Tara's Favorites


Sense and Sensibility Patterns

These are great if you want to really create your own look. Very versatile and changeable, the patterns come with several options from which to choose. They are written in a conversational style, so they might be more challenging for a seamstress who is used to the "cut here, do this" style of most patterns.

Love this pattern! I've made one dress from it so far and already have tons of ideas for other styles. I made it for my friend Kristen and had to change the bodice quite a lot, as she has narrow shoulders. It does include a zipper in the back, but there are a lot of options to get rid of that.

I recently made the stays from this pattern, but added a blue layer to the front, to make it into a vest. It turned out really nice! Loved all the boning and making all the casings......

Made this for my dad and had sooo much fun with it! It seems to tend toward the larger side of the sizes, so I did have to pull it in a bit, but over all it was great! The hat is my favorite part!

This has to be an all-time favorite! We made three of these a couple days before an event. The blouse sleeves are very very big, so you can cut down a little on the material. I would recommend pleating the skirt, rather than gathering it. It would make it lay better. For the vest, make sure you don't skip out on the boning - it will not stay down if you do.

Butterick #3071

I can't say how many times I've used this pattern! It is wonderful! Unfortunately, it is also out of print. This one also seems to go toward the larger side of the sizes. The biggest problem with it is the bodice it a bit too short. I usually add nearly 4 inches to the bottom, depending on the wearer's torso. It is also very low, so wear a modesty shawl, or raise the neckline a couple inches.

Butterick #3072

This was the pattern I used for my Dad's colonial costume. There are a lot of ways to change things if necessary. Great pattern! 


Costume in Detail by Nancy Bradfield

A must have. 

Costume Close-up

This book I could pour over for hours! It has detailed photos of period correct outfits that are just amazing!

Tidings from the 18th Century

A great book with patterns, pictures and directions. Another great source for ideas!

The Mode in Costume

*NOTE: This book has some very inappropriate sketches at the beginning.

This book has sketches of outfits to give an idea of what each era in each country looked like. Great for getting ideas!

All links are to Eras of Elegance, which includes an overview of the movie and several pictures. I find this site very helpful if I don't want to actually watch the movie,  just to look at the photos when creating my costumes.

Lorna Doone

Okay, so I don't recommend this movie as I really did not like it, BUT if you are looking for some great ideas for gowns, this is great! I especially like Lorna's dresses when she is still in the Doone valley

The Patriot

Warning: Watch only with a filter 
Anne's dresses are soooo gorgeous! I really want to make one like her's someday. Charlotte's gowns.... not so much.

Pride and Prejudice

The best movie for Regency gowns (as long as you pull them up a couple inches). The men's wardrobe is great too!

Sense and Sensibility

Though I like the 2008 version better, the costumes in this one are far superior. 


My absolute favorite mini-series! One of the great things about the costumes is that each character has only a few gowns in the entire series, so you get a lot of scenes to use to study them. I created my own version of Sofie Hutton's redish-brown dress, and it is one of my very favorites.

Wives and Daughters

Another favorite! The gowns are to die for in this movie! I love Lady Harriet's red riding habit (episode 4). I've created Molly's white muslin dress from Sense and Sensibility's Romantic Era pattern.

North and South (sorry no link)

Margaret's outfits are very simple but also very pretty. Though I haven't recreated any yet, I will someday, because I like them so much!

BBC Emma (sorry no link)

Great film. Not all the costumes are great in it, but some are really nice!


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