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Authentic Victorian Dressmaking Techniques

At the turn of the century, ladies of privilege could easily afford their own dressmakers, and even middle-class housewives occasionally employed competent seamstresses. But many women did their own sewing, often relying on Dressmaking, Up to Date, a how-to book published by the Butterick Publishing Company. First published in 1905 and widely considered the first modern American sewing book, this extremely rare volume is published here complete and unabridged.This Butterick manual provides clear and concise instructions for altering patterns, hand-sewing stitches, and creating shirt-blouses, skirts, wedding and evening gowns, coats, jackets, maternity wear, undergarments, bathrobes, children's clothing, and many other articles of apparel. Today's costume historians and sewing enthusiasts will find fascinating instruction in such long-lost arts as boning a bodice perfectly, creating skirt sweepers and bust enhancers, concealing hooks and eyes, and other vintage dressmaking techniques.An indispensable archive of information on late-Victorian and turn-of-the-century clothing, this volume will be of immense interest to anyone fascinated by the fashion and costume of the period. It will also be of value to needleworkers wanting to create accurate reproductions of Victorian-era costume, or to anyone interested in applying time-honored sewing techniques to a modern wardrobe.

Series: Dover Fashion and Costumes

Paperback: 144 pages

Publisher: Dover Publications (December 29, 1998)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0486404854

ISBN-13: 978-0486404851

Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #107,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #26 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Textiles & Costume #73 in Books > Arts & Photography > Fashion > History #92 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Home Repair

This is a reprint of one of Butterick's early 20th-century sewing manuals, so popular at the time that they are still widely available used. The introduction doesn't add much; then again it doesn't need to. One thing though--this book does not contain sewing patterns. It is designed for use after you already have the pattern.

I have never seen a book with so much detail about how victorians made clothing...bustles, dust ruffles, how to bone correctly, etc. Its a must have if you sew repros, costumes, doll dresses, etc. Wow!

Victoria was queen from 1837-1901.A reprinted dressmaking book from 1905 should not have it's title changed to include the word "Victorian". It's very misleading.This book is for the S front pidgeon breasted style of Edwardian clothing only.It does not even mention bustles, hoopskirts, fitted bodices, or any of the other key elements that defined Victorian costume.This book does not include any patterns, but it does tell you how to alter and sew garments from existing patterns, and might be useful if you have some vintage patterns that you'd like to adjust and use.I am highly disappointed and I plan to return this book.

This book should say that it only covers techniques from the late Victorian era through the turn of the century. Earlier techniques are not covered, otherwise it is a good book. If you are looking for dressmaking techniques prior to near the turn of the century, look elsewhere...

This is a wonderful and useful book. But it is EDWARDIAN and not VICTORIAN. I love the instructions in this book. They are very clear, very detailed, and come with useful photographs. But the book is focused on Edwardian clothing and has nothing to do with Victorian fashion. The techniques do transfer--faggoting is faggoting and lace inset is lace inset. It doesn't matter the era in which you are working. The techniques for lace inset work as well on a modern baby's layette or a bridal veil as they do on a Gibson girl blouse. If you have any interest in fine sewing techniques, this is a great book. If you want explanations of how to make a bustle or how to adjust a skirt for a bustle, you will not find it in this book.

I make reproductions costumes for our NYS Historic Preservation Costume Department. I have been trying without success to find an authentic 1885 Norfolk Suit and knickerbockers to replicate for a boy aged 8 years old. This wonderful sewing manual had a detailed description of both. Although it was written in 1905, the sewing techniques have been the same for many, many years. This manual is my most treasured for authentic techniques of the Victorian/Edwardian era.

As others have stated this book is more Edwardian period fashions and not Victorian, although one must remember that many of the same sewing techniques where used since not many people could afford to own a sewing machine. It shows how to sew even stitching by HAND which would be period correct for victorian or Edwardian sewing. Having studied and made civil war period clothing I found this book invaluable to recreate hemms, hand sewn plackards on skirts with hook and eye closures and how to finish the bottom of a boned bodice with NO lining in it. I would have been lost trying to figure all this out on my own. This book has wonderful illistrations of hand sewing and photographs from the early 1900's.

This book was written to teach home sewers how to make these clothes. It goes directly to specific information on how to sew seams, how to match plaids, how to make a dress form, and so on. Because most, if not all?, women would have been hand sewing at this time, the instructions are all about hand work. If you already have sewing instruction books but you would like to refine your skills in making highly fitted clothes and working delicate decorative techniques, this book is a gem. Not at all a fluff or talkative book, it is all good practical how-to info. Since I sew by hand, rather than machine, I especially loved this. The sort of info that could help make one a fine, highly skilled sewer.

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