Colonial clothing, what a great costume idea. It is so much fun to dress up, costumes allow us to go back in time and have a feeling of what past eras were like, even if it is only for one night at a costume party or for Halloween.
Simplicity Patterns have the best selection of costume patterns. I have many of Simplicity's patterns in my inventory and I reuse them.
The Pioneers wore simple styles made from cotton fabric. This was readily available and times were hard for most pioneers coming to North America.
Cities were built and the population grew, so access to different qualities of fabric became available. However, simple clothing and fashion was much more practical for every day living.
I have made two costumes for a theatre group. These are pioneer dresses with aprons made from two different sewing patterns. You may be interested to make these for your self or for someone else at Halloween. Both patterns are quite easy to sew. I changed the dress by lowering the neckline and I made short sleeves.
For the apron I made the blue one like the pattern and for the green apron I change the ruffle and used some ribbon to embellish the bottom.
There are two patterns used in the making of these costumes. McCalls and Simplicity.
McCalls patterns carry a small selection of historical patterns. I have used many of these patterns to make a variety of costumes. I have mentioned before that Simplicity patterns have the best selection for a variety of costume patterns. These patterns are just a sample of historical costume sewing patterns available.
Of course footwear was important. Both for practical and fashionable reasons. No different than today.
Colonial style shoes ranged from delicate fashionable shoes to riding boots. Depending on what a person financial circumstances were, your footwear would be styled accordingly. Not unlike today. Shoes were made from animal hides, silk, brocades, taffeta, and satin. Here are some examples of what footwear would have looked like. The image below is a style that would have been worn.
Head wear has always been an important part of fashion all through the ages. Right up until the 1960s when fashionable hats were not as popular. Head wear in modern times are worn for more practical purposes ie: to keep sun and rain of our heads and to keep us warm. That's not to say fashion hats aren't popular in certain fashion genres.
However, all through history, head wear was worn for more than practicle reasons. Head wear was for fashion, for practical reasons and for piety in the 18th century. Women covered their heads as not to show their hair, for modesty purposes. People were quite religious during this time, so proper dress was require at all times.
If you are interested in making a bonnet of your own, click here.