the cuffs.

Young Actor's Studio Chicago, a new musical theater company for northwest Chicago suburban youths ages 8-18 founded by Joni Martin, performed The Emperor's New Clothes last December. The play was rewritten by Martin for a setting of ancient Japan, and Jason (shown here) played the poorly-funded Shogun Fujiwara. Folkwear #151 was used, with the Hakama made out of twill, the Kataginu out of linen, and the short under-kimono made with the lining of a vintage kimono from Japan. After the outfit was sewn, it was thoroughly ripped, stained, and distressed to visually show one result of the vain Emperor's over-indulgence of himself and his family to the detriment of everyone else in the kingdom. For more information about Young Actor's Studio Chicago, visit www.yaschicago.com.

 

Kimberly of Denver, Colorado enjoys her large collection of Indian sarees. The close-fitting saree blouse must be properly tailored to one's dimensions to fit properly and look nice. "In order to wear my sarees, I had to learn to stitch my own blouses," says Kim. "The #134 South Asian Tops & Wraps pattern helped me do just that!"
Sarah, of Monterey, California, made #140 Flamenco Dress with a variation: without the cola (the tail or train) and with an extended dress front, as shown here on dancer Debra Rivera.
Rhona, from Sydney, Australia, sent this photo with a simple message: "Thought you might like to see what I did with #207 Kinsale Cloak." We can't tell if it's printed, painted, or appliquéd, but it sure looks like she had fun creating it.
A certain artiste by the name of Madame Lili (Musicienne Extraordinaire), from Kington, UK, used #104 Egyptian Shirt as a starting point to create a new frock for her performances. She says that although lots of fabric had to be added in, including frilly cuffs and an underskirt, the garment is essentially still the shirt pattern. Madame is very happy with the Oriental-looking result.
Ginny (at left in photo), from Alpharetta, Georgia, recently taught a youth sewing class for beginning sewers (5th grade through high school) at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, using #112 Japanese Field Clothing. Martha (at right in photo) first organized this Camp Sew N Sew in 2009 and she plans to continue it next summer. Ginny says, "The pattern was a great success as you can see. All three girls (Mickey, Julia, and Laura) finished their jackets beautifully." We salute both Ginny and Martha for cultivating a new generation of fabric and sewing lovers!

 

Deborah, from Bethesda, Maryland, made #118 Tibetan Panel Coat from mud cloth and linen. She says, "I always love to inspire people to do beading and other embellishment, and I was amazed at how much of a difference it made for this coat." See the Sunday March 7th posting on her blog for great close-up/detail shots and a description of the process: http://deborahstearns.blogspot.com

 

Deborah from Woodland Hills, California, made the Mexican Dress from #109 Little Folks for her great-niece, Anna. It's great to see her starting right out in interesting clothing instead of just another onesie.

Nancy, who lives right down the road from the Folkwear offices in Western North Carolina, braved this past winter (the 3rd snowiest in recorded history!) in the new #269 Metropolitan Hat made out of navy blue wool blend flannel with silk-like fabric flowers. She says, "The hat is stylish, warm, and fun. When I tell people I made it, they're incredulous."

 

 

Tina, in San Diego, California, shares these photos of her husband, Andy, happily modeling his #102 French Cheesemaker's Smock (click on the photo to see other views). He chose the fabric, a thick twill with "a super-soft inside." At first, Tina found the underarm gussets challenging, but she mastered them and says the shirt "turned out swell. We had so much fun choosing the buttons - metal dragonflies."

 

 

Cher, who partnered in a #251 Varsity Jacket design challenge, used a sweatshirt base, then appliquéd decorator fabric, lapped the seams, and finished the edges with bias tape for an asymmetrical look.

Sebastian, from Philadelphia, is a Folkwear pattern user for more than 30 years. He made this spectacular version of #141 Korean Han-Bok for his sister's wedding dress, with some slight modifications. The chogori (jacket) is made of silver dupioni silk trimmed with silk brocade, interlined with silk organza, and lined with dyed-to-match-china silk. The chima (skirt) is made of hand-dyed silk organza and bordered with the silk brocade. Incidentally, he also made the bridesmaids' dresses.

 

Patty, of Vermont, made four #213 Child's Prairie Dresses for the flower girls in her son's wedding. The dresses were white on white, while the pinafores were sage green.

 

Irving, from Amsterdam, Netherlands, uses #113 Japanese Kimono often. You can see some of his creations on his weblog and he says, "There are many more to come." He particularly enjoys experimenting with different fabric designs.

Melissa's 1915 craftsman-style house in Zeeland, Michigan, was featured in this year's Historic House Tour and she made this beautiful version of #265 Afternoon Tea Dress to wear as she greeted the guests (here, she poses in front of her rose garden). It's made from yellow silk with a striped polyester tunic. Melissa said that one of the tour's house owners wanted her to "just stand in her living room because I looked so good for the tour!" We agree.

 



Leslie, in Seattle, posted a Facebook photo album to document her version of #266 Greek Island Dress, with design details inspired by Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who was an important figure in the Arts & Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Joey, from Arkansas, took on a monumental challenge for his Bachelor of Arts project by weaving tartan fabric on a loom he inherited from a distant relative. He then made the kilt from #152 Scottish Kilts, using the handwoven cloth. Click on the image to see him threading the loom and resting after finishing the fabric.

 

Freyalyn, from West Yorkshire in the UK, loves #107 Afghan Nomad Dress and has made it several times. Here, she used West African hand-dyed and hand-printed fabrics and says that "the position of the different fabrics, full sleeves, and the large square neckline make it look almost Elizabethan when I'm wearing it."

 

This wedding photo from Rebecca's ceremony in San Diego shows the beautiful job she did on her sweetheart's kilt and Prince Charlie Jacket from #152 Scottish Kilts.
For an Easter event at the Stanley Park Miniature Railway and Children's Farmyard in Vancouver, Krista made the Overalls from #240 Rosie the Riveter for her bunny costume. She said, "The guys at work insisted the Easter Bunny is a boy, so I took out some of the more feminine details of the Rosie pattern, like the sweetheart neckline, and added the more traditional side, chest, and rear pockets, as well as the hammer loop." She also said, "This pattern is super fast to make and I love how the pants make me look all curvy instead of bulky, even though I'm wearing jeans under the overalls."

Kathryn, from Portland, Oregon, made this #239 Blonde Bombshell out of a very sheer silk, so sheer that she added a muslin interlining to the bodice. While the silk hangs beautifully and the skirt is nice and swirly, she says she would choose a not-so-sheer and slightly heavier weight fabric the next time. She says, "The dress was made especially to wear to the 2009 Red Dress Party in Portland, where everyone who attends (guys and girls) must wear a red dress." She finished the dress about 5 minutes before she had to get dressed and leave for the party!

Liz, in Manhattan, Kansas, made these costumes for the 2008 Manhattan High School fall production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, a musical set in 1922 New York City, when women were just entering the working world. The blue dress is #237 Tango Dress and the brown dress (click on image to see both dresses) is #264 Monte Carlo Dress, whose tunic is a see-through crepe with glittery turquoise butterflies. The production was chosen as one of the four best in the entire state, and it went on the road to the State Conference in Wichita. Congratulations!

For #213 Child's Prairie Dress, Rosemary from Smiths Falls, Ontario, chose a cotton calico print for the dress and cotton muslin for the pinafore, then finished the sleeves and yoke with metal buttons.
Carrie, in Indianapolis, IN, recently used #107 Afghan Nomad Dress as a perfect showcase for her stash of batiks and some of her own hand-dyed fabrics (click on the image to also see the back of the dress). She says, "I finished it just in time to wear on Easter Sunday. The bright colors with long sleeves were perfect to wear on that sunny, yet cool day."
Flamingo, from Warwick, RI, embellished the #106 Turkish Coat with the Amish "Cats and Rats" quilting pattern (see the rat crawling into the pocket?). For a special touch, she lined the coat with black satin decorated with silver dragonflies.

 

Frith, who now lives in Seattle, made #209 Walking Skirt for her wedding day. She used Belgian linen and inserted a row of entredeux about nine inches up from the hem, for a unique and elegant detail. She happily posed with husband, Rob, for this photograph by Cassie from Redstone Pictures.
Abbie, the Technical Director of the theatre at LaVilla School of the Arts (grades 6-8) in Jacksonville, Florida, sent photos from their production of the musical Mulan (click on the photo here to see the other costumes). She used #114 Chinese Jacket and #122 Hong Kong Cheongsam to create an amazing array of costumes for the many young and talented performers. Abbie reports, "The Mulan production was our most adventuresome yet, some 87 costumes in all. My students cut out most of them, then parent volunteers and a few of the more accomplished students helped me sew them up. It's great that the students get to use their academic skills and not even realize they are learning things like history and math."

 

Courtenay, from the Boston area, made #249 1930's Day Dress out of a very sheer and wispy silk, and she lined the bodice and skirt with a heavier shirt-weight silk. She also made a sash from the heavier material. Courtenay says, "The dress is fun to wear and when I walk, the sleeves catch the breeze nicely."

 

Leslie, a sewing and dancing aficionado, made #232 Wall Street Blouse in a muted pink cotton to wear to some Sunday afternoon waltz dances held in a vintage ballroom. She says, "I like the design because it definitely has a vintage look to it, but it isn't so extreme that it looks like a costume."

 

Donna made #154 Child's Scottish Kilt & Jacket for her 5-year-old grandson, Callum, who obviously feels very special in it. He is in his first year of highland dancing and has placed in the top three in his dance competitions wearing his new outfit.
Lynn, from Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, adapted #215 Empire Dress to "a front-opening gown with built-in stays," partly based on the construction of a Regency dress shown in Janet Arnold's first Patterns of Fashion book. The fabric is rayon brocade with a small diamond pattern. The dress has small seed pearls beading the neckline and waistband ribbon, as well as on the sleeves. Lynn also lined the bodice with fine linen, which she fitted before cutting the outer fabric (enlarge photo to see detail shot of bodice inside).


Betty, from Lohrville, Iowa, and her matron of honor made the #227 Edwardian Bridal Gown in cotton batiste, and finished just in time for the wedding. They worked long and hard for two months, because neither of them had ever done lace insertion or pin tucks. The result, however, was perfect for an outdoor wedding at Betty's new husband's farm.
Krista, from Vancouver, Canada, made this #131 Tibetan Chupa in cotton batik for a trip to Hawaii. She says, "It is the most comfortable thing I have ever made and fast became my favourite thing to wear." She replaced the hooks and eyes with ties, because they were much easier to do up after swimming. The photo was taken "in a howling wind at Punalu'u, on the east coat of Oahu."
Diane, from Panama City, Florida, entered her #106 Turkish Coat creation in the famous Hoffman Challenge quilt contest. The coat was accepted and will be traveling on exhibit for a year. This detail photo shows the Hoffman peacock fabric, as well as matelasse accents and her freehand quilting all over. Congratulations, Diane!
Caryl, from Garden Ridge, Texas, made the Burmese Jacket from #134 South Asian Tops & Wraps from "three pairs of stained holey jeans and two out-of-style denim skirts purchased for $2.00 at a church rummage sale." The result is this very up-to-date fashion. Pockets and button-front panels were used as design features and the jacket was finished with binding.
Nathan, from Santa Fe, made the bull's head version of #212 Frontier Shirts out of a great mix of solid black and cow print fabrics, with red piping. He says, "I think it came out pretty good." We agree!
Sylvia, from Napier, New Zealand, made the #214 Tea Frock to wear at her community's annual Art Deco Festival. She says, "It felt great and I loved the little floaty cap sleeves."
Kris, a gentleman from Fresno, California, made this great-looking #152 Scottish Kilt from a wool blend fabric. He was surprised by the amount of hand sewing that went into it, but says "In the end, it was all worth it. Everyone who sees it is very impressed and I get loads of compliments. I don't know if that is because I'm a man who sews or if I actually did a real good job on it." Surely it's the latter.

Susan, from Davenport, Iowa, made #113 Japanese Kimono as an entry for a costuming convention. It is titled "Toll House of the August Moon" and features block-printed chocolate chips and cookies on the fabrics. Her presentation included a cookie and milk ceremony.
Gayle, from Minneapolis, made #106 Turkish Coat out of multicolor faux ikat cloth and a wild yellow print on the inside, similar to that on the interior of Turkoman robes. She wears the coat over #107 Afghani Nomad Dress, made from several different prints, a piece of Guatemalan embroidery for the bodice, and beaded trim she bought abroad years ago. She says, "I love this mix of fabrics!"
Anne's daughter, from Colorado Springs, is wearing her favorite "dressy" top, #133 Belgian Military Chef's Jacket in a pretty batik fabric. Anne had to make some alterations to accommodate her daughter's height and powerful swimmer's shoulders. The result makes a sleek top for jeans or dressy pants.
Sara's smiling daughters (ages 5 and 7), from Walla Walla, are wearing the Nepali Chupa from #109 Little Folks. For a simple finish, Sara used bias tape for the ties and neckband. She also down-sized the pattern to a size 2, for her youngest nephew.
Lisa, from Maryland, created this Cinder Alien costume for an annual Costume-Con event. She used #107 Afghani Nomad Dress in white satin, with blue trim, and made some "serious sleeve modifications," not to mention the feet, hands, and mask. She says, "It was originally part of a trio called Lady of the Rainbows, where the two ladies in white were the attendants."
Vanessa, from Sunland, California, travels around the world to give dance performances and primarily uses Folkwear patterns for her enchanting garb. This photo of her in the Entari from #108 Turkish Dancer was taken during one of her international performances in the United Kingdom. She says, "I had the fabric for about 15 years and it finally found its soul in this pattern."

Maureen, from Florida, used her own hand-dyed silk for the #264 Monte Carlo Dress and then added beads to the tips of the skirt. She also beaded the surface and the tips of the pattern's Crossover Tunic, and wore the beautiful outfit to a fund raiser for the Susan G. Koleman Foundation, which had a theme of The Roaring 20's.

 

 

This photo of Stacy and her Black Rose Caravan troupe, was taken at the 2007 Fishers Renaissance Faire. The Entaris and Vests are from #108 Turkish Dancer, which Stacy says enabled them to dance without restricting their movements or disrupting the costumes themselves. She also says the pattern lends itself well to modification; for other costumes, she has shortened the vest and split and lined the sleeves of the Entari for a coat.

 

Textile artist Daryl Lancaster made this fabulous version of #262 Spectator Coat from strips of hand-woven mohair, rayon, cotton, and silk. She then added recycled animal fur, polyester/silk binding, and rayon print lining. The coat was a prize-winner at the 2007 Surface Design Association conference in Kansas City. Daryl says, "We should be using clothing to celebrate the soul within." See more of her innovative fashion designs at www.weaversew.com.

 

Kate, from Seattle, has made nearly two dozen versions of #111 Nepali Blouse. Here is a line-up of her holiday-theme blouses. She chooses notions to complement the fabrics, such as pumpkin-shaped buttons on a jack-o-lantern shirt; and tree, bell, and holly buttons on a Christmas blouse.

 

Karen, from Rockport, Maine, studies Shaolin Kenpo at Lamkins Martial Arts in Rockland and made #151 Japanese Hakama for her Sensei, Jeff Lamkins, who was having difficulty finding royal blue hakama to wear at competitions (his school's logo and family crest are royal blue and white). She says, "I was surprised to find that the pattern wasn't really a pattern and my math skills were put to the test with the pleats and folds. I'm a quilter; apparel sewing is not my specialty, but a challenge is a challenge! People should absolutely NOT be intimidated by the pattern. I read through it twice before I started, but once I laid out the fabric and marked the measurements, it all came together quite easily! Sewing only took me a few hours, and that includes the hemming." Photo by Luther Yonce Photography.


 

Leslie, from Seattle, Washington, still loves this first version of #111 Nepali Blouse she made in a pale pink cotton with red collar. She has gone on to make the pattern again and again in flannel, cotton/linen blends, and a drapey mystery blue textured synthetic fabric. With each version, she adjusts the sizing and length to get a personalized fit.

Scarlett, who is half Japanese, used Folkwear patterns for her entire Japanese-theme wedding. The adults wore #113 Japanese Kimono and the two flower girls (Scarlett's nieces) wore #136 Child's Kimono. In addition, the groom wore #151 Japanese Hakama. For her own wedding dress, she started with #113 and then altered it to become a spectacular formal kimono. To see her dress and learn more about her wedding, visit Scarlett's web site at www.scarlettrose.com/wedding.html.

 

Rebecca, from Winter Springs, Florida (see her in #140 Flamenco Dress and her husband in #151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu below) made #239 Blonde Bombshell in this joyful print. While we suggest stitching in a bit of elastic tape along the outside edges of the halter top to prevent gapping, Rebecca found a different solution. She cut smaller size bust pieces, adjusted the gathers, and extended the halter straps to criss-cross in the back. She says this gives her more confidence when wearing and the dress fits perfectly, with no gapping at the sides.

 

 

Christel, from Denmark, uses #106 Turkish Coat as a starting point for her beautiful knitted interpretation. She says she loves the garment because it is great for mixing different patterns and colors. Visit her web site at www.christel-seyfarth.dk to view her other designs (text is in Danish).

 

Krista sent in this portrait of her at the Victoria Day celebration, which took place at the Stanley Park Miniature Railway in Vancouver, British Columbia. The event marked the 120th anniversary of the first train to cross Canada from east to west, symbolically uniting the county. Krista is normally an engineer, but she dressed up a bit for this special event in a lacy version of #210 Armistice Blouse and #209 Walking Skirt. She also decorated the engine itself (a 1/5-scale reproduction of that first cross-country engine). A portrait of Queen Victoria appears front and center.

 

Anne, a feltmaker in Michigan, created this spectacular version of #264 Monte Carlo Dress and it was accepted into the Surface Design Association's annual fashion show. She created the yardage by a process called "Nuno Felting" with shibori-dyed silk gauze, Merino wool fiber, yarn, and pieces of fabric. She added a dyed silk gauze hem, leaf appliqués from hand-dyed rayon/silk velvet, hand-painted flower and vine pattern using glitter, and lavish beading on the bodice, torso, and hem. This dress won the first place award in the "Dance of the Flamingos" fashion show at the Handweavers Guild of American Biennial Conference in Tampa, Florida in July 2008.

 

Margaret, from Washington, made this #118 Tibetan Panel Coat as a commission for Paper Pieces, a company that makes die-cut cardstock foundations for English paper piecing. She was asked to use hexagons in multiple sizes and bright colors for the coat, resulting in a knock-out version of this favorite Folkwear pattern.

 

Marcia, in upstate New York, beautifully combined complementary fabrics for this Kurta from #135 Jewels of India. She is now finishing one made out of white linen for her husband.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Sandy made #215 Empire Dress for her daughter, who is an artist's model in southern California. She used an iridescent cross-dyed material that is woven with green in one direction and orange in the other. She says it shimmers all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn loves the freedom of movement and creative fabric choice in this #107 Afghani Nomad Dress that she made when still nursing her daughter (she adapted the front panel for modest nursing). She also added buttons on the cuffs and a loop at mid-sleeve, so she could button the sleeves out of the way for other activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zina, from Colorado, sent us this clipping photo from her old days as the "lady sheriff" in a stunt troupe. She used #212 Five Frontier Shirts and #231 Big Sky Riding Skirt, but modified the shirt so it wouldn't come un-tucked in midair when being flipped over in a stunt known as "airman."

 

Michael Yancy, of Michigan, used #151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu and #113 Japanese Kimono for a living history group he is a member of (www.Kesshin-no-Rekishi.org). When he is in character, he goes by the name of Lord Shijo Ichiro Uchiyori.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael, from New York, says he is "an incurable dress-up ham" and loves to put together dramatic Renaissance, Gothic, and other creations. Here he wears the Cossack shirt, from #116 Shirts of Russia & Ukraine, made in silk charmeuse.

Michelle, a 16-year-old from Colorado, made this Taisho Period (1912-1926) costume from #151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu and #113 Japanese Kimono. She says that during that period, it was fashionable for young ladies to wear Victorian-style high-heeled boots instead of the traditional sandals and socks, and to wear the hakama over the other garments.



 

 

 

 

 



Sewing dynamo Gina made #114 Chinese Jacket from an upholstery fabric with black velveteen contrast and pink piping, and lined it with pink flannel. See photos of her other creations below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Cynthia from California selected remnants of favorite fabrics to make this colorful #107 Afghani Nomad Dress. To further embellish it she embroidered the front bodice, added "Ram's Horn" card-weaving decoration to the sleeves, and designed a custom cap from leftover materials to go with the dress.

Diary of a Mad Hungarian Seamstress. Judi, from Rockford, Michigan, made this gorgeous version of #150 Hungarian Szur, including all of the intricate felt appliqué that appears on the traditional garments. She then wore it to match her Hungarian Tree at the annual Christmas show. She says "This is my first attempt at a lot of things and has certainly been a learning experience!" Visit her personal web site at and click on "Crazy Hungarian Seamstress" to read about the entire Szur-making process and see photos she took along the journey.


Pamela, who now lives in Anchorage, Alaska, has been sewing Folkwear patterns for years. She started this #107 Afghani Nomad Dress when she was 22. She says, "I gathered together the fabrics and did the sleeves, and then folded it away and didn't touch it for years until I was about 42 when I came across it again. It was a symbol of finding my old self after being buried by the things that seem to bury women for a while: children, family, separations, disillusionments, confusion, etc. Now that it is finished, I call it my rebirth dress."

 

Audrey made this #201 Prairie Dress for the annual Pioneer Days Festival in Pine Castle, Florida, where she volunteered as a historical narrator for the wagon ride (she said "the pockets on both the dress and apron came in very handy during this outdoor event!"). She made the dress out of blue cotton sprinkled with tiny white flowers and chose a decorative machine stitch in blue thread to mimic the hand embroidery on the muslin apron. This photo was taken at the loom in a 200-year-old log cabin that was donated and reassembled on the grounds.

 


 

Diane made #233 Glamour Girl Dress in midnight blue for a Lindy Hop demonstration she and her husband gave at the St. Petersburg (Florida) Coliseum. See them cutting a rug in a photo below, in which she's wearing her first Glamour Girl Dress made in palm leaf bark cloth.

 

 

 

Gina made the kilt and Prince Charlie Jacket from #152 Scottish Kilts for her husband to wear at their local Scottish Highland games near Vista, California. She chose fine wool fabrics and lined the garments with satin. Although she now enjoys the compliments they receive, Gina said "I am satisfied with the results though I was really cursing the tailoring process." Lucky for all of us who sew, nobody else ever has to know about the little glitches and frustrations we must conquer to achieve the finished product.

 

Elise works at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, California, an 1890s working farm that has a variety of animals (including lovable bunnies) and crops. She says that #201 Prairie Dress "looks a lot like what was called a 'wrapper' or housedress from that period. It's also comfortable enough to wear for doing farm work." She has made several of these dresses for herself and her co-workers, and also shortened the pattern to wear as a blouse. Sometimes she wears the apron from #128 Russian Settlers' Dress with the Prairie Dress and "it looks fine."

 

Carol in Nampa, Idaho made #231 Big Sky Riding Skirt for her niece, Jennifer, who lives in Middleton, Idaho and is quite the horsewoman. Jennifer and her family members ride in the 4th of July and Christmas parades, so she likes to dress for the occasion.

 

 

 

Rebecca and her husband, of Winter Springs, Florida, show off #140 Flamenco Dress & Practice Skirt and #151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu that she made for this year's Halloween events. She also made the Hakama outfit for her son-in-laws and one of them wore it to work for the annual costume contest….he won!

 

 

 

Martha (at left) and her friends Pauline and Kathy each wore #253 Vintage Bathing Costume at this summer's annual Calico Days festival at Calico Ghost Town in Barstow, California. They even took home Second Place in the parade. Martha said "The one thing we discovered about wearing the costume is that you cannot wait until the last minute to go to the necessary. With all the buttons, it is a time-consuming process to undress and then re-dress!"

 



Colleen, from California, is a design-and-sew dynamo (see more about her below wearing #240 Rosie the Riveter). She recently attended Star Wars Celebration 3 in Indianapolis in a Jedi costume of her own design. She made the Thai Blouse from #134 South Asian Tops & Wraps for the overblouse to wear with #151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu. The belt is crafted out of materials from Tandy Leather. We agree that the pink lightsaber is a perfect finishing touch! She said, "I wore that outfit to a gala event where Trisha Biggar, the costume designer for Star Wars 1 - 3, was honored for her work. It went over really well!"

 

Louise from Alberta, Canada, made #220 Garden Party Dress for a croquet party. She got lots of compliments on it and said the pattern was easy to follow and the results were perfect.

 

 

 

 

Nancy in Virginia made #123 Austrian Dirndl for her daughter, Marnie (shown here), who has wanted a dirndl since her high school German class. Nancy added lace around the neck and sleeves of the blouse, and piped the navy blue faux suede bodice with a lighter blue piping matched to the apron. Nancy promises she will send a family photo with Marnie's baby in his lederhosen and husband in #204 Missouri River Boatman's Shirt.

 

 

 

Carmen in the Netherlands spent about 100 hours making this spectacular version of #140 Flamenco Dress & Practice Skirt. She made the skirt out of maroon taffeta and trimmed the flounces with a coffee-colored satin band. She also lined the flounces to provide even more stiffness and volume. Carmen has been practicing flamenco dancing since 1998 and is performing regularly with the group, Fiesta Espana (www.fiesta-espana.tk). She says, "Dancing in this 'falda de cola' (tailed skirt) is very difficult, but gives my flamenco dancing a new dimension."

Cristina in California is a fan of "cosplay," creating costumes based on designs from Japanese animation and video games. She used #141 Korean Han-Bok to re-create the design of Seung Mina, a character from the video game Soul Calibur II.

 

 

Gina made #118 Tibetan Panel Coat in a very dark green velvet and mixed in wool tweeds and home décor fabrics with Southwestern patterns. This pattern is great for combining different fabrics.

 

 

Diane and her husband are avid swing dancers in Florida. Here, she is wearing #233 Glamour Girl Dress in a period print. She says she loves the dress and how she feels dancing in it.

 

 

 

Evelyn made her #118 Tibetan Panel Coat exclusively from handwoven fabric. The black sections are cotton warp and wool weft, woven in plain twill. The patterned sections are silk, and the over-the-shoulder areas are woven with a thread of metallic and silk combined. She turned the hem facings to the outside instead of the inside, to show off the beautiful fabric.

 

 

 



Tim, from Ashville, Ohio, says: "I think my wife did a pretty good job on the Prince Charlie pattern. In just six days from start to finish, she created the jacket and vest for me to complete the outfit for the Columbus (Ohio) Aladdin Shrine's Pipe and Drum Corps. I'm trying to learn to play the pipes." We think Tim looks great and we wish him well as he practices on the pipes.

 

 



Susan (from Venice, California) raided her extensive stash of textile treasures to make this dynamic example of the padded Hippari (jacket) from #112 Japanese Field Clothing. She altered the pattern, "lengthening and widening it, adding side vents, changing the collar and stuffing it with padding to give it a standup, Cossack authority." This masterpiece includes reverse appliqué molas from Panama, an embroidered table runner from Guatemala, mirrored and embroidered braid from Afghanistan, Japanese flowered cotton sateen, shisha mirrors, Czechoslovakian beads, a sequin detail from an old Rajasthani cotton skirt, antique French ribbon, and "a shrieking piece of geometric fabric from the 1960s."

 

 

 

Colleen (from Westchester, California) wears #240 Rosie the Riveter in this photo taken at the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Willow Run was a World War II aircraft factory that manufactured planes like the one shown here. Because so many men were overseas during wartime, thousands of women (nicknamed Rosie the Riveter) took their places on assembly lines across the country. Colleen is a serious "Rosie" aficionado, and wears the traditional costume as everyday wear. Note: An Internet search on "Rosie the Riveter" will yield many web sites that are full of information about these strong and dedicated women.

 


click the photo for enlargement

Michele, from Iowa, is a student of Middle Eastern dance and a historical reenactor. She sewed up #108 Turkish Dancer for the wedding costumes for herself and ten of her attendants in just two months. She loved working with the pattern and found that "it lends itself very well to making style alterations."

 

Susan sewed with Folkwear patterns "in days when we lived in yurts, dipped our own candles, raised goats, and still found time to sew and embroider." Nearly 20 years ago, she made this BirdWoman Coat from our #118 Tibetan Panel Coat pattern, using Japanese tie-dye cotton, small patches of Cuna Indian reverse appliqué, Guatemalan jaspe, and "a sassy woman seated on a rooster that I'd embroidered on linen years before for a pillow and never used." She gave The BirdWoman Coat to a friend and only recently found out that it still survives (as shown here).

 

Rebecca Moore, the corset class instructor at Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan, made up the square-neck version of #267 M'Lady's Corset for a store display and she obviously had lots of fun doing it. She used rayon brocade for the outer fabric, cotton broadcloth for the lining, and canvas for the middle stiffening layer. She trimmed it with a kelly green rayon braid and multi-color fur fringe. She says, "I got so excited when I found the trim in our home dec section, because it matches the brocade perfectly."

 

Petra in Switzerland used Folkwear #123 Austrian Dirndl to make a dirndl for her office's Octoberfest-theme holiday party. She cut out the dirndl bodice twice and used one layer as a lining, so no seams are visible.

 

 



Our #107 Afghani Nomad Dress is a versatile and well-loved pattern. Here, Sam of Portland, Oregon made it from a red and gold sari and choli, along with matching silk dupioni, for an outdoor dance event. She has also made the dress from African and Bali prints and says, “It is one of my favorite art-to-wear patterns.”

 



Carol, from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, made #107 Afghani Nomad Dress in a Rose & Hubble cotton lawn print (skirt and sleeves) and a Hoffman cotton print (bodice and trim) for her wedding dress. For her groom, she made #204 Missouri River Boatman's Shirt in plain cotton muslin.

 

Kate and Jon got married at the Interbay P-Patch Community Garden in Seattle, Washington. Kate made and wore #107 Afghani Nomad Dress in silk fabrics and French ribbon trims, along with some unusual bridal footwear. She also made #202 Victorian Shirt in navy blue raw silk for the groom. Both are avid gardeners and asked guests to bring something brown or green to add to a "wedding compost." Nearly a ton of compost was made from all kinds of ingredients, including the used Folkwear pattern tissues. The finished compost was later used to plant a wedding rose, an Autumn Damask. This unusual event was covered by the Seattle Times and The New Yorker magazine, and was a wonderful alternative to a traditional wedding.

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