Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Ladies knickerbockers from 1923:

This pattern was first made in 1901, my particular pattern is dated 1923.
This was about the time it became acceptable for ladies to wear pants. At first they just wore them when playing sport, cycling or horse riding.
I think they're beautiful. These are from a time when clothes were still made to make people look the best they could. The over simplification of modern costume and the extreme emphasis on casual wear is boring, ugly and uncreative.

Making this pattern gave me thoughts of worthlessness.
The instructions consist of one vague paragraph printed very small.
They seemed to assume that anyone making the pattern has years of dressmaking skills -which they did have 100 years ago. Well unfortunately I don't.
I had to pull much hair out before I got it right. The grey pair I made just to try it out, I ended up having to make up new pieces ,and, as the waist was too big I had to take it in with darts.
The green pair turned out nice, and once I've gotten over the experience of making them I'll attempt another pair.


  1. Hello, I am very VERY interested in making these but I feel like your skills are probably better than mine. Have you made these again? Tell me if you found it easier to make. What fabric did you use for the green pair? Both are lovely. I need a ladies knickerbocker set for 10th April! Goodness...maybe I won't be able to make them in time.

  2. Hi Nicole,
    if you've moved from 20,000 leagues under the sea to somewhere closer to London I'd consider commissioning a pair of these, if you're interested?


  3. Moved as far away from London as is possible -Australia
    Is that too far?

  4. Hi Nicole,

    I make most of my own clothes and dress 1920s most of the time. Usually I wear the One Hour Dress, but I've got some gorgeous orangey-gold wide wale corduroy that I really want to make into some knickerbockers like yours. Would you be willing to sell me a copy of the pattern, or do you take commissions?



  5. Hi Isabel

    I'd be glad to copy the pattern for you if you'd be willing to pay the postage. I know what it's like to want these knickerbockers :)


  6. Hi I am very interested in getting a copy of your pattern, I have been searching for days now for a good pattern! Is there any way to better contact you?


  7. Hi Madyson,

    I'd be happy to copy the pattern and send it to you if you'd be willing to pay the postage probably through Paypal if you have it.
    The comments from this blog go straight to my email address so should be fine.


  8. Nicole,

    I apologize for wasting time, I won't be needing the pattern after all, I was looking for a pattern for boys knickerbockers and just realized these are for woman. Do you know where I may be able to find a good pattern for boys knickerbockers? I can not seem to find any.



  9. It can be easier and just as effective to alter a pair of pants to look like knickerbockers. When i do this i usually cut off the trouser legs just past the knee and use these pieces to make cuffs, then add brace buttons to the waist if you want and maybe cut the V in the waistband. I'd suggest finding a reference picture and altering a pair of regular pants to give the same effect. It works well.

    If you really want a pattern though, try ebay, etsy or -search for period costumes or breeches as well.

    Good luck

  10. Hi!

    I found this blog, searching for knickerbockers and I was wondering if I could buy a copy of the pattern off you. These look utterly stunning and I'd love a few pairs for my wardrobe. I'm a Steampunk, and it can be hard to find pant patterns that fit within the era, without looking

    Would that be possible at all? I'm sorry to be a bother!