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Patterns on this site aren't available to the UK due to VAT changes. UK RESIDENTS- visit the Wearing History Etsy Shop to purchase patterns. Click on the yellow banner above.

WH Sewing Patterns F.A.Q


My name is Lauren, and Wearing History is a one-woman run small business that strives to make fashion of the past available today.

I have a passion for historic fashion, and love to share this with my friends and customers.   I have a degree in fashion design and have studied costume design on an academic level.  I love to combine the knowledge I've accumulated with my passions in order to make the best quality patterns and ready to wear clothing I can, in a variety of styles that are hard to find elsewhere.

Here's a little more about the patterns offered on my website:

Wearing History Patterns vs.  Original Period Patterns

  • Use without worry- When using a Wearing History pattern you do not have to be afraid of harming a delicate original vintage pattern and they cost a fraction of the price of purchasing an original rare vintage pattern.
  • Easier to understand and clearly labeled pieces- Even though some Wearing History patterns are often called "reproductions", this is not the case.  A "reproduction" should be an exact copy of original period source material.  Because the home sewing industry and sewing knowledge in general have changed so drastically over the years, I work hard to make these patterns more understandable for today's sewist.  Historical home sewing patterns most often precut from tissue paper with holes (called dot perforations) for markings, not printing like modern patterns. in many cases with pre-1920s patterns, home sewers enlarged patterns from a diagram or transferred overlapping dotted outlines of pattern shapes from books and magazines to create single size patterns without any markings as we now know them, and without seam or hem allowances.  By contrast, Wearing History Patterns are printed on hearty bond paper, and include seam and hem allowances.  No guess work as to what dots mean, or handling of delicate tissue!
  • Most patterns are multi-sized- Original historical patterns were available with only one size pattern per packet.  Wearing History patterns are most often multi-sized, with three sizes per packet, and most styles have a variety of sizes available.  This makes a world of difference if you're between sizes, as you can trace from one size line to another with little difficulty.
  • Patterns are Durable- Wearing History patterns are printed on nice hearty bond paper that you can use and reuse without worry.  No worry about tearing the old tissue or worry about ruining a historic original!
  • Durable Packaging- Wearing History Patterns are packaged in a clear, resealable plastic bag that you can use and re-use.  You can even include a fabric swatch and design inspiration pictures if you wish.  They are easy to store and waterproof! No fiddling trying to get fussy tissue back into a tiny, delicate sleeve.

About Pattern Fit & Ease

Most patterns are based on a vintage block or historical original or in order to retain the historic look of the garment (for more information about vintage block vs modern block, please see the F.A.Q. page).  Some patterns are based on our modern block and altered to a period shape, but retain period fit and styling. 

  • Very little ease is included in comparison to modern standards, and most run true to size or a little small- so if you would like more ease you should purchase a size larger.  
  • Armholes and sleeves fit higher than tighter than modern standards, so you may need to alter your sleeves and armscyes if you prefer a more modern fit with more ease.  
  • Meant to be worn with period foundations- Patterns from the are meant to be worn and fitted over period foundation garments or corsetry.  For example, a 1950s pattern might look best and require the  least alterations if worn with a period waist cincher and bra shape.  A Victorian or Edwardian garment will be sized to fit over a corset.  If you desire to wear a garment without period foundations, more alterations may be required.
  • Seam allowance & fit can vary from pattern to pattern, especially with "Resto-Vival" patterns, so be sure to read all instructions carefully before use.
  •  Make a muslin mock up to check fit and construction before cutting into your fashion fabric.  Every body is different, even if measurements are similar, and making a mock up of inexpensive fabric is the only surefire way to make sure your garment will fit your unique figure and have the ease you want.  Don't make a garment out of your final fabric without testing and expect it to be perfect- it's just not feasible.  It's kind of like going shopping at the mall- you don't expect every item on a hanger to fit you perfectly and it requires some trying on.  Not all sizes run the same between all the stores and brands. The same is true of sewing patterns, so make your mock up!

"Signature Styles" vs "Resto-Vival"

Wearing History offers both new patterns and patterns that are often called "reproductions", which we call "Resto-Vivals".

"Signature Styles"

New patterns based on original period sources or brand new designs with new step-by-step illustrated instructions, improved fit, and new cutting layouts and yardage requirements for modern fabric widths.  These patterns can either be based on period originals with changes that improve the original pattern fit and instructions, or a unique draft to Wearing History that has been drafted by me personally and heavily researched to be period correct.  These patterns also include instructions that are hand drawn or digitally drawn and composed by me personally.

"Resto-Vival™ Patterns"

Recreations based on original historic patterns that have been restored and revived.  Original patterns are usually available only in single sizes, precut from tissue paper and totally unprinted, with details like grain lines and darts indicated only by small perforations.  Resto-Vival™ patterns are printed on sturdy bond paper instead of tissue and clearly marked with drawn and labeled markings.  These markings aid the modern sewer in understanding the markings of the original pattern and the construction of the garment.  Resto-Vival™ patterns follow the period shapes of the original patterns, maintaining the historical accuracy of the completed garment.  Original period instructions are included. These instructions vary from pattern to pattern, and may be text only (unless otherwise noted) or include illustrations. Instructions are fairly minimal, especially compared to instructions for modern patterns.  At least an intermediate knowledge of dressmaking and a good familiarity with pattern construction is suggested.  You may choose to have a modern or period sewing book handy to help with basic construction methods that the pattern instructions do not cover in detail.  As a rule of thumb, the earlier the pattern in date, the more difficult the construction and minimal the instructions.  Because of this, patterns from the early 1930s and before may be best suited for upper intermediate to advanced seamstresses, or someone brave enough to tackle the project and expect a little trial and error and several mock ups.

Please read each individual item description carefully before purchase,  as patterns can vary depending on the needs of the original source material to make it more comprehensive to today's sewers.


Other Places to Buy Wearing History Patterns

Vintage Fashion Library

Nehelenia Patterns, located in Germany.

Poppy Ray, Located in Germany

 Kansas Mercantile, by Shelley Peters.  Shelley sells at various events in the Southern California area.

General F.A.Q.

Will I receive a vintage pattern or a new pattern when I order from you?

I sell new patterns on this site which were based on period originals.  If you are looking for original vintage sewing patterns you can find them on my Etsy store, and I will gladly combine shipping between sites! Just send me a message or email after checkout to alert me that you have ordered from both sites and I will refund the extra shipping amount, if applicable.

How can I find out about sales and promotions?

Make sure you follow my Blog and are follow me on Twitter and on Facebook! I post sales and promotions especially on Twitter and Facebook, as well as new listings to my shops!  

Sizing F.A.Q.

What size should I choose?  Is a size 12 in your patterns the same as a 12 in the clothing shops?

Sizing is based on vintage size guidelines, so are very different than modern ready to wear sizes.  To choose your size match your measurements to the size chart and pick the size closest to your largest measurement.  Some patterns run small or just spot on for size, so if you are between sizes or desire more ease you might want to pick the next size larger.  Some patterns are available in single sizes only and you may need to grade the pattern smaller or larger to your size.  Please read the pattern description carefully before ordering to see the sizing available of the pattern you are interested in.

Do Wearing History patterns come in plus sizes?

Wearing History patterns only come in Misses sizes.  Currently most patterns are available in up to 40 bust, but some are available in larger misses sizes (which are not drafted like plus size, thought the measurements are similar.  If you are plus sized, you may need to make several mock ups to make sure your pattern is fitted correctly, even though the pattern measurements may be similar to yours.  For more information, please read this blog post about sizing.

Pattern and Sewing F.A.Q.

Do you use a modern block for Wearing History patterns?

Most patterns are based on vintage blocks or follow original historic pattern shapes, which are different than modern standards, which is why a muslin mock up is highly suggested (see more information on the "About Wearing History Patterns" page). Changes to improve fit, rise, and bagginess are sometimes done, but the armscyes remain at their vintage level, which is higher and tighter than the fit of modern armscyes. Check the description to see what features the pattern you are interested has,  =whether the fit was improved or remains original,  and check the measurement chart as it can vary from pattern to pattern.

Why do you say to make a muslin of the garment first?  Can't I just cut it out and start sewing?

Every body is different in proportion, even if similar in measurement, and many individuals have different preferences as to fit and ease.  Most patterns are based on vintage originals so construction and fit are different than with modern patterns.  The rise (or crotch) of the shorts or pants are longer than modern standards, and the sleeves and armscyes are tighter and higher than modern standards.  In addition, some patterns are made to fit over period foundation garments or corsetry so you will need to asses the fit on your figure and alter to your liking.  The extra step of creating a muslin will save you fabric in the long run and ensure that your final garment fits exactly the way you desire.  

Can I use these patterns to make things to sell?

Wearing History patterns are made for personal sewing or non-profit use only.  Please read more about the Pattern Use Policy at the bottom of this page.

E-Pattern and Digital Product F.A.Q.

Do you offer Wearing History Patterns in a Print-at-Home option?

Yes!  In fact, E-patterns are growing in popularity, especially for people located outside the USA.  Check out my Wearing History Etsy shop here for the same Wearing History E-Patterns you see on this site.

What is an E-Pattern?

An e-pattern is a print at home version of Wearing History patterns.  It is downloaded from my site and is PDF file format for you to print at home on your own printer.

What size paper do I need for my E-Pattern?

In general, my e-patterns can be printed on A4 or USA 8.5" x 11" size paper.

When will I receive my e-pattern?

You will receive your E-pattern once your pay for your order.  If paying with a confirmed Paypal address and not ordering any mailed product, you should be able to download your product immediately after checkout.  If paying with an unconfirmed Paypal address or ordering an E-product with mailed product, there may be a delay until I manually approve the transaction and mark it as "completed".  I do this as soon as I am able, usually within a few hours of when the order is placed. All downloads are done from my site.  You click the link and your e-pattern downloads.  Voila! The link expires after two downloads, so be sure to download your files as soon as possible after your order is marked as "completed".  If you have issues, contact me.  

How Do I Download My E-Pattern?

There is a tutorial for downloading your patterns.  Please visit it here.

Why do I have to pay VAT if I live in the EU?

We have to meet all current requirements for worldwide selling, and this includes charging and remitting VAT to European tax authorities for digital product sales.  Although we believe all our customers are ethical people, we feel we need to note that our site shows what country you order from, and lying about your address to not pay VAT if you're in the EU is considered tax evasion and is a criminal offense.  Make sure you enter your truthful information at check out.  Thanks!

VAT is not charged on mailed, paper patterns, but international customers may be liable for customs charges when they pick up the patterns at their post office.

Can I Share Wearing History E-Patterns?

All Wearing History Patterns themselves, whether printed patterns or e-patterns,  are protected by intellectual property rights and are all rights reserved.  You cannot forward, copy, or distribute Wearing History patterns as this is against the use policy.  Please support small business by telling your friends they can purchase their own copy of Wearing History Patterns through this website.

F.A.Q. for Shipping and Payments

Why does shipping cost more than I pay for authentic vintage patterns and commercial patterns?

Wearing History patterns are printed on good quality bond paper, so are heavier than your standard tissue paper pattern. Some also include a large instruction pack- up to 14 pages in length.  I try to keep shipping costs low for their weight and mail them in the most effective way possible- in a lot of cases it's USPS flat rate envelope, which can be a significant savings if you are purchasing two patterns.

What Form of Payment Do You Accept?

I accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal payments. Select your payment option at checkout.

For information on shipping and payments please Visit This Page   

Other F.A.Q.

Why are Wearing History patterns more expensive than patterns at my fabric chain store?

Unfortunately, as a smaller one person run independent enterprise, it's not possible for me to compete with the lower price points of larger pattern corporations.  However, I strive to make the best quality pattern I can while still meeting a comparable price point for independent historic patterns.  For more information on what you receive with my patterns please read the information above.

You had a reproduction pattern that is no longer listed.  Can I still purchase it?

After patterns are discontinued they are no longer available and will most likely not be reissued again.  Sorry!

I don't sew, but I really want one of these outfits.  Do you make custom clothing?

I do not offer custom sewing services.  Sorry! If you want something made custom you can purchase the pattern from me for your custom seamstress to use to make an outfit for you.  For more info please read the Pattern Use Policy please read the information given up above on this page.  I appreciate your support!

The pattern I want does not come in my size, do you offer custom grading services?

I do not offer custom grading services. Sorry!

Do you sell wholesale?

Wholesale is available for approved retail businesses and vendors with a valid resale license.  For more information please contact me via the link below.

I have a question or concern about my order

Contact me here.


Pattern Use Policy

The main focus of Wearing History Sewing Patterns has always been making patterns available for individuals to sew garments for themselves.  This has not changed.  We believe in your creativity and investing in yourself, your skills, and talents, and watching them grow.  This still holds true, and this is the main intent of why I make these sewing patterns available.

Up until this point, Wearing History Patterns were for non-profit personal use only.  Such as- for making garments for yourself, a family member, or friend.  They could also be used for church bazaar fundraisers or charitable work. But the time has come for us to revisit our intent, and as such, the use policy has been changed.

We believe in small makers supporting one another.  We also believe in community among small makers.

In light of this, our new policy allows personal home sewing use INCLUDING creating objects for sale on a small scale.

This new policy means you personally can use the pattern to make things to sell for craft fairs, maker fairs, Etsy shops, and other small home based business uses, PROVIDED you mention Wearing History in the product listing or tag, and give us a link back (or hashtag and tag Wearing History on social media where you can't post links such as Instagram).  I support you, you support me.

The Nitty Gritty Details

If you chose to use Wearing History patterns to make items for sale we ask that you please comply with the following:

  • If you use Wearing History Patterns to create a garment for sale, please mention us and link back to us.  That way we support each other as makers.
  • We ask that you do not use our images.  If you chose to create a garment for sale from Wearing History Patterns, you must provide images of a garment you have made yourself.  You may not use our pattern cover images or our sample images. Our images are protected under intellectual property rights.
  • The new use policy does NOT allow commercial production using Wearing History sewing patterns.  Commercial production means having others sew garments for you on an industrial scale (whether small or large scale, whether in home or outside the home).  Our patterns are not intended or drafted for commercial industrial use.
  • Wearing History is not liable for your compliance with regional, local, or state laws pertaining to small business.  It's up to you to check if you are allowed to create garments in your home and comply with any legal business requirements.
  • Wearing History is not liable for your compliance with laws pertaining to ready made children's garments.  We create patterns based on period originals or new patterns drafted to evoke historical time eras, but the creation of the end product is up to you.  There are laws in place for children's garments and the fabrics, notions, and trims you use that you must research and comply to.
  • Our patterns are blueprints to a style.  Since the main intent is for individuals to create garments for themselves, it is assumed a mock up will be made to check fit and proportions and then tailored to your needs.  If you use Wearing History Patterns to create a garment for sale,  it is suggested you test the fit and construction of different size fit models and adjust as needed.  We're not responsible for the fit or size of your final garment.

All Wearing History Patterns themselves, whether printed patterns or e-patterns,  are protected by intellectual property rights and are all rights reserved.  You cannot forward, copy, or distribute Wearing History patterns as this is against the use policy.  Please support small business by telling your friends they can purchase their own copy of Wearing History Patterns through this website.

All patterns bought prior or after October 2016 now fall under the use policy regardless of when the pattern was purchased or what is stated on the pattern itself.

For more about the patterns please read my  F.A.Q. page.

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