Basic Faire Patterns

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This basic list of patterns was taken from the LHC RPFN93 handout on costuming. These are standard patterns which are close enough to period to be easily altered to suit. Unfortunately, many of these patterns are now out of production; for a newer list, check the Patterns page.

For those who can read Acrobat Format, a crude collection of sketches were distributed along with the suggested basic patterns. This includes a peasant woman's outfit of a Muffin Cap, Chemise, Bodice, and Skirts as well as a man's outfit of Biggins or Flatcap, Jerkin, and Breeches. These may be enough information for you to draft your own patterns.

  From: Barbara Carter <> (1998)

  Hi, I'm just starting my first period outfit, and I used the ren
  faire web page for pattern suggestions. I found, to my great
  dismay, that a majority of the patterns mentioned (for women at
  least) are no longer available. In case you're interested, here
  are the discontinued pattern numbers, and patterns I found that
  might replace them:

  Skirt: McCall's 4798, Simplicity 7561 and 7021 no longer
  exist. May I humbly suggest replacing these with the full skirt
  patterns of It's So Easy It's Simplicity 7141 or McCall's Easy
  Stitch 'n Save 6829, both of which having the added virtue of
  being very cheap patterns (about $2 each).

  Chemise: none of the mentioned patterns exist any more.
  (That's McCall's 4897 and 5993 and Simplicity 9162.) Not knowing,
  in my mundane ignorance, the difference between a chemise and a
  blouse, I can offer no substitutes.

  Shirts for Nobility: The only pattern suggested, Simplicity
  9929, no longer exists.

  Shirts for Peasantry: Simplicity 7574 no longer exists. I
  didn't like the looks of the two Butterick patterns suggested on
  the web page, so I got Butterick 6803 instead. Simplicity 9582
  might also be a worthwhile pattern. These patterns do require
  some alterations, though.

  Cloaks: the 5-patterns-in-one Butterick 9796 does not exist,
  but a lined cloak pattern (with or without hood) that's currently
  available is Butterick 3084. The other 2 patterns mentioned on
  the web page still exist.

Suggested patterns (some out of print)

Adult: McCall's 5064 - Close up CF V more, alter neckline, no collar, take dats in on pattern, no tabs, no tie back, raise armhole underarm.
  Vogue 1000 - basic fitting pattern, use no darts
Child: Butterick 6932 - View A, change W in front to a V, lacing not buttons, scoop neckline
Adult: Vogue 1723 or 9882 - lengthen hem.
  McCall's 4798 - View A, lengthen hem, no pocket.
  Simplicity 7561 View 3 or 7021 View 2 - lengthen hem, elasticize waist or lacing.
Child: McCall's 6012 - View B lower to ankle length
Chemise or Bag Shirt
Adult: McCall's 4897 - View A.
  McCall's 5993 - Shorten cuff to less than 1 inch.
   Simplicity 9162 - View 3 with View 2 ruffle.
Child: Butterick 6730 - make sleeves long
  Simplicity 8943 - View 4, elasticize wrists, cut to blouse length
  McCall's 6012 - View B
Adult: Butterick 4484 - no pockets, straight waist, lace closure.
Child: Butterick 6605 - lengthen vest and straighten bottom.
Adult Nobility: Simplicity 9929 - View 4 CF closed up yoke, lengthen and widen sleeves, add cuff and stand up collar with ties at neck and wrists.
Adult Peasants: Simplicity 7574 - View 1, no ruffle, lengthen to crotch, may slit yoke to sternum
  Butterick 6731 - no sash, make sleeves longer
  Butterick 3194 - as is
Child: Butterick 6730: As Butterick 6731.
   Simplicity 8943 - View 1, no ruffles, shorten to shirt length
Adult: Simplicity 7558 - View 3, lengthen to below knee and elasticize
  McCalls 6509 - elasticize knees, no pockets
Child: McCall's 6510 or 5356 - below knee, no pockets
  Simplicity 8502 - lengthen below knee
  Clown pant patterns often work.
McCall's 5131 - shoes
Butterick 3317 - Views B and D, lengthen sleeves, use lacing Costumes Acting Language RPFI History
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