Note: this page is intended primarily for the costumers of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and written as such; however, hopefully, its usefulness is not limited to them: the same comments and directions are applicable for theatrical costuming and other applications. The translations and directions are by Masha Gedilaghine Holl, and may be printed for personal use. For commercial use, please contact me


The patterns and instructions on this page are based on Russkii istoricheskii kostium dlia stseny , Isskustvo: Moscow, 1945, by N. Giliarovskaia (Russian Historical Costume for the Stage) . The patterns system Giliarovskaia gives work. However, it is highly recommended to prepare a mock-up of the garment from cheap fabric such as muslin before cutting the actual fabric intended for that garment. The basic pattern is intended for people of average height, average girth, and for men rather than women, therefore some measurements will need to be adjusted, such as overall length, sleeve length, etc. I give more extensive directions for the few garments I have actually constructed from these patterns. In general, they will apply to all the garments in the book, but details will vary. These patterns and directions are not complicated, since everything is based on straight lines, and the curves are usually easy to draw. However, because adjustments are necessary and construction details differ from commercial patterns, first-time costumers should seek assistance from experienced costumers. The historical comments to the patterns are by Giliarovskaia. For additional comments on the history of medieval Russian clothing, see section IV.