Medivh: 18th c Men’s Patterning Terror

I’ve been looking for patterns for the entire World of Warcraft 18th c. men’s ensemble, but with very little luck. The costume is built on a basic men’s mid-18th c. wardrobe – shirt, breeches, waistcoat, jacket – but I am having quite a lot of trouble finding all-inclusive patterns.

The catch here is that I only have $75 to spend on everything! This means I either find an all-inclusive pattern, or I draft each piece of this and hope it all comes out alright.

Men’s 18th c. Wardrobe Patterns:
Simplicity – I am really leaning towards this one. Why? Because it has each piece of the puzzle, and to my eyeballs it looks shockingly accurate. With some alterations and additions, this could very easily become something awesome. Historical accuracy is always on my mind, but I do not feel that this particular costume needs to be 100% correct.

Butterick – I’m less convinced with this all-inclusive pattern. It looks too costumey, and the back views are not right at all. That being said, it might be easier to add in the swinging pleats to this coat than to the Simplicity one…

Tailor’s Patterns and Generally Terrifying Diagrams:

A series of images found throughout the webiverse, mostly on The Costumer’s Manifesto, of cutting diagrams. I could scale and pattern from these, at least the coat or the waistcoat, but then I think of the time involved, the time left before deadline, and all the other things I need to do. I could use these diagrams as reference for altering the commercial patterns, which may indeed be the way to go. Some of these images look rather simple, while others look…not simple.

Opinions, suggestions, warning? Has anybody worked with the commercial patterns?


  • Lauren

    September 12, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    I used the Butterick Pattern for hubby's shirt and frock coat. That being said, I had to completely redraft it. I had to do 4 or 5 muslins to get it right. It is, however, a good base to work from. Don't follow the breeches, they are not accurate at all. The coats needs changing, especially how it's constructed. Use it as a base and change it as needed. Just make sure you do a lot of muslins before you cut into your fabric. 🙂

  • Lauren Stowell

    September 12, 2009 at 8:25 PM

    I ended up getting the Butterick, but only because they were out of Simplicity. I hate compromising like that, but there were things about the Butterick pattern I liked.

    I have no idea what to do about the breeches…look at sources and try to draft/alter them to get them remotely accurate.

    I was planning on merging some of these tailor's patterns with the Butterick coat, and I'll definitely follow your advice, Other Lauren, and do a muslin first.

  • Jenny

    September 13, 2009 at 12:36 AM

    I've made the Simplicity coat twice, and the godets or pleats are extremely easy. Trust me, If I can figure them out, you can. 😀 Measure carefully, it runs rather large. Also made the vest, the longer version. The shirt is great, though you might want to make the neck a little less plunging.

  • Lauren Stowell

    September 13, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    Updates soon – I'm using the Butterick pattern, much to my Chagrin, and it will take some work to wrangle it into the shape I want. Luckily I've got a lot of reference that is starting to make more sense the more I look at it…

  • Keith

    October 9, 2009 at 4:53 AM

    Take a tip from me. Use early 18th century patterns, they can be used for a much later period and cover a wider period. The two weskits above are obviously late 18th century and could not be used in an earlier period. The same goes for breeches, go for the french fly (top of page), again it can be used in a later period, but the fall fronts are late 18thc. to 19thc. and can not be used any earlier.
    Regards, Le loup.

  • Gail Kellogg Hope

    October 13, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    It's my job to be an obsessed dork & work from the historic diagrams. So call me crazy.
    If you put a grid over them and say 1" = 9" (figure as close as possible for your back-waist), it's pretty easy to get them done within a few hours. Fit from the back first, then adjust the front. Keep your master pattern & re-size off of that.
    I suggest 3" ease for sleeveless waistcoats, 4"-6" ease for coats. Measure breeches for 1/2 closed gusset, so it can go either way.
    When in doubt, make doll clothes first. Often times the lining has to be part outer fabric and part lining… which gets tricky.
    But if you aren't 'crazy thread-counter lady' Butterick is OK.

  • Anonymous

    May 5, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    I use the period tailoring drawings, because they seem to have the right cut for the period. And I find it an enjoyable challenge! However, I DONT do it under time pressure, cos that would just be stressful!!

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