1894: The elements of modern dressmaking for the amateur and professional dressmaker
Author: Davis, Jeanette E; Holahan, Cora M., ed
Publisher: New York, The Cassell publishing co
Possible copyright status: The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright restrictions for this item.
Call number: 10088784
Digitizing sponsor: The Library of Congress
Book contributor: The Library of Congress
Collection: library_of_congress; americana
Full catalog record: MARCXML
pdf now!!!!! OMG!!!! i LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this book. I use the pattern diagram for my Victorian bodices and it talks about things totally not thought of. Like how to smooth the layers of the bodice from under the side of the bust to over, and then pin the fronts to shape. This is because the lining won’t stretch as much as say a wool shell and this makes the fabrics work together.
It also talks about feather boning which is actually made from feather quills!
A word about perfect systems of cutting, which will do
away with any necessity for trying-on, may not be out of place:
every dressmaker hopes to find one, and learns system after
system in the vain endeavour. If such a thing were possible,
tailors would have discovered it before this ; the costliness
of the material they work upon, and the difficulty of making
alterations upon firm cloth, as compared with soft dress
materials, would ensure their straining every nerve to master
knowledge so very desirable and essential ; and the really
marvellous fitting without trying-on which is done by many
dressmakers as well as tailors would seem to declare that the
knowledge has been mastered ; but those same tailors and
dressmakers know that the risk of alteration being required
has always to be faced, in spite of careful measuring, of
a pattern bodice at hand to compare with, and of the most
minute care having been taken with every step of the work
from first to last. It is well for less experienced workers to
be very careful and painstaking, and not to expect too much
from the cutting only. Perfect cutting must be followed by
perfect making-up if everything is to be perfect throughout,
and such perfection cannot be ensured as a matter of course
to every worker, be she clever and experienced or altogether
otherwise, simply by the cutting-out.
The book is really stuffed full of information, and really is my go to for late 19thC bodices.