Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Art of the Mantua-Maker: 1870 - 1879

I'm pleased to announce the release of my newest book:

The Art of the Mantua-Maker: 1870 - 1879 
Fashion, Sewing, and Clothes Care Advice
with over 740 B/W period illustrations.
Compiled and edited by Deb Salisbury,
The Mantua-Maker Historical Sewing Patterns

"Taste in dress is the sure guarantee of the lady. Nor is it mere money that makes a tasteful dress. It is principally a knowledge of the fashions, and how to adapt them to your style."
Peterson’s Magazine, November 1875

The art of the mantua-maker was practiced by every woman who wanted to create her own wardrobe. Fashion magazines were studied and dissected, scoured for details on how each effect was created, how many seams were used, and where the pleats were used. They learned why changes were made, when they went out of date, and how to recreate the styles they liked.

This book compiles sewing and fashion advice given in those books and magazines during the 1870s, given in the words of writers of that time. Each entry shows the name and date of the periodical quoted. I’ve included as many pattern sketches as I could find.

“The Art of the Mantua-Maker: 1870 - 1879 Fashion, Sewing, and Clothes Care Advice” has three sections:
1) Sewing tips and fashion advice
2) Fabric cleaning and care.
3) Bibliography of magazines and books I found useful.

I’ve included over 740 black and white period engravings to help show the details of the changing fashions of the 1870s.

The Art of the Mantua-Maker: 1870 - 1879 is intended for costume historians, Victorian re-enactors, historical writers and history buffs. It has 307 pages in an 8.5" x 11" format.

It's available in paperback, PDF, and Kindle formats. The PDF format size is about 47.5Mb.

You can find it on my website:

On Etsy:

And for Kindle at Amazon.com

Monday, November 3, 2014

Civil War Bathing Suit Sewing Pattern

I'm pleased to announce the release of my newest pattern:

Early Victorian Two-Piece
Bathing Suit

Victorian Bathing Suit Pattern by The Mantua-Maker
Around 1845, the two-piece bathing suit for American and English ladies came into existence – before that time most women wore a long shirt-like garment.  The earliest reference to a suit with drawers I've found was in 1838 in France, and in America in 1848.

This type of bathing dress, with the skirt and blouse made together and with separate trousers, was alarmingly avant-garde in 1838, and acceptable but old-fashioned by 1865.  It was popular during the Civil War, and still worn as late as 1875. 

Victorian Bathing Suit Pattern by The Mantua-Maker
The pattern has several variations. It may be made with a high neckline with or without a collar, or with a lower neckline.  The long or short sleeves can be enclosed in a cuff, confined with elastic, or left open in a bell shape. The blouse skirt may be made from mid-thigh to below the knee in length. A separate belt confines the waist. The trousers may be made in the wide Turkish style or normal width, from below-knee to ankle length, and also may be enclosed in a cuff, confined with elastic, or left open at the bottom.

This pattern includes 18 pages of instructions with historical tips, and 5 pattern sheets.  It is printed on bond paper, and enclosed in a reclosable plastic bag. 

All sizes Petite – Full (bust: 26" – 61") are included.
#1800-4 --- $23
See it on Etsy:
or at my website: