The Great Pattern Review
La Fleur de Lyse
#MAA 1101 - Medieval Accessories Men and Women 11th to 15th Century
Heather Kenyon-Haff - Recommended
La Fleur de Lyse does a wonderful job of providing patterns on sturdy paper (suitable for far more than one simply one use) and a helpful outline of historical notes on the given garments. The instructions are given both in English and in French, so be aware that highlighting the language of your choice may be very useful. In this collection of accessories: braies (long and short), hose (male and female), hood (male and female plus a variety of options in design such as lirpipe), and purse.
Of these patterns, I have most recently put together the Woman's Hose. The directions were quite forthright, but at times misleads the sewer into thinking that positioning and tailoring the various pieces are easier than they may be in reality. While reasonably clear, I would not declare this a beginner-level pattern, as it necessitates the tailor or seamstress to alter the pattern to the wearer's leg, and may entail some possibly difficult pinning. I would actually rate this a more intermediate level.
In continuing to use this series of accessory patterns, I made the Hood. It is a delightfully simple, thrifty pattern yielding a useful and practical piece of headgear. Directions are given to modify the plain hood into a number of different variations, such as the liripipe. To be honest, this was the most straightforward sewing project I have attempted in quite a while. The Hood pattern is Highly Recommended.
#MAR 1001 - Women of Medieval Romanesque Period Years 1060 & 1150
Julie Wash - Recommended
There were a few tricky things about this pattern, but overall it made up beautifully. There are four sets of patterns: Lady Year 1150, Lady 1060, Peasant 1060 and Peasant 1150. I made up the Peasant, Year 1150 version. The pattern comes with tons of background information and pictures showing headdresses, placement of trim and how everything is to be worn. An under-dress, cloak, belt and headdresses are included in the patterns.The instructions, contained in a nice big plastic pouch, are in French and English. I'd recommend highlighting the instructions pertaining to the version you're making to cut down on frustration. I never did understand the directions about which gores to cut out. Finally I cut out the longest ones and they worked. The basic pattern is an eight-gore tunic. There are instructions for a similar pattern on the Internet, but with this version Fleur de Lyse has done all the pesky math and geometry for you. I would recommend some prior experience with gores first, since these instructions are not terribly explicit. For my version, the under-dress is identical to the overdress. It was great to make up the under-dress without stressing too much over mistakes, then fly through the overdress with confidence. Good luck!
Elizabeth Young - Recommended
I made the 1150 Noble Women outfit: the Cotte and Bliaut pieces. Because I am at the top end of the size range for this pattern, I had some trouble with sleeve fit. The finished sleeve is quite tight. I recommend double checking the upper arm and elbow diameters of the pattern against your own measurements; something I did not do. The pattern made up quite easily, and the historical notes are extensive and useful.
#NFF 18101 - Caps and Coif Mid 18th Century
Jennifer Osterman - Recommended
I love this pattern set. The Adelaide cap is so pretty when finished and the coif look over the cap is so very Canadienne. I have loaned my pattern around and very inexperienced sewers have had remarkable results. I can't wait for it to come back, so I can make some other caps. The directions can be a little confusing to very beginning sewers because the instructions are translated from French. However, keeping that in mind, it is a great pattern.
#NFF 18102 - Canadienne de la Nouvelle-France circa 1740-1760
Maria Jackson - Recommended
I've made the Shift and Mantelet; both of which turned out to be wonderful. The Mantelet, however, may need adjustments to the sleeves at the elbow if you are adding cuffs. If you follow the pattern, the cuffs turn out to be the same diameter as the sleeve and do not create the desired winged effect. AS with all form-fitting bodice patterns you must make a muslin first. The Shift pattern is period correct, easy and fits well. The Petticoat and Apron are not full size patterns; just instructions with a diagram on how to make them. This is quite sufficient as they are just simple geometric shapes sewn together.
Paula Lee Drake - Recommended for experienced seamstresses.
The directions are in French! Some is in English but not very clear. GREAT PATTERN! FUN! You have to know how to sew and know your way around patterns.