These sites all have one thing in common: they offer you free patterns or instructions so that you can make your own costume clothing. Some of them also offer patterns or books for sale, and may be worth exploring for further information. At the bottom of this page are a few links to places online where you can buy costumes.
More Basic Stuff from other sites
Make A Simple Tall Hat in the late 16th century style.
How to drape a Greek chiton.
The Regia Anglorum Basic Clothing Guide for early medieval clothing in northern Europe.
Cosplay Crimes (and how to avoid committing them). Good general advice on putting together and wearing your outfit.
Simple Medieval Costumes. Patterns for tunic, hose, and hood.
Costuming Tips For The Cheap And Desperate. The basics of how to assemble a costume with at least two week's notice. Great site to explore if you LARP or Cosplay.
Instructions for creating an Elizabethan apron, neckcloth, partlet, and flat cap. From Margo's Patterns. Also, a ladies coif pattern.
Patterns and Instructions for Medieval Russian Costumes.
The Ravens Warband Guide to making Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Equipment. Basic men's clothing of the sixth century, simple leatherwork and weapons.
Costuming on a Budget :a realistic look at what to expect in terms of cost. Some instructions for costume pieces on other pages in the site.
Kate's directions for Fairy Wings
Clothing patterns for Muslim women
Johanna's Embroidery Page How to do it, with stitching diagrams.
Amtgard Online How-to's Scroll down the middle of the page for PDF documents with illustrated instructions for basic tunic, pants, cloak, hat, etc.
Sandra Hansen's page on putting together American Civil War and later period costumes.
How to Make a Medieval Hood
The D.I.Y. Guide to LRP. Armor, costuming and special effects.
How to Be Goth (In less than an hour!)
How to wear a Sari
Wrapping and Wearing the Great Kilt at TartanWeb.
Instructions for wrapping the plaid (a kilt)
Belly Dance Costume
Dahlal International shows you how to make harem pants, tops, skirts and other costume pieces from purchased scarves, veils, and beaded wraps.
Pants with a Gusset A sample page from the book Costuming from the Hip. See other sample pages at this site for a hip scarf and general tips for dancers.
Easy, Practical Costume Ideas for skirts, pants, bras and more.
Circle skirt, harem pants , and Khaleegy Thobe from Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand
Alexandra's Belly Dance Skirts
Aziz Sa'id's very good instructions for basic harem pants and a circle skirt, with tips for other costume pieces.
Elaine's Dance page patterns for various skirts, a veil and a headband.
Farfesha Dance's Six Simple Steps to the Perfect Turban, and Making Tassels. Explore the site for more tips for dancers.
How to Tie a Turban Using Two Scarves
Costume Tips from Sheikhani Dance Troupe, including directions for harem pants and a cabaret skirt, a full circle cape, and an accent overskirt
Basic Beginner's Costume by Shira, also a head scarf and semicircular veil
Ask the Costume Goddess also on Shira's site, more advanced design and sewing techniques discussed by Dina Linborn.
Omphalo-Stepses: The Bellydancing Page has several patterns with illustrations.
Tips on Costume Alterations from Lee Ann
Advanced Techniques from other sites
Kostym: a Czech language site for medieval costume. Some pages in English. Many diagrams from extant clothing.
Armormaking For the Fiberglass-Phobic a how-to for non-toxic prop armor
Pleatwork Embroidery and how to make a renaissance shirt.
A selection of 19th century free patterns and projects for infants, children, and women from Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company.
Lord of the Rings Costumes Lots of picture links, notes, and suggested construction for recreating costumes from the recent movies.
Costume Construction Tips Or Everything you ever wanted to know about costume construction and wish someone had told you ten years ago, damnit.
Tempus Peregrinator's Landsknechte, Cotehardie, and Houppelande pages with diagrams and some patterns, but no construction instructions. Beware: many missing images make this site difficult to use.
The Vintage Pattern lending Library Roughly 1850 to 1940.
T-Tunic the period way.
Italian Renaissance lady's gown construction.
Godey's Lady's Book Fashion patterns printed with the magazine from 1855 to 1858.
La Couturière Parisienne: Patterns from the mid 19th Century through early 20th Century, and instructions for 17th and 18th century corset and hoops.
KALDesign's Custom Bridals Don't let the word "bridal" scare you off. Good sewing tips are good sewing tips whether you're doing couture or costuming... Scroll down Karen's page for the good stuff.
RenFaire.com offers a selection of basic pattern pieces in Adobe Acrobat image format. The patterns are diagrams only, and assume you know how to sew and construct the garment.
You Can Make a Manly Man's Renaissance Garb Yourself Developed to help get newcomers, quickly and inexpensively, into character using things you might already have in your closet that can become costume pieces.
How to Make Elizabethan Clothing General overview on middle-class costumes, with good background and illustrations.
Caroline Vincent's Goodwife pages for 17th Century Reenactors.
The Poulet Gauche Poster Girl -- Diagrams and Tips Reconstruct the everyday dress of a 16th century kitchen servant.
Halloween Costume Armor For when it only has to look good, not take a beating.
The Halloween Costume Page Lots of links and general advice.
Recreating 14th Century Braies (men's underpants)
Period LinksJust in case you want to do more research...
Gentlemen of Fortune, resources for sailors, seamen, and pirates during 1690-1725.
Jacobite Rebellion Guidelines for living history, from MacFarlanes Company.
La Cotte Simple An exploration of clothing and accessories of the late 14th and early 15th centuries
Articles on medieval textiles and clothing, mainly Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. Scroll down for research links.
Marc Carlson's pages on Footwear, Clothing, and Leatherwork of the middle ages.
Viking Resources for the Re-enactor Researched articles on clothing, textiles, and culture.
Historical Costume Bibliography 30+ pages of costume titles.
Battle Road: April 19th 1775 Reenactor clothing and accessories with documentation and resources. Many missing links and images make this site difficult to use.
Pilgrim Clothing Dress in Early New England. Covers the clothing of European and colonial commoners in the 16th century.
Dress in Anglo-Saxon England
Traditional Celtic Dress from Clan Doyle
These pages sell patterns for historical costumes from various places and times past. They generally do not have any freebies or instructional do-it-yourself material other than what they offer for sale.
Patent Patterns A computer based pattern drafting sytem for designing your own clothing. I haven't tried it, but their art is cool.
Reconstructing History Patterns for 16th and 17th century Europe
Pegee of Williamsburg Historically Inspired Clothing
B.D. Patterns middle eastern dance
Madame X middle eastern dance
Folkwear's Site new and improved, great for ethnic inspired mens and women's clothing.
Kannik's Korner eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Lavolta Press books with 19th and 20th century clothing patterns and instructions.
Brigade of the American Revolution offers both men's and women's clothing patterns from the period 1775-1783.
Don Diego Swords okay, no patterns here, but a selection of steel for collecting or costuming.
La Mode Bagatelle Regency and late 19th century wardrobes.
Amazon Drygoods emphasis on Victorian period, but has patterns from medieval through 1950.
Past Patterns 1830 to 1920.
Harriet's TCS patterns,tailoring, rentals, supplies.
Harper House medieval through modern.
Not up to sewing it yourself? Visit the League of Renaissance Merchants and shop online!
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