Northern Society of Costume and Textiles

The Society has produced a number of Pattern Packs designed to allow a competent dressmaker to make exact replicas of historical costumes from various periods. The patterns are drawn to scale on squared paper so that they may be scaled up or down according to requirements. The patterns include full instructions for the dressmaker plus some historical detail about the costume and a colour photograph of the original garment. A sample of the pattern and an except from the historical notes  for our Pattern Pack No. 4 (see below) can be viewed by clicking here.

The patterns can be used for preparing reproduction dresses for museums and stage/dance events and may well form the basis of wedding garments.

Please Note: The actual patterns themselves are copyrighted and may not be reproduced/resold without the written authorisation of The Society.

Click on the thumbnails to view the full-size image.

Pattern Pack 1

Pattern Pack No. 1 : The Going-Away Dress of Charlotte Brontë

The pattern is taken from the pretty dress which Charlotte Brontë wore on the 29th June, 1854, when she left Howarth with her new husband, Arthur Choose  from our professional website. Bell Nicholls, on their way to Ireland for their honeymoon.
The dress is now owned by the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Howarth, which is associated with this production.

[Left : Original shown courtesy of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Howarth.]

Pattern Pack 2

Pattern Pack No. 2 : A Dress of the Revolution - worn for escape - 1793

This pattern is taken from a dress of 1793 which originally belonged to a boatwoman on the River Seine in Paris. A Frenchwoman - married to an Englishman - was escaping from the terrors of the French Revolution and borrowed this dress to conceal her identity. Her ruse was successful and she reached England.

The dress is now owned by the family into which her granddaughter married. The pattern is therefore of an extremely rare garment, being both closely dated and from the ordinary working class. The original dress was on display at Castle Howard Costume Galleries, Castle Howard, near York during the summers of 1992 and 1993.

[Left : Original shown courtesy of the Castle Howard Costume Galleries.]

Pattern Pack 3

Pattern Pack No. 3 : Edwardian Sailor Suit and Bridesmaid's Dress

One of the most popular and long lasting children's fashions was the sailor suit for young boys. In its many variations it was worn for much of the second half of the 19th century and for most of the first two decades of the 20th century. This fine Edwardian example is from the collection of Castle Howard Costume Galleries.

The other garment contained in this pack is from the same collection and like most bridesmaid's dresses of the time is similar in style to dresses worn on formal occasions, but made of perhaps finer fabric.

[Left : Original shown courtesy of the Castle Howard Costume Galleries.]

Pattern Pack 4

Pattern Pack No. 4 : Dress for Mayoress of Hull - 1896

The late 19th century and early 20th century saw the apogee of the art of dressmaking and this dress is a fine example from that period. Fashionable and elegant. The dress from which the pattern is taken was worn by Marion Richardson, Mayoress of Hull in 1896. It comprises a skirt and heavily decorated bodice in a pale pink figured silk.

The dress is associated with the name of the great Madame Clapham, who opened her salon in Hull in 1887 from where she made dresses for fashionable society, including a number of members of the Royal Court.

[Left : Original shown courtesy of Hull Museums and Art Galleries.]