Staff Pre-Costuming

The articles in this section are a survey of the basics of fabric and sewing. It is my hope they'll be useful for those with little or no sewing experience, but who wish to learn how to sew their own historic costumes (or even just how to sew in general.) In places, material will be covered that is not necessarily relevant to historic costuming, but which will provide a better base of understanding for sewing in general.

Please Note: These articles were all developed as handouts for a series of classes I periodically teach at SCA events. At the classes I pass around many samples. Without being able to see and feel the samples, some of the information contained in the handouts might not be as useful. I do eventually hope to offer diagrams of some of the concepts/techniques discussed, to help fill in the gap left by the lack of samples. But creating those diagrams is a slow process. So in the meantime if you encounter something I've failed to include in the articles and glossaries below, or any errors or areas you find unclear, please email me. I will do my best to answer any questions you may have, and I would appreciate the opportunity to improve the handouts.

Understanding Fabric - Do you know the difference between a weave and a knit? How about between brocade and jacquard? Satin and silk? Understanding the differences between fabrics will help you choose the right fabrics for your projects.

Glossary of Fabric Terms - Companion handout for Understanding Fabric

Understanding Patterns - Commercial patterns contain a wealth of information to aid you in choosing and working with them. Learn what kinds of information are provided and how to interpret this information so you can choose the best pattern for what you want, to suit your ability level, and to make the process of working with the pattern easier and more productive.
  under development - Taking Measurements

Preparing to Sew - Those annoying yet necessary steps that fall between buying your pattern and fabric, and actually being ready to sew.

Sewing Jargon and Technique - What's a blind hem? When should I clip a seam? What's the difference between a lining and a facing? Learn the meanings and concepts behind a variety of sewing terms so you can use them to your advantage when you sew.

Survey of Notions and Equipment - A survey of notions and what they're used for.
  under development - Pins and Needles
  under development - Thread
  under development - Interfacing
  under development - Basic Pattern Alteration
  under development - Sewing Machines
  under development - Organizing Your Sewing Area

© 1999–2009 Jessica I. Clark
Permission to print a copy for your own use freely given. Please contact me for permission to reprint or distribute.
Welcome Prticles Portfolio