As you may have guessed from my last post, my current project is a set of clothes for my 11-year-old sister! Because I have never made a child’s gown and M lives in New York, I needed a pattern. There are a couple of patterns out there for children gowns and 18th Century Girl’s Gown by Mill Farm Patterns (Designed by Sharon Ann Burnston) is the most commonly used. But I want to talk about a new pattern on the market. Hallie Larkin and Stephanie Smith have been working hard on their new line of patterns and I wanted to try them out. You can buy this pattern on their website At the Sign of the Golden Scissors.
Larkin & Smith market their patterns as a workshop in an envelope and this is exactly what you get. I have used various different 18th Century patterns for other clothing items including Kannik’s Korner, Mill Farm, and JP Ryan. I have also attended a workshop at Burnley and Trowbridge. I have also used books with scaled patterns.
I have found that it is unequivocally easier to make 18th century clothing using the original techniques!
That means no pattern, no sewing machine, no modern sewing techniques. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or can afford to go to every workshop that comes down the pike.
The solution is Larkin & Smith patterns.
The pattern contains the minimal number of pieces needed to create the garment which is refreshing when it comes to a pattern. I mean, do I really need a piece of paper to cut out a rectangle? I just need the dimensions! The included packet walks the user through construction using hand techniques (although some machine tricks are included). The instructions are easy to understand and the result is wonderful. I highly recommend this pattern if you have a reenacting child.