From Maggie May Fashions dated August 29, 2019

I recently put together this 1840s era work dress based on drawings from the Workwoman’s Guide by a Lady. I used pattern #017 by Saundra Ros Altman of Past Patterns. The Workwoman’s Guide refers to the cut of this dress as the Full French High Body.

The Workwoman’s Guide Dress is shown over our extra full petticoats, chemisecorded petticoat, and over bust corset.

According to the The Workwoman’s Guide (c.1838), “It is very bad economy to purchase, for articles of clothing, cheap bargains. They generally consist of damaged goods or are otherwise inferior in their quality as it stands to reason that no mercer would feel inclined to sell his stock at a lower rate than what its worth.” (Chapter 2, pg 11).

This makes me laugh as it is SO RELEVANT today. Who would have thought?

Love this gown? Make one for yourself. You can get your very own pattern over at!

This gown is headed to Barrington Living History Farm (now Barrington Plantation) in Washington, Texas. View more of our custom made historical garments in our catalog! Or contact us at!

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From V is for Vintage on May 24, 2019

Little White Regency Dress

When I was writing up my post about my green Regency spencer, I wanted to link to a post about my Little White Regency Dress, but realized I had started it but never published it! oops. 🙂

I have wanted a white Regency dress for years and years, and last year finally got around to making one. I love having basic pieces that can be styled different ways, and I think I’ve maximized this one to the utmost!

I used Past Patterns #031, and it definitely lived up to the hype. This is such a good style, and I see why the pattern is so popular. It goes together well, is comfortable, and flattering on just about everyone.

My version is made with rayon, which is a little drapey but is nice and lightweight. Not HA, but I’ve never yet had anyone comment that the fiber isn’t accurate to the period. It’s hard to tell in these photos, but it’s a white on white stripe, which gives it a little character without being distracting.

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Presented to Saundra Ros Altman and Kathleen Kannick by the Midwest Open Air Museums Coordinating Council

The 2016 Dr. Debra A. Reid Award recognizes two extraordinary individuals in the field of Living History. For nearly four decades whenever the topic of historic clothing came up, two companies were sure to be in the conversation. Saundra’s Past Patterns and Kathleen’s Kannik’s Korner have done more to further the field of reproduction clothing than any in America, but their individual contributions to the field go much farther than that. Saundra and Kathleen’s research, drafting, publishing, and copious instructions, have taught a generation of History enthusiasts to love their clothes. They have been true friends to historic sites seeking accurate patterns, they have provided information and given of their time, even to the detriment of their own companies, and they have been more than kind over the years to those of us who were trying to figure it out. They have also been advocates and done more to promote MOMCC on an individual level than almost anyone else. As the plaque reads, the D.A. Reid Award is given “For Outstanding Service and Commitment to the Midwest Open Air Museums Coordinating Council and the Members it Serves.” Please Join me in congratulating Saundra and Kathleen for their true commitment too and untold work for MOMCC, now and into the future.

From the Western Spinster dated October 9, 2012

A while back I made these two historically accurate reproductions of Victorian dresses. I used Saundra Ros Altman’s Past Patterns #702 and #801. Past Patterns’ tagline is “The Historical Pattern Company Dedicated to Accuracy” and it is true – Past Patterns always has excellent patterns with very informative and detailed construction notes and historic notes. I did not encounter any fitting issues with these two. None of these photos show these dresses with the correct accessories, so I really should go out and take some new photos.


Patterns 702 & 801

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Past Patterns contribute to a piece on Overalls for NPR’s Morning Edition March 2, 2002

Past Patterns was written about in the New York Times September 10, 1987, article available here

Past Patterns was discussed in the Washington Post November 28, 1986, article available here

Past Patterns was recommended by the Los Angeles Times February 22, 1985 here

Q: I will be getting married in September and plan to sew my own gown. Please help me find a pattern for the type of dress Scarlett O’Hara wore in “Gone With the Wind.” I’m enclosing a picture of the gown of my dreams. I wear size 10.–C.C.

A: The antebellum look favored by all those belles at Tara is available–if you don’t mind combining two or three patterns. The off-the-shoulder bodice, complete with a set of stays is available in Style 704 from Past Patterns. It can be sewn with Style 700 skirt or Style 800 skirt–both authentically Southern belle from the 1860s.

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