Monday, December 2, 2013

Giveaway on Goodreads - Victorian Bathing and Bathing Suits

I'm pleased to announce my newest book is now in paperback! To celebrate, I'm giving away two copies on Goodreads.

Victorian Bathing and Bathing Suits by Deb Salisbury

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Victorian Bathing and Bathing Suits

by Deb Salisbury

Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

It's also available on Etsy:
and on my website,

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cyber Sale!

I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop!

20% Off Black Friday - Cyber Monday! Use coupon code: CYBERSALE2013  on orders over $10.00

Also, if you are interested in vintage patterns, please have a look at the Pattern Patter team's Black Tie Blitz.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Black Tie Black Friday Pattern Blitz

The Pattern Patter Team on Etsy is planning a

Black Tie Black Friday Pattern Blitz!

November 29, 2013

We specialize in vintage patterns, but new and and antique patterns may show up in the thread, too.

Please join us!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Victorian Bathing and Bathing Suits

I'm pleased to announce I've released a new eBook.

Victorian Bathing and Bathing Suits:
The Culture of the Two-Piece Bathing Dress from 1837 – 1901

When I decided to create a new bathing suit pattern, I searched for a modern book documenting Victorian bathing suits. To my surprise, I couldn't find one. Yet I had quite a few period magazines with engravings of bathing dresses in my collection. While I was doing more research, I fell in love with the traditions and ethics surrounding American, English, and French bathing.

This book focuses on the culture of swimming and sea bathing across the decades, and on women's bathing suits, noting their styles, variations, and evolution, all quoted from the original writers of that time. For your enjoyment, I've included descriptions and engravings of men's and children's suits when I could find them, but their clothing was not as well documented as the ladies' dresses.

The culture and proper dress of bathing changed radically during Queen Victoria's reign, led, of course, by the French. The accepted ladies' one-piece bathing gown gave way to the two-piece bathing suit, and bathing went from a medical treatment to a social event.

Even the French bathing dress was not admired in its early days. It was plain, usually black, and, at best, boring. But once fashion got hold of the bathing suit, the dress evolved rapidly.  By 1870, many bathing suits were downright gorgeous. Fashion magazines began to include descriptions and engravings on a regular basis, vying to provide the most up-to-date styles. Bathing went from a quick, unpleasant dip in the ocean to true enjoyment, and even swimming became popular.

This eBook is 127 pages long (including the bibliography), and contains over 125 black and white period illustrations. It's in an 8" x 11.5" format. The PDF file is about 6.3 MB in size.

You can download it instantly on Etsy:

or buy it on my website -- I'll email it to you the next time I'm online, usually that evening.

Thanks for looking at my new book!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Another Bathing Suit Pattern

Actually, this one is a Swimming Dress, and was intended for serious swimmers.

Based on an engraving in Harper's Bazar, 
July 9, 1887, the "Lady's Swimming Dress" consists of only the waist and drawers, without a skirt. It's simple to make!

It is unlined and bound at the edges. It opens at the shoulders only, and you step in and out of it. The trousers can be made in knee or mid-calf lengths – or in the very short French length, which English ladies complained looked like a circus-rider's outfit. I've also included a pattern for a simple bathing cap.

 This pattern includes 6 pages of instructions with historical tips, and 3 pattern sheets. It is printed on bond paper, and enclosed in a reclosable plastic bag.

All sizes Petite – Full (bust: 26" – 61") are included.

You can find it at:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Outside my bedroom window

have hatched two little birds. Cardinals, I think. They are bald, with just a bit of fuzz, and so ugly they're cute.
 Mama Bird seems to spend most of her day on shade duty - it's HOT here in Texas, and gruesome in the direct sun, particularly if you've just crawled out of a nice dark egg.

I swear, though, that these chicks' heads are almost as big as their eggs had been.

Mama Bird got bored with parasol duty and invited a girlfriend along to keep her company. It's so wonderful to have devoted friends!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to read your blogs after Google Reader bites the dust.

Very soon -- July 1st, if I remember correctly -- Google Reader will be shut down. Have you figured out how to follow your favorite blogs?

I've switched over to Bloglovin, and I love it!

For a few ideas on how to move your blog list, Bloglovin suggests these posts:

And from Bloglovin, a FAQ page:

How are you going to deal with the end of Google Reader?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Announcing a New Victorian Bathing Suit Pattern

After a long hiatus, I'm back with a new pattern – a Grecian-Style Bathing Suit for 1870 to 1890.

Around 1850, the Bathing Dress for ladies came into existence – before that time women wore a long shirt-like garment.  The earliest reference to a suit with drawers I've found was in 1852. But once fashion got hold of the bathing suit, the dress evolved rapidly.  Some bathing suits were downright gorgeous. Like, in my opinion, this one!

The August 1870 issue of Peterson's Magazine shows a lovely outfit: "Fig. X. – Bathing-Costume of White Flannel. – Trousers fastened at the knee by a cross strip braided with a Grecian pattern in black wool.  Peplum blouse, with short sleeves, with a braided Grecian pattern, buttoned on each side and on the shoulders."  This is the outfit featured in my pattern.

The bathing dress opens at the shoulders and both sides.  The blouse can be made with or without sleeves.  The drawers can be made in calf or ankle lengths, and can be gathered into cuffs. You can make it with or without the separate skirt.

Victoria's skirt came out a couple of inches too short – I forgot she's a good six inches taller than I am. LOL!

Can't you see yourself lounging beside the pool in this outfit?

You can purchase it now at Etsy:

Happy sewing.
Deb Salisbury, the Mantua-Maker