FashionArchaeologist

Antique Patterns & more, by The Fashion Archaeologist!

Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia · 234 Sales

FashionArchaeologist

Antique Patterns & more, by The Fashion Archaeologist!

Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia 234 Sales On Etsy since 2014

5 out of 5 stars
(31)

Announcement   The Fashion Archaeologist ~ Authentic antique sewing patterns, beautiful replica antique garments, corsets and other treasures.

I also accept a limited number of custom orders to make garments from most of the patterns shown in the shop. Convo me or use the "Request a Custom Order" link.

Add my shop to your "Favourites", and please check back again. More items will be added in the coming weeks.

Announcement

The Fashion Archaeologist ~ Authentic antique sewing patterns, beautiful replica antique garments, corsets and other treasures.

I also accept a limited number of custom orders to make garments from most of the patterns shown in the shop. Convo me or use the "Request a Custom Order" link.

Add my shop to your "Favourites", and please check back again. More items will be added in the coming weeks.

The Fashion Archaeologist

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The Fashion Archaeologist

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5 out of 5 stars
(31)
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About

What is Fashion Archaeology?

I love what I do and I hope that fact is reflected in the care I take in bringing fashion treasures "back to life" through my historical patterns and replica antique garments for others to appreciate and enjoy.

This venture began when I realized that my training as a linguist and historian, together with my background in the theatre and fine arts, and the dressmaking skills I'd perfected, could be used to interpret and republish historical patterns that had almost become lost to time.

These are definitely not your ordinary sewing patterns! Each is the product of several weeks of effort, involving 10 or 11 steps before I'm actually able to publish a completed pattern. Despite being absolutely authentic historically, I strive to make my patterns accessible and in a format that will be familiar to anyone who has used a modern commercial pattern.

What does it take to make a truly great authentic antique sewing pattern?

Step #1 begins with choosing a design that speaks to me for one reason or another. Then comes the incredibly complicated-looking 100-year old (or older) pattern sheet, consisting of intersecting lines of various types, usually in French, and with little by way of directions but a few lines of text (see photo). The first task is to simply identify and trace off the required pattern pieces, and reconstitute the larger pieces from tiny reduced-size sketches. Then I draft any missing pieces such as cuffs, facings, pockets, etc. The result is a collection of taped-together rough looking pattern pieces, full of scribbled notes and pencil lines, ready to be turned into 3-dimensional reality.

Step #2 involves constructing a draft garment in muslin, and grading the design to more modern proportions or in a multi-size. The muslin pieces get scribbled and written all over, sometimes cut up, enlarged, altered and otherwise almost ruined in the process! Sometimes 2 or even 3 test muslins are needed. Once I'm satisfied that I've worked out the issues associated with bringing an antique pattern "back to life", I'm ready for the next step.

Step #3: I transfer all the information I've gathered from the 3-dimensional draft muslin back onto my draft paper pattern pieces. More notes, more scribbling, cutting, piecing, taping, correcting, and general messiness!

Step #4: I set up my pattern file on my laptop computer, and prepare the information I'll need for my sewing instructions. At this point, I assign each pattern piece a number and a name, and transfer those details onto my computer file.

Step #5: I cut out the various pattern pieces to enable me to actually sew a sample garment from the pattern.

Step #6 -- Starting to sew! Here is where multiple skills and knowledge of historical garment construction are required. I have my laptop running next to my sewing table, and while I visualize the construction steps and process (they're never like a modern garment), I write sewing instructions a few steps ahead of where I actually am, and complete those steps with my sewing machine (or hand stitching), making corrections to the text as I go. I then move on to the next portion, and so on, until I have a finished sample garment. This part of the process in itself takes anywhere from several days to 2 or 3 weeks. While I sew, I also make notes of any changes or alterations I may need to make on the paper pattern.

Step #7 - Back to the drawing board! Now drafting skills, intense concentration and attention to detail are essential, to produce my "master pattern" in permanent ink on vellum. This step often takes several days to a week or more, and I thoroughly review the whole pattern before it gets printed.

Step #8 - The pattern master goes off to the print shop to be scanned (and printed on bond paper for the paper patterns I sell).

Step #9 - Now I review and revise the sewing instructions, including finalizing size details, in preparation for publishing the pattern.

Step #10 - Next, I design a pattern cover with a copy of the antique sketch, take photos of the sample garment to include in the pattern listing (and digital file), print out the sewing instructions, then hand-fold and pack the printed pattern, cover, and instructions in a plastic cover. For digital patterns, I compile all the necessary digital files on the computer.

Step #11 - I publish my pattern online, and usually offer my sample garment for sale.

My PDF patterns are sold on Etsy, and the paper and CD versions on eBay (reprinted from time to time). My eBay store can be found at: http://stores.ebay.ca/The-Fashion-Archaeologist.

I sincerely hope you'll find in my patterns and replicas the antique treasures you've been looking for!

I do take a limited number of commissions to make antique replica garments, and can make a custom replica from almost any of my patterns. Contact me for details, or visit my website: www.thefashionarchaeologist.com.

Shop members

  • The Fashion Archaeologist

    Owner, Designer, Creator

Shop policies

Last updated on 23 November, 2014
Welcome to The Fashion Archaeologist, where you'll find past fashions made accessible in my antique sewing patterns and replica antique garments, among other treasures.

My aim is to provide historical sewing enthusiasts and theatrical and film costumers with patterns drawn directly from authentic antique sources, but in more modern sizing and with full, step-by-step English instructions.

Accepted payment methods

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Apple Pay
  • Klarna
  • Sofort
  • Ideal
  • Paypal
  • GiftcardAccepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
Refunds will be accepted within 30 days of purchase on the understanding that you contact me first and that the item is returned in its original condition by insured air parcel service.

On custom orders, refunds are accepted only if there is a significant problem - please contact me to discuss.

Due to the instant download process, digital items are generally non-refundable. However, if you are unhappy with your digital download, please don't hesitate to contact me, either by a convo on Etsy, or by email.
Payment
Payment by Etsy's system, and I also accept Paypal direct payments. Payment is expected within 5 days of purchase. Immediate payment is always appreciated and will allow me to dispatch your item sooner.
Shipping
For tangible items, I always attempt to ship within 1 business day of cleared payment. Although I try my best to give an accurate shipping quote in each listing, sometimes variations are necessary depending on your exact location, and I'll confirm this upon your purchase.

I ship by Canada Post and charge only what the post office charges me. For more valuable items, I will pay for full insurance. If you have any questions at all about shipping options and costs, please don't hesitate to contact me in advance!
Additional policies and FAQs
Custom Order Policies:

On most custom garment orders a 50% deposit will be required to cover the cost of fabrics and trims to be purchased for the project, and for my initial time input. If you choose fabrics that I have on hand in my stock, only a 30% deposit will be required.

Please convo me or use the "Request Custom Order" feature to make a request. Once all details have been agreed, including final price, I'll provide you with the expected completion and delivery dates and will set up a Custom Order listing for the deposit.

I'll keep you informed of my progress on the project, and once completed, I'll create a second Custom Order listing for the remainder of payment, which will be posted on Etsy at a mutually agreed date and time. The listing will remain posted for 24 hours, and payment is expected within 2 days, after which time I will list the item for open sale on Etsy or eBay at a price I set.

I can create a custom garment from practically any pattern design in my 'Edwardian Rose' antique pattern line, provided your measurements fall within the range shown on the pattern. I will consider custom-fitting an order outside those sizes, at additional cost.

Commissions for custom work are completed in the order in which they are received. Because I accept only a few commissions per year, 5 to 8 weeks is the usual completion time, depending upon complexity of the design.