Historical Sewing Patterns

The Mantua-Maker

Each pattern is carefully researched and tested, so that any garment made from a Mantua-Maker pattern will be historically accurate, but with allowance made for the changes in women's physical build between the time the garment was originally worn and modern times.

Sewing should be fun!  I try to simplify my pattern pieces to the most basic - but historically accurate - shapes.  No fussy details, unless they are unavoidable to create an authentic costume.  No bizarre concoctions unless a period woman really wore it.  Lots of options, variations, and decoration ideas.

Established in 1993

The Mantua-Maker is a historical sewing pattern company specializing in women's clothing.   All patterns are multi-sized, and are based on actual garments, pattern drawings, or engravings and photographs made during the time the garment was worn.

The Art of the Hoop, 1860s Fashion and Sewing Advice

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​​For anyone who is uncomfortable about ordering from a small site like this one, I'm also on Etsy.

Please feel free to write to me with any questions, suggestions, or corrections. I want my patterns and instructions to be clear and accurate, even perfect, if I can manage that. I value your input and opinions. I'll get back with you as soon as I can.

Happy sewing,
Deb Salisbury
          The Mantua-Maker

P.S. -- I do not share your name or information with anyone.  I sincerely respect your privacy.

P.S.2. -- I am an Amazon Affiliate, which means I might earn a few cents if you click on my Amazon links.

P.S.3. -- Remember that Google links and off site ads links go -- elsewhere. They probably collect cookies (or whatever else websites collect these days). Click with care!

For those of you doing costume research or competition, I include a bibliography of all the sources I used in the pattern at hand. Besides using period photographs and original garments, some of my sources are vintage magazines and patterns, crumbly but fascinating. Many of my sources are reprinted magazines and catalogs, others are wonderful books by people who have studied individual garments and collections. These sources are usually easily available once you know what to look for.

Quality Historical Sewing Patterns for the Modern Costume Artist

I personally draft and describe my patterns: corset patterns, general underclothing and underpinning patterns, skirt patterns and bodice patterns.  I work hard on creating instructions that are interesting, as well as useful.  The instructions are geared toward someone who knows a little about sewing, but not necessarily a lot.  Corsets need a little advanced sewing knowledge, but even there, with persistence and patience a beginner can make a corset.

Many of my patterns have been used in Masquerade competitions. A variation on 1879 - 1884 Shirred Overskirt with Flounces won Best of Master Class at CostumeCon XV.

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1850s Bloomers Pattern