Historic Costume Patterns, Books and Cross Stitch Kits

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Books with general history of costume
(Good for learning to recognize various period styles!)

  • Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Women's Clothes, 1600-1930. London & Boston: Faber & Faber, 1968. [ISBN 0-571-08594-6]

    A standard in the costume field. You should at least be familiar with this one! It will help you to understand the cut of styles of your period, and will also help you to learn to recognize the period of costumes.

  • Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Men's Clothes, 1600-1930. London: Faber & Faber, 1964. [ISBN 0-571-05714-4]
    The companion book to the one above! You should also be familiar with this one, for the same reasons! [No image currently available]
    Cut of Men's Clothes: 1600-1900

  • Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail, Women's dress 1730-1930, Boston: Plays Inc., 1968,1981. [ISBN 0-8238-0260-4]

An excellent resource for understanding the construction of clothing, as well as styles through the periods discussed. Wonderful illustrations of many extant garments, showing the inside, cut and construction details. Also has re-drawn illustrations from original art of the same period as the garment, showing the use and look of the garment as worn.

  • Earle, Alice Morse. Two Centuries of Costume in America, 1620-1820. New York: Macmillan, 1903. Reprinted, Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 1971. [ISBN 0-8048-0969-0]

A two volume set, with lots of basic information. Consider its age in the history of costume research. If you are suspect of anything, try to find other resources to add to the information.

  • Ashelford, Jane. The Art of Dress, Clothes and Society, 1500-1914. London: National Trust, 1996. [ISBN 0-8109-6317-5]
Be Careful! No matter what time period interests you, you are sure to find something to drool over in this book! Lots of color photos of original garments, side by side with contemporary artwork. A must see! cover
The Art of Dress: Clothes and Society,...
  • de Marly, Diana. Dress in North America, The New World 1492-1800. New York & London: Holmes & Meier, 1990. [ISBN 0-8419-1199-1]

    A fascinating book, tying social and political history together with costume history! Helps a lot to understanding changes in dress and reasons for changes. A "good read", cover to cover, as they say!

  • Delpierre, Madeleine. Dress in France in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1997. [ISBN 0-300-07128-0]
    A newer book, discussing female, male and children's clothing, underwear and accessories, clothes for special occasions, uniforms and working class, and more.  cover
    Dress in France in the Eighteenth Century
  • Buck, Anne. Dress in Eighteenth Century England. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1979. [ISBN 0-8419-0517-7]

    Discusses Court to servants and common people, buying and making clothes, fabrics, etc.

  • Ribeiro, Aileen. Dress in Eighteenth Century Europe, 1715-1789. London: Batsford, 1984. [ ISBN 0-7134-4650-1]

    Breaks the period into three main time periods and fashion trends. Discusses acquiring goods and costs of fashions. Also a chapter on fantasy and fancy dress for carnivals and masquerades.