New Product! Organic Silk Embroidery Thread

By Molly Hamilton
on September 22, 2017

New Product!  Organic Silk Embroidery Thread

I am so excited about a new product we are carrying in the Folkwear store: naturally dyed, organic Eri silk embroidery thread!  

This thread comes from Botanica Tinctoria, a company that sources sustainably made trims, voile, and threads.  Eri silk is durable and strong (and the worm is not killed in the processing).  The thread is GOTS-certified organic, and is dyed with natural materials and safe mordants in a closed loop process in India.  You can feel good about using this thread.

We carry Madder Red and Mid-Indigo Blue - two colors that are traditionally used in clothing embroidery in many cultures.  This 8-stranded thread will be perfect to use, separated (and often together), for any embroidery stitching on 107 Afghan Nomad Dress, any of the garments in 109 Little Folks, 142 Old Mexico Dress, 209 Walking Skirt, and many others.  There are so many uses for embroidery thread in our patterns when doing traditional handwork - from couching (Afghan Nomad Dress) to applique (Hungarian Szur, Big Sky Riding Skirt) to quilting (Turkish Coat, Quilted Prairie Skirt).

Environmentally and socially sustainable, and used to create hand-sewn, beautiful garments - this thread is the opposite of fast fashion.  We are proud to carry such a product and can't wait to see what you make with it!

Outlander Costumes and Folkwear

By Molly Hamilton
on September 19, 2017
1 comment

Outlander Costumes and Folkwear

Have you been watching the Outlander series on Starz?  I have read most of the books by Diana Gabaldon, and I have seen a few episodes of the show.  I enjoyed the books and the shows that I watched, but I know there are a lot of huge fans of Claire and Jamie out there.  Outlander is getting a lot of interest and press lately as a new season has just started.  What has struck me most, when watching the shows and reading about the shows, is the costumes.  They are well done and beautiful!  I found a few articles recently about the costumes from Outlander and how they were made.  You can read about them here and here.  And you can read more about the costumes and what goes into making them on the costume designer, Terry Dresbach's blog.  Very interesting!   

All of this also made me think of Folkwear patterns and creating some of the looks from the Outlander shows.  Of course, 152 Scottish Kilt would be perfect - kilt, Prince Charlie Jacket, vest - to get Scottish Jamie's look.  The 102 French Cheesemaker's Smock or the 116 Shirts of Russian and Ukraine are also a great shirt patterns for the time period. Also, 267 M'Lady's Corset and 207 Kinsale Cloak are iconic of the time and place, respectively. For the 1940's, tailored-Claire-look, our 133 Belgian Military Jacket, 250 Hollywood Pants, and 263 Countryside Frock Coat (for Frank too) would work well.  And, of course, for such a steamy show, 219 Intimacies is appropriate!

What do you think of the Outlander costumes?  Which patterns would you use to create an Outlander look?

Folkwear's 2017 Fall Costume Guide

By Molly Hamilton
on September 06, 2017

Folkwear's 2017 Fall Costume Guide

Our guide to help you find the perfect costume to sew for yourself and everyone in your family. 

We have set out a few themes below, some with patterns for women, men, and children to fit those ideas.  So, if you like, your whole family (or friend group) can dress up together!

Ren Flair

Austrian Dirndl

123 Austrian Dirndl – a classic Renaissance outfit, or for an Oktoberfest beer maiden

108 Turkish Dancer – gorgeous flowing sleeves with a vest – perfect made from tissue silk

102 French Cheesemaker's Smock – classic men's shirt for any Renaissance theme

144 Tribal Belly Dancer – pieces from this pattern make fun Ren Fair wear

267 M'Lady's Corset – great and relatively simple corset – such a great costume piece

20's Classy Act Couple

Dress up like F. Scott and Zelda for a night on the town

Monte Carlo Dress

264 Monte Carlo Dress

238 Le Smoking Jacket


So many of our patterns can be made into fabulous Steampunk costumes.  A great fabric choice, then add your own flair to finish the following, and you'll be set!

M'Lady's Corset

230 Model T Duster

133 Belgian Military Chef's Jacket

209 Walking Skirt

267 M'Lady's Corset

216 School Mistress' Outfit

American Western Family

This is an easy costume – a western shirt (212 or 218) with jeans and cowboy boots.  But, if you want it a little more involved, try the Big Sky Riding Skirt or add some fringe to the Rodeo Cowgirls Jacket and Skirt.  So fun!

Big Sky Riding Skirt

212 Five Frontier Shirts

218 Child's Frontier Shirt

231 Big Sky Riding Skirt

242 Rodeo Cowgirl Jacket

243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

Child's Frontier Shirt

Forest Friends

Harkening back to Celtic Britain, these patterns would be perfect in natural colors and fibers, or with nature themed fabric – eco-printed silk or wool, or naturally dyed muslin, or beautiful tweed.

Kinsale Cloak

207 Kinsale Cloak

208 Kinsale Cloak for Young Maidens

110 Little Kittel (for the young ones)

148 Black Forest Smock

Kinsale Cloak for Young Maidens

Folkwear goes to NYC

By Molly Hamilton
on August 28, 2017
1 comment

Folkwear goes to NYC

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Trim and Ebellishments for a Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

By Molly Hamilton
on August 14, 2017

Trim and Ebellishments for a Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

Our #243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt is perfect for trimming out with studs, fringe, or other fun trims. 

Recommended fabrics for the skirt are denim, cotton (including quilting cotton, where you can get so many great and fun prints), linen, leather, lace (applique), and light to medium weight silk.  

Finding good sources of trim, such as studs or leather fringe, can be difficult.  I've tracked a few on-line places down and have listed them below.  We'd love to hear how you embellish your skirt (or other garments), so send us an email or tag us in a social media pic, or post to our Facebook group (Folkwear Patterns Sewing Group)!

  • Vogue Fabrics has some great fringe (surry, rayon chainette, and beaded).  They also have some fabulous metal trims in many shapes, and rhinestones.

  • Michael Levine has a selection of rhinestone appliques, star studs, and fringe trims.

  • M&J Trimming (NYC) has a large selection of fringe trims (chainette, feather, beaded, and a few leather) as well as rhinestones.

  • Walco Leather Co. Inc. is located in NYC, and is the only one listed here without an online store.  You must either go to their store in person, or get in touch with them to place an order.  Walco Leather has beautiful leather trim, and can also provide custom leather trim. Phone: 212-243-2244 or email:

  • And, VV Rouleaux (who I discovered in England the other week) has many gorgeous fringe, lace, and ribbon trims.  Probably worth the shipping cost to the US!

Rosie the Riveter and Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

By Molly Hamilton
on August 04, 2017

Rosie the Riveter and Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

#240 Rosie the Riveter and #243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt are on sale this month.  Check out these photos from a recent shoot for a little inspiration. 

#240 Rosie the Riveter, overalls and pants

#243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

August News from Folkwear

By Molly Hamilton
on August 01, 2017
1 comment

August News from Folkwear

Patterns of the Month (on sale for all of August):

#240 Rosie and Riveter:  Based on the clothing working women wore in the late 1930s and 1940s when they moved to factory jobs during WWII, these clothes were practical and became an iconic style.  Our #240 Rosie the Riveter pattern includes pattern and instructions to make pleated overalls and pants pants, a button up camp shirt, and a crocheted snood (to keep hair in place), and even a knitting pattern for a cardigan sweater. There is so much in this pattern, making it a great deal! 

#243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt - Another staple garment, or one to make into a great costume!  This skirt is simple, fun, and versatile. This A-line skirt can be made simply, or embellished profusely. Options for applique, bottom flounce, adding fringe, or embroidery make this pattern interesting and allow you to create your own unique garment.  Great for a dance hall or just a fun everyday skirt!

Plus-sized patterns.  You've asked for them, and Folkwear has been working to provide them.  We now have a list of all our patterns that come in larger sizes on the blog.  I will create a permanent link to this list (and add to it as we grade up patterns) and have it to share whenever needed.  While some of our patterns only go up to size large, I think you will be impressed by how many go up into plus sizes, so I hope this will be helpful!

Visiting England.  I have been in England this past week, visiting family, but also making a point to get to see some great textile, sewing, and fashion locations.  We went to the Fashion Museum in Bath (blog post to come soon), and it was impressive and beautiful.  A definite must-see in the area.  We spent most of our time in Bristol, but also a few days near London, and made it to the Victoria and Albert Museum and Liberty.

More travel this month for Folkwear!!  I am heading to New York City later this month to catch the last days of the Counter-Couture exhibit at the NY Museum of Art and Design.  The exhibit contains a few Folkwear garments, made in the 1970s by fashion artists (and one by co-founder of Folkwear, Alexandra Hart Jacopetti).  I am excited to see them in person, and I am planning to catch a few other fashion museums in the city, as well as take a quick trip to the garment district.

A Fashionable Trip to Bath

By Molly Hamilton
on July 29, 2017

A Fashionable Trip to Bath

On our second day in England, we took a train to Bath to see some sites and visit the Fashion Museum there.  The Romans built the first "baths" here in 74 AD, and the town of Bath grew up around them.  Eventually, by the late 1700s, Bath became a fashionable place to come for the healing waters and to be "seen".   It is still a quaint and beautiful town with great shops and cultural sites.

We headed first to the Fashion Museum. I've heard about this museum for a while - always touted as a "must-see".  And, it really was a gem!  Located in the Assembly Rooms (the place to be in 19th century England), the museum is well set up, small, and beautiful.

Assembly Room ceiling

Two exhibitions were on display at the museum when we were there: A History of Fashion in 100 Objects and Lace in Fashion.  They were well curated and simply impressive.  The 3 children we had with us enjoyed the museum as well.  The exhibitions kept them interested and there were some fun activities (great dress up and some fashion plates to color). 

I found a few garments of interest to Folkwear in the 100 Objects exhibit - either because they were garments that Folkwear has patterns for or because some the details of the garments relate to a Folkwear pattern.  There were also a few garments that I was inspired to learn more about, as possible future Folkwear patterns.

A quilted skirt from the mid-1700s.  Skirt were quilted, just like our 206 Quilted Prairie Skirt, to provide more warmth for the garment.  Quilting provides interest and beauty to the garment while being practical.  I had not realized that quilted skirts had been around for a while!


A frock coat from the 1790s.  This fine English wool coat is well-cut and handsome.  These coats became popular about this time because of its simplicity, which mirrored the popular "back to nature" philosophy of the time.  Some critics derided this fashion because originally a "frock" was a working man's dress, but these had become popular in the upper classes.  Folkwear has a pattern for a frock coat (263 Countryside Frock Coat) but is cut differently than this one.


Traveling suit from the 1910s, specifically, right around the time of WWI.  This would not have been called a suit at the time, since men wore suits and this was obviously for women.  Also, remarkable is the fact that this was the first dress/skirt that was shortened to above the ankle - so became an important (and slightly shocking) garment.  Folkwear's 508 Traveling Suit is very similar to this one.


A Chinese influenced Beach Pyjamas.  These beach pyjamas are made of silk and include Chinese embroidery.  Beach Pyjamas were some of the first pants that women wore, and helped usher in their popularity.  You could make a set like these with our 252 Beach Pyjamas.

 I also loved the Lace in Fashion exhibit, as I admire lace, the history of it, how it is made, its beauty, and how it can be used.  I usually don't have the confidence to use lace in most of my sewing, but I am now inspired to try more. 


This is one garment in the Lace exhibit that related to Folkwear patterns - this cocoon coat had lace overlaid on the upper/collar part of the coat and at the lower sleeves.  It was a beautiful coat and a unique way to use lace in this garment.  Our 503 Poiret Cocoon Coat is very similar.

I am only posting this gown above because I literally fell in love with it. The lace overlay, the colors, the cut, the metallic gems on the sides, the design - I loved it all.  This was my personal favorite, and my heart aches a little when I think of it (see, I really did fall in love with it).

After visiting this wonderful little museum, we headed toward the Roman Bath, but we stopped by a trim store that caught our eye with its colorful window display.  VV Rouleaux was the most interesting and prettiest trim shop I've ever seen.  I bought some braided buttons and some leather fringe trim, but I could have spent lots more time (and money) there!  They have a shop online as well, which I will definitely be returning to. 

Finally, on our way back to the train station, we stopped at a tiny little quilt and sewing store where I found a beautiful striped cotton fabric, so bought a few meters (for what project, I don't know yet). 

So, all in all, our fashionable trip to Bath was quite a success.  I hope to get back again!


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!

PLEASE NOTE: Fabrics used as examples in blog may go out of stock from store.  If link is invalid for specific product, there may be another fabric from the supplier that you can substitute.  These suggestions are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written!

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!



Mid-Summer Sale - all patterns (and notions) 20% off with sale code!

By Molly Hamilton
on July 15, 2017

Mid-Summer Sale - all patterns (and notions) 20% off with sale code!

We are entering (or already in) the dog days of summer in the eastern US.  It is hot, humid, days are long, and there is lots to do.  Which makes it hard to get into the sewing room sometimes.  So, to help inspire you to do so, we are having a summer sale - 20% off everything until the end of the month!

Use code SUMMER20 at checkout to get 20% off your order!