Historical Sewing Patterns

The Mantua-Maker

Based on a pattern diagram for a winter costume in the February 1875 issue of Peterson’s Magazine and a pattern issued as a supplement to the Harper’s Bazaar Magazine on July 25, 1874. I have placed the full text of both sets of directions at the end of my instructions. Between these two patterns, and many other illustrations and photographs, I have designed a set of variations on a very popular theme.

This style of over-skirt was often called an “apron tunic”. The fashion term “tunic” generally meant over-skirt. The front piece was often called a “tablier”, which is French for apron – and because the word is French, so much more fashionable than the English apron.

No. 1880-17
A very popular style in England, France, America and Spain.
Ideal as a dressy overskirt for any occasion.
Directions for different styles of draperies.
With adaptations for the 1883-1887 aggressive bustle.
Variations and decoration ideas included..
(Foundation skirt not included.)


You will need an underskirt or foundation skirt to wear under this over-skirt, which is *not* included in this pattern (to keep your cost down).

The pattern is named for my mom. Doña is a Spanish word for lady or noblewoman, and Madre means mother.

This pattern includes 12 pages of instructions with historical tips and quotes, and 2 pattern sheets. It is printed on bond paper, and enclosed in a reclosable plastic bag.

All sizes Petite – Full are included.

1870 - 1890 Dona Madre Overskirt Pattern