Welcome to the homepage for Sarah Thursfield. I'm most widely known as the author of 'The Medieval Tailor's Assistant', but I've been researching the history of dress for more than twenty years and sewing for more than forty.
I’m delighted to offer you the new, revised and enlarged Medieval Tailor’s Assistant. It’s taken a long time to produce because my original publisher, the remarkable Ruth Bean, died shortly after we had agreed on a supplementary volume. When the title was eventually sold to Crowood they commissioned the supplement, but then decided to combine the new work with the original book. So we started again to splice the two together! You might be able to see the joins, but I’ve been glad of the opportunity to update and reorganise the contents (and get rid of one or two dodgy items) as well as adding many more patterns and variants, most of them illustrated with colour photographs.
From the earliest surviving needles to twentieth-century dressmaking manuals, my aim is to trace the development of clothing technology and the individual garments which make up the typical dress of any given time, because only by taking a long view can we make sense of the details.
I have a detailed knowledge of early cut and construction; the practical skills to interpret these for modern wearers and materials; and the ability to pass both knowledge and skills to students of all kinds.
Book a dress weekend for your group - your venue, your historical period, and the clothes you need to make.
Or come to my sewing room for a day of fitting, sewing, rifling through books and files, and studying my clothing collection.
Explore the site to find out about my work, and how I can help you get into the clothes.
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These images were copied by Sarah from original sources and are an important part of her research into medieval garments.