When I posted my Idea Log for an indigo kimono last month, reader Marta Sullivan recommended a pattern at Folkwear.com — #112 Japanese Field Clothing — which I promptly ordered for the pants! And then I spent the next several hours happily (painstakingly) clicking through the pages of their outdated website, before resorting to the PDF catalog for easier browsing. Founded in the mid-1970s, Folkwear is a purveyor of “patterns with timeless style” — vintage or cultural classics (ranging from a cheongsam to a Navajo blouse to Marilyn Monroe-wear) that have equal appeal to costumers, reenactors and those of us who think a good French Cheesemaker’s Smock never goes out of style. The range of patterns is amazing, and the closer I looked the more in love I fell, as I discovered that many of them include companion knit or crochet patterns. #240 Rosie the Riveter (above) contains instructions for a coordinating knitted cardigan and “a crocheted snood that keeps hair in place.” #137 Australian Drover’s Coat (one of my favorites!) has a textured turtleneck pattern to go with. #238 Le Smoking Jacket includes the perfect little knitted tank to wear under it. And check out the cardigan with poodle appliqué that accompanies the circle skirt in #256 At the Hop! And that’s just scraping the surface. The pattern I ordered didn’t happen to have a knit component, so I’m curious to see how bare-bones vintage-pattern-style they might be.
Oh, and each pattern comes with a little history lesson about the garment(s)!
A few days ago, a friend mentioned she’d found Folkwear on Instagram. The account was just created on January 3; a new owner was announced on Jan 12; and she launched a new website last week. The new site is much easier to navigate, and I’m happy to see the delightfully dated photos survived although the PDF catalog seems not to have. [UPDATE: Here it is!] Just make sure you have some time before you click through! It is a definite rabbit hole.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has any experience with these patterns — and thanks again to Marta for bringing it to my attention!