Folkwear Patterns for all

By Molly Hamilton
on July 25, 2017
1 comment

Folkwear Patterns for all

You have asked for them . . . and Folkwear has worked on getting more patterns graded to larger sizes into the mix.  Many people are surprised by how many plus-sized patterns we have!  We have graded some patterns up, produced patterns in larger sizes, and worked to make sure everyone who sews might be able to use some Folkwear patterns.  Including patterns for women (and men) of all sizes is important to Folkwear. 

We have grouped our patterns below into patterns made in just one size (one-size-fits-all), patterns that go up to Misses Extra Large (XL or size 18), 2XL (or size 20), and 3XL (size 22).

Patterns with an (*) beside the name are also sized for men, which means they have been graded up a bit farther than the misses sizes, depending on the pattern.

For a PDF version of this chart - for downloading or printing - click here.

One Size (check pattern for finished measurements)

132 Moroccan Burnoose*

150 Hungarian Szur*

151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu*

152 Scottish Kilt*

207 Kinsale Cloak

271 Sunset Wrap 

Patterns that go up to XL (or size 18)

101 Gaza Dress

111 Nepali Blouse

112 Japanese Field Clothing*

113 Japanese Kimono*

118 Tibetan Panel Coat

119 Sarouelles

131 Tibetian Chupa & Skirt

133 Belgian Military Chief's Jacket*

139 Vietnamese Ao Dai

140 Flamenco Dress & Practice Skirt

141 Korean Han-Bok

145 Chinese Pajamas*

153 Siberian Parka

231 Big Sky Riding Skirt

254 Swing Coat

255 Swing Suit

261 Paris Promenade Dress

263 Countryside Frock Coat*

264 Monte Carlo Dress

266 Greek Island Dress

503 Poiret Cocoon Coat

Patterns that go to 2XL (or size 20)

108 Turkish Dancer

116 Shirts of Ukraine and Russia*

117 Croatian Shirt*

120 Navajo Blouse and Skirt

129 Japanese Hapi & Haori*

130 Australian Bush Outfit*

143 Japanese Michiyuki

144 Tribal Style Belly Dancer

204 Missouri River Boatman's Shirt*

240 Rosie the Riveter

242 Rodeo Cowgirl Jacket

243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

251 Varsity Jacket

252 Beach Pyjamas

253 Vintage Bathing Costume

256 At The Hop (1950's)

264 Monte Carlo Dress

508 Traveling Suit

Patterns up to 3XL (or size 22)

122 Hong Kong Cheongsam

124 Bolivian Milkmaid's Jacket

134 South Asian Tops & Wraps

137 Australian Drover's Coat*

142 Old Mexico Dress

157 Moroccan Djellaba

202 Victorian Shirt*

203 Edwardian Underthings

205 Gibson Girl Blouse

209 Walking Skirt

210 Armistice Blouse

219 Intimacies

223 A Lady's Chemise

249 1930's Day Dress

267 M' Lady's Corset

268 Metropolitan Suit

270 Metro Middy Blouse

 

 

Fabric suggestions - #225 Childhood Dreams

By Molly Hamilton
on July 20, 2017

Fabric suggestions - #225 Childhood Dreams

Our #225 Childhood Dreams pattern is on sale for all of July.  This cute dress or nightgown is really a fairly easy garment to sew. And, one of the really fun things about it are all the adorable and beautiful prints out there to make it in.  This garment can be made with cotton lawn, voile, flannel, or even quilting cottons - and there are so many choices.  Even I had a very hard time trying to make any specific suggestions for this post.  Instead, I am going with one fabric in a "collection" or group of fabrics.  Enjoy! And, don't forget to post what your sew on Instagram and Facebook and tag us!  We want to see what you make!

jess and jean.jpg

A Liberty of London Tana Lawn, of course.  For an heirloom dress of beauty and softness, this is hard to beat.  (this is Jess and Jean from Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique)

 

Best Tree On The Lot Holiday Lights Quilting Fabric - White

This pattern would also make a perfect Christmas nightgown.  And, Christmas fabrics are now hitting the fabric stores.  This one is at The Fabric Depot.

 

And, there are many adorable flannel prints (and plaids, which would also be pretty) available (Hart's Fabric has this one in their large collection).  I love the elephants, of course, because of the great memories of Africa!

 

 

Pattern Profile: Greek Island Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on May 15, 2017

Greek Island Dress #266

Greek Island Dress with jacket

Greek Island Dress with jacket, back

Greek Island Dress with tunic

Greek Island Dress with tunic, back

Greek Island Dress with tunic, sleeves

The early 1900s witnessed many avant-garde innovations as people freed themselves from the constraints of the late Victorian society.  Both fashion and the arts were tremendously affected by new interpretations of classical styles, with outright revolts against recent tradition.  Isodora Duncan (1878-1927) was an influential figure in the 19010s and today is regarded as the founder of modern dance.  She revolutionized dance with her free-form interpretive movements and scandalized audiences by wearing non-restrictive, flowing robes that she adapted from Classical Greek vase paintings. 

Our Greek Island Dress pays homage to this unforgettable woman.  The dress is a Greek Island Dress line drawingsloose fitting sheath with back zipper and narrow shoulder straps.  A jacket or tunic is made to be worn over the sheath dress.  The jacket has a center back goddet that adds flair without adding fullness and a dramatic collar that extends over the sleeves like a filmy canopy.  The tunic is a breeze to sew, with front and back sailor collar and floating sleeve panels that can hang or be attached along the top of the arm.  This classic dress/tunic is on trend right now, with statement sleeves and the cold-shoulder look. 

We are featuring #266 Greek Island Dress this month, and it is on sale for the entire month of May!  This dress would make a fabulous summer gown to wear at a wedding or to the beach.  Made of soft filmy fabrics like chiffons or gauze, it is a perfect and unique summer make.  Do you have some beautiful sheer fabric in your stash and not sure what to do with it?  This is the dress to try!

Also, to help you make this dress, I will be posting some tips on sewing with sheer and lace lacy fabrics later this month.  So, keep an eye out for it!

Enjoy!

 

Bonnie's Pattern Shop - a Folkwear stockist

By Molly Hamilton
on May 11, 2017

Bonnie's Pattern Shop - a Folkwear stockist

I love the great small businesses that stock Folkwear patterns!  They are fabric stores, sewing supply shops, online retailers, specialists in historic costuming, and on and on. Folkwear can be found in their shops all through the US, and also in Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, and Germany.  These stores and shops are committed to providing high quality sewing supplies and fabulous customer service.  You can see a list of all the companies who stock Folkwear patterns on our Stockist page. 

I am going to occasionally post short interviews with Folkwear stockists here on the blog, so you can learn about these great small businesses and check out what else they do.

Bonnie's Pattern Shop has been selling Folkwear patterns for over 8 years.

Tell us a little about your business.

I began selling patterns online around 2001, and it quickly grew.  I offer a wide range of patterns (over 350 different patterns!) for the family, home, pets, and crafts.  I specialize in designs from independent pattern companies not found in most stores.  I offer many patterns for historic costumes ranging from medieval through the mid-1900s.  I have a large selection of patterns for Colonial, Pioneer, Victorian, Western, and Civil War ear clothing.

I also carry many patterns for Native American moccasins and costumes for Pow Wows.  I offer many patterns for gymnastics and skating costumes as well.  My customers have included movie, TV, and theater production companies.  I love being in the pattern business.

How can people find you?

I am on several sites: www.bonniespatternshop.com

eBay: http://stores.ebay.com/Bonnies-Pattern-Shop

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BonniesPatternShop?ref=si_shop

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bonniespatternshop/

Anything else you want to let us know about?

Customer service is extremely important!  I take care in preparing packages to arrive safely to the buyers.  Packages are mailed promptly and buyers are sent confirmation with tracking numbers. 

So many patterns!  Thanks, Bonnie!

Hats - Miss Fisher, Metropolitan, and Derby

By Molly Hamilton
on May 05, 2017
2 comments

Hats - Miss Fisher, Metropolitan, and Derby

I just finished watching my first episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on PBS, and though I've heard a lot about the great clothing on the show (and it is great), Miss Fisher's hats were my favorite.  I love the colors, embellishments, and the style.  They are fabulous and she wears them well! 

We are featuring the #269 Metropolitan Hat this month (May) in our store.  It is a great hat to start building your own hat collection, and similar in style to Miss Fisher.  There are so many ways to interpret this hat - from floppy linens to structured wools, fabric prints, and pins, bands, flowers, or your own creation to add to the brim.  This hat can be a statement piece or a casual sun hat (and it makes a great sun hat!).  I created a new Pinterest board that is starting off with hat inspiration for the Metropolitan Hat (Board is called Hats and Bags, so I'll be filling it up with Folkwear hat and bag photos and inspirations).  The Metropolitan Hat is on sale  this month!

All the hat inspiration also came from the excitement leading up to the Kentucky Derby - and all the amazing creations coming from that event (or series of events).  One of my best friends is from Louisville and she always shares photos of her friends attending Oaks and Derby in their incredible hats.  I love seeing the creativity and color of those hats.  My friend also pointed to Dee's Hats as great place to get hats made in Louisville, and their website was fun to look at, so if you love hats, you should check it out.

Happy Hat Making!

And, as always, we love to see what people are making, so tag us if you post pictures on Instagram or Facebook or Pinterest.  Or, join the Facebook Folkwear Patterns Sewing Group and let us all see what you've made!

 

Kimono Fabric Suggestions (and some tips for online fabric shopping)

By Molly Hamilton
on April 25, 2017
1 comment

Kimono Fabric Suggestions (and some tips for online fabric shopping)

Sometimes it is hard to find just the right fabric for your sewing project.  Especially since local fabric stores carrying a wide selection of garment fabrics are not a reality for many of us.  Often, we are left with the option of online fabric shopping.

Shopping for fabric online can be daunting.  Is the color going to be right? the weight? the texture? fabric content?

A couple of things I do to make sure (or at least as close to sure as I can be) that I get good fabric that works for the garment I am making are:

  • I order fabric from a store I trust.  This is my number one tip, but it takes a little experience to learn who to trust. I go from other people's recommendations or the reputation of a company, or how long it has been around, or sometimes my gut feeling from the information they provide on their site.  If they provide lots of information, are candid and detailed in fabric descriptions, and contact information is easy to find, website is easy to navigate - this all helps. Reviews of the shop or fabric are helpful, especially if shopping on Etsy or other similar sites.  It is also a great idea to call the store if you are unsure about a fabric.  If it is a trusted store, their salespeople will be able to help you pick the right fabric (match colors, etc) because they are on the floor with the fabric.
  • I try to order fabric that lists the weight of the fabric in the description, and definitely won't order fabric if the content is not listed.  You want to know what the fabric is made of, as well as the weave/knit (crepe, twill, jersey, etc.) - which will tell you how it might perform for the pattern you are using. A fabric weight will tell you more about how heavy, or thick, the fabric is, and therefore its appropriateness for your pattern. A good description helps!
  • Go online with an idea of the fabric desired.  It is overwhelming to try and browse fabric online.  That is why I go into shopping for fabric online with a baseline.  I might decide a rayon crepe or a drapey silk would be great for a garment I am planning.  So, I will eliminate the website overload-overwhelm by being able to navigate or search for exactly the fabric content I'm interested in.  Or, the color I want, or the weight.  It helps narrow down the possibilities quickly.
  • Order swatches.  I don't always do this, especially with websites who I trust as fabric sources.  But, for expensive fabrics, matching colors, or fabrics I am just not sure about, I will order swatches.  This step can save you lots of money!  So, does calling the store.

So, after all those tips, I am going to leave you with a few fabrics I would love to use to make our Japanese Kimono.  We picked these out from some of the fabric stores we trust as online sources., but there are many more out there, so you can see this as just a starting point.

Rifle Paper Co Wonderland Black from Harts Fabric. This is a beautiful and popular fabric. 100% rayon. $14.79/yard.

Japanese Dragons - BlueJapanese Dragons - Blue from Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics. 100% cotton.  $11.90/yard

Rayon Challis Crane Print - RedRayon Challis Crane Print - Red from Stone Mountatin & Daughter Fabrics.  Rayon challis with a fluid drape and hand.  This light fabric and a pretty print would make a beautiful and drape-y kimono. $11/yard.

VF155-13 Bruce Botanical - Satin-Faced Silk Print FabricBruce Botanical Satin Faced Silk Print from Vogue Fabrics.  This is a beautiful print that I think would make a lovely kimono. 100% silk.  $12.99/yard.

VF155-02 Universe Nuance - Sunstone Abstract Cotton Print FabricSunstone Abstract Cotton Print from Vogue Fabrfics.  100% cotton, medium weight batic.  $8.99/yard.

Geishas & Ginkos - Ginkos - ML291729 - PurpleGeishas and Ginkos - Purple from Michael Levin.  100% chambray. $13.75/yard.

Genuine Handwoven Ikat - ML296748 - Raspberry / GreyGenuine Handwoven Ikat - Raspberry/Gray from Michael Levin.  100% cotton.  A traditional eastern look - very beautiful.  $18.50/yard.

 

 

Kimono Inspiration

By Molly Hamilton
on April 17, 2017

Kimono Inspiration

Kimonos are a beautiful and classic garment of Japanese origin and influence.  The Folkwear Kimono pattern is for the yukata, or unlined informal kimono, worn by all classes of Japanese in summer.  The word "kimono" literally means "clothing" but has come to distinguish the Japanese national costume from other clothes. 

Kimonos are great garments to be used as robes, house coats, jackets, or outwear.  They can be statement pieces or simple and elegant garments.  Kimonos can be made with beautiful silks, medium to lightweight cottons (cotton gauze is a favorite of mine right now)., or even heavier fabrics like denim or brocade.

I found a great book in our collection entitled Kimono Inspiration: Art and Art-to-Wear in America, from the Textile Museum at George Washington University. I've put some pictures from the book on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.  If you want to know more about the history and tradition of kimonos, as well as see some amazing artistic interpretations of them, you should check out this book.  Kimonos can be a canvas for your art - quilting, painting, dying, embroidery, weaving, etc. 

Traditional kimonos are a work of art themselves, so however you want to make one (traditional interpretation or modern art interpretation), it is a rewarding garment to make.

In our kimono pattern, we give information on the history and use of the kimono, styling and dress information, and instructions for traditional handwork (sashiko) and dyeing (shibori). 

Have you ever made a kimono?  What would you be inspired to make now?

** FYI, #113 Japanese Kimono is on sale for all of April (it is a great deal).  Enjoy! **

Pattern Profile: #107 Afghan Nomad Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on March 20, 2017
1 comment

Pattern Profile: #107 Afghan Nomad Dress

  

I am starting a series of blog posts (called "Pattern Profiles") that will provide a little more information on each pattern - from its history to geographical, cultural, and historical context, to sewing info.  I won't be going in pattern numerical order, but will be picking patterns due to their popularity, seasonality, or perhaps just by whim.  So, I hope you'll follow along and enjoy!  (and feel free to suggest a pattern for us to cover)

And, I want to start this series with #107 Afghan Nomad Dress.  This dress has gotten some love lately: a few customers have sent me pictures of their creations (above), and one is being shown right now at the NYC Museum of Art and Design exhibit "Counter-Couture" (the very top one).  It seems everyone who has made this dress loves it.

The pattern features a full skirt and high-waisted bodice, with full three-piece sleeves and arm gussets.  With no zippers or button closures (just an opening in the back), this dress is not hard to construct, and can be a way to display multiple beautiful fabrics. 

This dress is traditionally worn by nomadic women in Afghanistan and neighboring countries (along the "Silk Road").  Typically, the dresses have embroidery at all the openings - neck, cuffs, and hem.  This is said to repel evil spirits.  The Folkwear pattern includes three traditional embroidery patterns, as well as some techniques for adding fringe, beads, and shisha mirrors.

Various fabrics are often used in one dress - plain or printed cotton, silk, and sometimes patches of velvet.  To be most authentic when making this dress, you can mix colors and prints will wild abandon! The traditional costume is completed by a veil hanging down the back and gathered trousers under the skirt.  But, this dress is great however you wish to wear it. 

 

New fashion exhibit in NYC has Folkwear connection

By Molly Hamilton
on March 12, 2017

New fashion exhibit in NYC has Folkwear connection

It seems like the 1960s and 70s are “in” right now.  There has been a renewed interest in the era of free love, peace movements, and the creativity that sprang from youth of the time, especially around fashion. The 1960s and 1970s were known for the renewed and creative use of traditional textile craft such as embroidery, applique, dying, and crochet in clothing to create unique and colorful garments.  There is a great article in this month's Vanity Fair about the summer of 1967 and its impact on fashion and culture in America - the era from which Folkwear sprang (note: link only show pictures from article, you must be a subscriber to read the article).


This month a new exhibit called “Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in American Counterculture” opened at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City.  This exhibition was organized by Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington, and curated by Guest Curator Michael Cepress.  And, Folkwear has a connection to it!


One of the original Folkwear dresses is in the collection on display.  Alexandra Jacopetti Hart, one of the founders of Folkwear designed and created the dress when creating the Afghan Nomad Dress (#107) pattern when they founded the company in the mid 1970s. 

#107 Afghan Nomad Dress

Folkwear's #107 Afghan Nomad Dress on exhibit at the NY MAD Counter-Couture exhibit.  Made by Alexandra Hart.


If you want to check out the exhibit, click on any of the links below and you will see great photos of the garments on display - and learn quite a bit more about the period and fashion.  See if you can spot Folkwear’s Afghan Nomad Dress!  Bonus if you can find a version of the Gaza Dress (#101) in there too!

Exhibit is open until August 10, 2017

Links to view exhibit (if you can't make it to NYC):

Exhibition Link Online with photos of the installation: http://madmuseum.org/exhibition/counter-couture

New York Times Video:

https://www.facebook.com/nytimesstyles/videos/1429433023762899/


Womenswear Daily:

http://wwd.com/eye/lifestyle/inside-counter-couture-handmade-fashion-in-counterculture-at-the-museum-of-arts-and-design-10829075/


Arts Summary - A Visual Tour:

https://artssummary.com/2017/03/05/counter-couture-handmade-fashion-in-an-american-counterculture-at-museum-of-arts-and-design-march-2-august-20-2017/


Stylecurated:

http://stylecurated.blogspot.com/2017/03/counter-couture-handmade-fashion-in.html


Accessories Magazine:

https://www.accessoriesmagazine.com/149349/museum-arts-design-opens-counter-couture-exhibit

The History of Folkwear

By Molly Hamilton
on March 10, 2017
3 comments

Founders of Folkwear - from Fiber Arts Magazine

The History of Folkwear
In the mid-1970s, three California women, Barbara Garvey, Alexandra (Jacopetti) Hart, and Ann Wainwright, founded Folkwear to share their passion for finely crafted ethnic clothing with other lovers of fiber and fabric. The garments they collected during travels to other countries served as models for the earliest Folkwear patterns, including #101 Gaza Dress and #106 Turkish Coat. As the three began collecting vintage garments in addition to ethnic, the pattern line expanded to include all types of historic styles from all around the world.

 Photo from Fiber Arts Magazine

The three founders were a perfect team to create a line of innovative patterns that was revolutionary for its time—this was the mid 1970s when women's wear in America was bland and conservative. Ann was trained in the fashion trade and was the company's pattern maker, Alexandra was an embroidery aficionado and researched all the embellishment techniques featured in the patterns, and Barbara was particularly interested in preserving traditional and vintage garments as a basis for contemporary creative inspiration.

 

During the recession of the mid-1980s, Folkwear's business health suffered along with so many other small businesses. The company was sold to The Taunton Press, publisher of Threads magazine, and by the early 1990s most of the original patterns were back in print and new patterns were under development.

 

In 1998, Taunton decided to focus on its core book/magazine publishing business and sold the Folkwear division to Lark Books, publisher of Fiberarts magazine and assorted craft books, located in Asheville, North Carolina. Kate Mathews, former Fiberarts editor and author of several Lark sewing titles, was hired to manage Folkwear. She was familiar with Folkwear, having sewn with the patterns since their beginning and having sold them in her weaving and fiber supply store in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the 1970s.

 Kate Mathews in an article for the Asheville Citizen Times in 2009.

In 2002, Mathews purchased the Folkwear pattern division. Folkwear became, yet again, an independent, woman-owned firm, just like it was in its earliest days. Mathews ran Folkwear for 14 years, adding many new patterns to the collection.  Folkwear was sold in late 2016 to Molly Hamilton, a young woman and fellow sewer) in Asheville who currently owns and runs the company.  Through it all, the company has retained a loyal group of fans who keep the passion for vintage and ethnic garments alive!

 

So many different types of people use Folkwear patterns. There are historic re-enactors, Renaissance Faire participants, theater costume designers, and lovers of creative art-to-wear. Residents of historic neighborhoods and members of antique auto clubs use the patterns to dress to the appropriate historic period for their annual events. Folks who adopt children from other countries use the patterns to teach the little ones about their native cultures. Swing, tango, and ballroom dancers love to use the patterns for their passion. Living history museums and Universal Studios dress their staff in Folkwear patterns. The male actors in the first television episode of The Lonesome Dove all wore a Folkwear pattern (#204 Missouri River Boatman's Shirt). Different patterns have been used in monasteries, Buddhist ashrams, and in children's hospitals (worn by traditionally-costumed Santas). There has even been a custom seamstress who made Folkwear's Victorian patterns in sheer and transparent fabrics for the adult entertainment industry. From theme weddings (Scottish, 1920s, and Japanese) to everyday wear that is more interesting than jeans and tee-shirts, Folkwear offers the perfect pattern.

 

-- written by Kate Mathews - fiber artist, sewer, weaver, and former owner of Folkwear