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 The Fashion Archaeologist

The Fashion Archaeologist

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 WELCOME TO FASHION ARCHAEOLOGY - History to Wear and more! Offering our exclusive 'Edwardian Rose' antique sewing patterns, replica antique garments, fashion CDs, and other treasures for antique and vintage fashion enthusiasts, professional theatres and filmmakers. Add us to your Favourites

We specialize in sewing patterns with full English instructions in modern sizing, developed from authentic antique originals of the 1850's to 1930's, especially French Edwardian/Titanic era fashions.  These are not so-called tailor's draft patterns requiring complicated enlargement skills, but can be used like any modern pattern straight out of the envelope.  Click on our "STORE PAGES" (scroll down left) to read more about how we develop these patterns! Try our Antique Patterns on CD that you can print at home to save on shipping.   ~ We hope you'll enjoy browsing through our store, and that you'll check back again soon to see what new treasures we've listed. Thanks for visiting!

Copyright Reminder: Please note that all our 'Edwardian Rose' patterns are copyright, intended for personal use only, not to be copied in any manner or used for commercial garment production without our prior written permission.  

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General Interest

*Edwardian Rose*  - The exclusive design label of The Fashion Archaeologist! 

A brief background on the designer:  Educated as a linguist and historian, my university background, formal training in the fine arts and involvement in live theatre have provided me with the skills for my current endeavours.  Being fluent in French and German, and also an experienced and avid costume-maker and dressmaker for over 20 years, I became interested in the fascinating task of preserving antique fashions through translating, re-drafting and enhancing original patterns, particularly from the Edwardian era.  I have also designed and created Edwardian replica costume for local historical events and installations and presented lectures on Edwardian life and fashion at a major museum in connection with the Titanica exhibit.  History, language and art are my passions, and have come together in the exclusive designs for the Edwardian Rose line of antique patterns and for "Edwardian Rose Couture Historique" replica garments.  (Incidentally, the 'Edwardian Rose' name comes from my other passion -- growing heritage roses).  I hope to also have my patterns and replica antique garments available for retail sale on a limited basis locally --  if you are visiting lovely Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia during the summer, look for my stand in the outdoor market in town. 

A large personal collection of original antique fashion documentation, assembled over decades, serves as the inspiration and starting point for the unique treasures of re-created historical garments you will find at The Fashion Archaeologist.  I am delighted to be able to bring these to eBay and make them accessible to all, sharing my love of historical dress and preserving the gracious designs of bygone days for decades to come.  I sincerely hope you will find in our antique patterns and 'Edwardian Rose' replica garments just what your heart desires!  

About Edwardian Rose authentic antique patterns...

The 'Edwardian Rose' and 'Fashion Archaeologist' label patterns you will find at The Fashion Archaeologist eBay store are unique and original.  Each pattern represents a significant investment in time and skills of an experienced dressmaker, pattern drafter and translator -- these are not your ordinary sewing patterns! 

The most important thing that makes our patterns different from other copies of antique patterns available on eBay (and elsewhere for that matter) is that we actually test-sew each of our patterns and write detailed step-by-step instructions as we go based on the construction process.  This means we work out construction "bugs" and any mysteries in advance for you. 

The second criterion that sets our patterns apart is that, unlike many so-called 'historical' patterns on the market today that are essentially modern designs drafted to resemble antique garments, our designs are taken directly from antique sources, retaining all the features of the original design. 

Yes, this does mean you'll encounter odd-looking pattern pieces, unusual construction lines or a different sort of fit with our patterns - because almost all were expected to be worn with corsets and lingerie of the particular era -- but we always give you guidelines on how to adjust the fit to a somewhat more modern silhouette if you wish. 

There are two types of patterns in our line, reflected in the pricing: 

  • Replicated Patterns:  The replica patterns are re-drafted by hand from period original patterns, then enhanced with additional helpful markings, and professionally printed on strong 20lb paper to last for years.  Most are graded up to typical modern sizes, and some are produced in more than one size.  Each pattern includes a sketch from the original source (generally French), as well as a the original description, if available, translated into English, and our own detailed construction notes in English.  The picture at left is an example of lingerie made from one of our 'Edwardian Rose' sewing patterns (currently for sale) replicated from an original period pattern. 
  • Originally Designed Patterns:  These are original patterns, drafted 'from scratch' based on period fashion sketches, exclusive to The Fashion Archaeologist on eBay.  Most are in modern, wearable sizes, and are of unusually beautiful or rare garments.  

All of our patterns are based on authentic antique patterns or period sketches -- they are not someone's idea of reproduction garments, but historically faithful copies of the real thing.  Aside from changes necessary for size grading and other enhancements to assist modern sewers, they preserve the integrity of the period designs.  Professional costumers working in theatre, opera and film will find a wide range of patterns here for their needs.  Our focus is the pre-WWI epoque -- roughly 1900 through 1914 -- however we hope to ultimately offer period patterns from the 1860's through to the 1960's. 

We believe that so much of antique fashion is still beautiful and wearable today, and that truly fine design outlasts the decades.  We choose antique styles that we feel can be worn and enjoyed today, even if perhaps in a different context. 

Although some patterns, especially those of complex Edwardian gowns, will be priced in accordance with the considerable time and expertise required to bring them 'back to life', we will be offering a wide range of patterns at different prices to suit various budgets and levels of sewing experience. 

Please remember that all our patterns are copyright -- they are not to be copied in any way, used for resale, or for commercial garment production without our express permission.   

History to Wear!

The "Edwardian Rose - Couture Historique" label:

"Couture Historique" means of course "historical couture".  We will be offering a limited number of exclusively made replicas of beautiful historical garments, primarily from the pre-WWI/Edwardian era.   The photo at left is an example (previously sold) of such a replica, a 1909 purple silk satin evening gown with boned silk taffeta underbodice, a lace overlay and sequin embellishment.

These garments are faithful copies in wearable sizes, constructed as far as is possible from the natural fabrics -- silks, cotton, linen and wool -- that would have been used in the originals, the only limitation being the present-day availability of fabrics and embellishments true to the early 20th century fashion arts.  Thus, an Edwardian evening gown that was originally constructed of silk chiffon over silk satin with a boned cotton lining will be replicated in similar materials. 

Only where an original textile or embellishment is no longer available, or so costly as to make the finished garment prohibitively expensive, will substitutes be used.  This will usually include such items as linings (where rayon may sometimes be used rather than silk) and soutache or laces (where the large yardages of wider cotton or silk laces used in the original might be substituted with nylon or other synthetic laces).  Otherwise, synthetics -- especially polyester! -- will be avoided in the main parts of our replica garments unless there is no alternative, as synthetics neither drape nor wear as comfortably as natural fibres.  In short, these are not cheaply or amateurly reproduced "costumes".  We call them replicated garments because they copy the originals as closely as possible and maintain the structural and design integrity of the gracious fashions of the past, employing many of the dressmaking techniques of the early 20th Century. 

Edwardian Rose garments are truly wearable history, of couture quality, which of course is reflected in the prices of these hand-made, uniquely crafted pieces -- some of the grander evening and bridal gowns involve over 80 hours of construction time and many metres of costly silks and laces.  Nonetheless we will be offering a number of simpler, less expensive items and children's clothing to suit more modest budgets, all just as authentically made of period appropriate natural fabrics.  They are all truly historical fashion brought back to life. 

Find your dream come true 'Edwardian Rose' replica at the Fashion Archaeologist for that very special occasion!