How to Print Patterns on this Blog


I’ve had an usually high number of requests recently on how to print patterns from this blog.  I use Adobe to print.  I’ve tried some of the other PDF readers out there and have not been satisfied with the results.

Go into print, select poster, and print.  You will have to cut out the pieces and tape them together with this method.  I have also uploaded the files to local print shops when pressed for time and had them printed on wide format printers.  It’s usually about the price of a new pattern msrp. Most of the time I have enough leeway to spend the time cutting and taping.

how to print

This will give you a preview on the right of how it will look and how many pages it will print.  If you are on a mac, I’m sorry I really don’t have the experience to help you.

I draft all patterns at full size so they should print full size under Adobe.  Good luck and please keep the questions coming.  I answer more quickly if you put your questions in the comments under the post.  I’m having some technical difficulties with the email address associated with this blog.

Thank You!


1480s Italian Giornea Overdress

drawing giornea

Jacquelyne Aubuchon 2014 after Domenico Ghirlandaio




























When it comes to Renaissance costuming, one piece that almost immediately comes to mind is the Giornea.  This dress was the top most layer worn over a house dress and a chemise.  It is often sold at fairs and festivals as a starter piece for the women’s wardrobe.  The first medievalish costume I ever bought was one of these dresses.

An excellent artist to look at when considering your overdress is Dominic Giorlandio. 

This is a simple tabbard like garment.  Open at the sides, it is worn belted or loose.

Click here for pattern. Women’s Giornea Size 6-18.



Dressing Renaissance Florence:  Families, Fortunes, and Fine Clothing. Carole Collier Frick, The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, 2002.

Dress of the Venetians.  Stella Mary Newton.  Scholar Press, 1988.

Late 15th Century Italian Women’s Gamurra

Festive Attyre: Florentine Dress: 1475-1500

Sophie Stitches; 15th Century; Italian Gamurra & Girnea



Children’s Hooded Robe


Sorry for the extended absence.  2012 has been hard on a lot of families including our own.  My husband had an extended lay off and now has decided to be a foreign worker in Canada to support us, so hopefully I can get back on the ball now.  Effectively being a single parent to two little ones is an amazing change in my life and props to all the women raising children on their own out there.  I had no idea.

For patterns, I have a lot of ideas and I love getting requests.  If they are for kids, I don’t mind trying to put together free patterns and sharing them.  In August, someone requested the pattern for a hooded robe like I used on my kids Jedi costumes.  I’m horrified it took me so long to get to it.  I do a lot of side jobs and two of them sucked all my time this fall.  I finally finished it this morning.  Please let me know if you have any problems with it.  The hood is one size fits all because it pleats into the collar.   My kids have giant heads so it should work.

Here it is:

boys and girls robe

Men’s T’ai Chi Jacket


There is a style of jacket that American’s identify with asian culture.  This comes in the form of the neru jacket, Chinese jacket, and the T’ai Chi shirt.  They all have a similar line with slightly different finishing techniques.   This weeks offering is a pattern for a Men’s Chinese style jacket, suitable for practicing T’ai Chi.  One of the benefits of WordPress is that I can track search terms that people are using to get to this site.  This is a pattern term that gets people here almost daily.  No more disappointing stops for my wonderful new readers!

Click here for men’s tai chi pattern.  I hope you enjoy.  Again, this one is untested and I’m questioning the grading that occurred around the armsyes.  Please test pattern on some dollar fabric first to make sure it fits you and good luck!

Women’s Kirtle’s and Cotehardies


I finished the details on a pattern for plus size cotehardies.  Sizes in this range are a little tricky and I think making this out of old sheets first would be wise.  People gain in vastly different ways and you want to be comfortable in this garment.    So here is the plus size women’s pattern:

cotehardies in plus sizes

Roman de la Rose

Detail from Roman de la Rose

I don’t like to duplicate work, so I’m also including a paper I wrote years ago called Women’s Kirtles and Cotehardies.   It was written to teach a one hour class.  It’s one of my favorite things to teach.  So, if you have any problems or questions regarding cotehardies for women, let me know.  I can go on about them all day.

Women’s Kirtles and Cotehardies

Cotehardies in Multiple Sizes


I know this is a repeat, but I spent days trying to learn a computer program that was supposed to make pattern making easier and have gone full circle back to inkscape.  I haven’t given up on the program yet, I have a couple weeks left in the free trial, but so far it feels harder.  Hopefully it will become easier and it can help me get these patterns out faster.  I can grade this in inkscape pretty easy, so I will have 6 and 8 up soon.  I may put up 18, but I’m concerned about grading that far out from size 10.  We will see.

So enough sewing geek talk.

Here’s the new file:

cotehardie back pattern

  cotehardie front pattern

Update:  I did get the 6 – 8 – 10 done more quickly than I expected:

Cotehardie Back Pattern Small Sizes

Cotehardie Front Pattern Small Sizes

I Squidn’t Think I’d Get to Squid Girl


So for my whole adult life, I’ve been pretty obsessed with anime.  Fortunately, I’ve had enough distractions to not let it overtake my life, but wouldn’t that be lovely?

I’m tooling around on the internet today and found a hat pattern made out of polar fleece.  I LOVE polar fleece.  It gives a really cartoony look and is easy to work with.  It’s one of my favorite things to make costumes out of that are based on cartoons.  This is a seriously awesome hat.  It reminded me that I’ve been wanting to do the Squid Girl dress pattern so in the awesomeness that is that Instructable, I decided to move it up the schedule a couple of months and get it out there.  I really need one of these hats, but I have too much to do right now.  Very sad.  So check that out, make one and send me pics so I can live vicariously through you!

Anyway….  Squid Girl……..

Squid Girl is a determined, naive squid with ADD who has come from the depths to conquer humanity so we will stop polluting the ocean.  Underestimating the land dwelling population, she ends up working at a restaurant on the beach in order to start her invasion.  Funny, light hearted, and very entertaining, this show is slightly different than some of the more standard story lines out there.  It’s refreshing and relaxing to watch.  What a cute costume for a little girl though!  Go out to Crunchyroll and watch this show.  Crunchyroll has a free viewing option and is the least annoying site out there with free anime.  I’m a member, be a member.  It’s a pretty great site.

I’ve been debating in my head for a while some ideas for using polar fleece or yarn to make the hat, but the dress is simple.  The instructable gives me an idea though and I believe it could easily be adapted to make a wig for this costume.  Very easily.

Bigger flaps, two colors, more “hair” or tentacles.  It would be fabulous! (Don’t pull it over your eyes, for example).  If you look at the notes on this site, you can see some other people’s interpretation.  Gives me lots of ideas.

So, for the pattern:

Girl’s Squid Girl Pattern (also known as sleeveless dress)

This is in girl’s sizes 7, 8, 10, 12, 14.   So some differences on this pattern.  It’s really easy and pretty intuitive.  I haven’t patterned facings for the neck or arms.  I haven’t written detailed instructions.  If you need them,  contact me.  I would edge the openings in bias tape in blue and use the same blue to stitch on the hem for the decorations.

Good luck and Happy sewing!

Medieval Cotehardie


I had grand plans to offer this all graded out in different sizes this week, but that is just not going to happen.  I’m too busy to grade it by hand and I haven’t learned enough to grade it in the pattern maker software I am testing out.  I do have to make some grocery money this week and I have a huge pile of alterations to get done.

I am a costumer in the SCA which is a medieval enthusiasts group.  One of my pet peeves is when people tell me the Gothic fitted dress would not have been done with princess seams.  It’s not as commonly depicted in medieval artwork and extant finds that I am aware of do not possess this construction technique, but it is seen.  Never say never.  The first one everyone sees is the Fouquet Madonna picture.

ca. 1450 AD

Additional sources:

Victoria and Albert Museum
T. 202-1957
The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries
George Wingfield Digby, assisted by Wendy Hefford
H.M.S.O., London, 1971 ISBN# 0-11-290037-2
Plate II (Roman Numeral 2)

Hours of Adelaide de Savoie
Jean Fouquet
about 1455
Musee Conde, Chantilly, France
Ms. 1362 fol. 21 – The Sibyls and the Virgin
Jean Fouquet
Klaus G. Perls
Editions Hyperion, Paris, 1940
Page 84, Plate 47

Le Boccace de Munich
Jean Fouquet
about 1459
Staatsbibliothek, Munich, Germany
Cod. Gall. 6 fol. 210v – ³Case² of Three Queens Called Cleopatra
Jean Fouquet
Klaus G. Perls
Editions Hyperion, Paris, 1940
Page 159, Plate 159

I like the two in the Falconry tapestry best.  One is “the miller’s wife” in the center, she is spinning, and the other is a barefoot shepherdess.  I have made tons and tons of cotehardies over the years.  My class handout on how to make them can be found on another website here.   Last year I did some commission cotehardies based off a dress that the women already had that they liked.  I don’t do cotehardies on commission any more due to the difficult nature of the fashion.  This garment is designed to make you look hippy and with a belly.  Modern women have a hard time with this.  It’s just not the aesthetic of our current society.  I love the look of this when it is more medieval sadly.  This garment was an early form of corset and is self supporting.  Sometimes when people come to reinactment, they are hesitant to take off the bra and don’t believe this style would be comfortable without one.  That is where this dress pattern comes in.  This gives the right look, is plausibly period, and works better with our modern eye for fashion.  Additionally, it looks better if you wear it over a bra than the other way of cutting it.    They were also insecure about people telling them it wasn’t “period”.  It is, see above documentation.  It’s more important to feel pretty so you can have fun than meet some sort of strange uptight standard anyway.

Today this pattern is in a size 10, the measurements on it would be 36-27.5-37.5 inches.  I sincerely hope to have it graded and up in the next month or two. I have decided to split them due to some trouble I’ve had at Office Max.  Their printers just don’t want to print pages longer than 48″, I’m not sure what to do with that and they can’t seem to tell me how to fix it.  These are each 36 x 60″, but that is as small as I can make a full size print sheet for this particular dress.

cotehardie back

cotehardie front

She's just as pretty on the inside!


Yes, we did it in hot pink! and this is one of my favorite people to dress.

Children’s Gi


Here is the small children’s version of the Gi pattern.  My sons had a great time in these this Halloween using them as costumes.

Pantsless Jedi

3 year old paduwan without pants!

As you can see there are additional layers over and under this gi top.  For this costume I made a little dickie that looked like another layer underneath the gi top.  Since then I have learned that you can use a rectangular piece of fabric to the same effect.

This website about Kosodes is very detailed and informative.  I learned a great deal about some geometric construction in Japanese clothing here.

Here are the Children’s patterns:

children’s gi

children’s gi pants

I wish I were closer to my Tae Kwon Do Master and could continue to train.  I really miss it.  Good luck and as always, if you need help, please contact me at

Me at a martial arts tournament long ago