Historical Sewing Patterns

The Mantua-Maker

This pattern includes 34 pages of instructions with historical tips and quotes, and 6 pattern sheets. It is printed on bond paper, and enclosed in a reclosable plastic bag.

All sizes 2 – 30 are included.

The polonaise was very popular during the late 1870’s and the 1880’s. Many styles were available, changing from year to year to reflect the current whim of fashion, and the current size of the fashionable bustle. A garment with a back opening was generally reserved for teenagers, or for formal wear, such as a ball or a dinner party. This pattern was taken from a polonaise in my collection, which is fully described in the instructions.

The dress may be made with a front or a back opening. It is slightly more than knee-length, allowing the underskirt to show. It may be fastened with buttons and buttonholes or with hooks and eyes. The sleeves may be three quarter length or full length. The collar may be standing, or folded over with a false revers which is shaped rather like a modern shawl collar. The bustle draping may be asymmetrical, as in the original garment, or symmetrical with variations in the top (square or V’d), and in the bottom (square or rounded). The front of the skirt may be left plain, shirred up the front, or the shirred triangle may be applied.

No. 1880-14
Designed from an extant polonaise made of wool and silk in my collection.
The outfit may be front or back opening.
Options for: 
-- False revers or standing collar. -- Several front trim options.
-- Different sleeves and cuffs. -- Many back treatments.
-- Variations for large and small bustles.
This dress was normally below knee length,

worn over a foundation skirt, but it can be a full length outfit.
Variations and Decoration Ideas.
(Foundation skirt not included.)


1875 - 1888 Whistle Stop Polonaise Pattern