Folkwear is a sewing pattern company that was founded in the 1970′s by Alexandra Jacopeti. Over the years they have built up a selection of patterns based on traditional folk clothes of the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Their first patterns were based on garments that worked with the full width of the woven fabric, using rectangles and squares. The old adage was to “cut my coat according to my cloth,” that is, cut with as little waste as possible. These clothes were frequently used for work and had to have enough ease to move in. One of the Folkwear patterns I’ve made is the Cheese-Maker’s smock. This is a pattern based on a classic French work-shirt. It has several sizes that fit both men and women. The small square gusset set under the arm makes for a complete range of movement and comfort. Wearing it I am covered from neck to wrist — perfect for garden work. I have made several in cotton and linen and could also see it in a fine cotton or silk. It is now my favorite hot weather work shirt. Folkwear has also recently added Victorian and 1930s’ designs.