Favorite Patterns

Just for fun I thought I'd throw this out there:  What are your top 5 favorite patterns and why?

While I frankenpattern and draft patterns of my own, I do have a few go-to patterns that I use over and over again.  Mostly this is because that particular pattern fits me well or is easy to alter to a bunch of different styles.

1.  The J.P. Ryan Jacket pattern.  I've made this pattern so many times I've lost count.  I've altered it to make late period jackets like a peirrot, I've made long sleeves, short sleeves, sleeves with cuffs and sleeves with flounces.  I've made plain versions out of linen and fancy embroidered silk ones.

2. The Period Impressions Polonaise.  This is my basic 18th C body block, I've used it as a base for nearly every gown I've made.  I lengthened the bodice (which I have to do on every pattern) I use the JP Ryan sleeve (which is more period correct) and I always make the skirts fuller than the pattern.

3. The Folkwear Empire gown.  I've made this about 4 times.  Other empire gown patterns and have never really pleased me as much as this one.  Maybe it's because the bodice actually has a c-d cup sizing so it fits me better.

4.  The Truly Victorian 1872 vest basque bodice.  Actually I haven't met a TV pattern I haven't liked.  They have all fit me exceptionally well.  But this pattern is particularly flattering.  I used it as the base for my butterfly bustle gown, my white with black polka dot bustle, my Daniel Deronda archery dress, and my blue and white striped seaside gown.

5.  Tailors Guide 18th C Riding Habit.  This is actually just an enlarged version of a riding habit in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion but it fits a modern body well and has instructions!  I've made this at least 3 times.

Please share your favorites!


  1. I've never used a pattern - I measure and cut by eye, based on original garments and books like norah waughand janet arnold. works for me!

    having ne formal training I'm afraid I just dont understand patterns


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