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 They learned why changes were made, when they went out of date, and how to recreate the styles they liked.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 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 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.

This book is intended for costume historians, Victorian re-enactors, historical writers and history buffs.

307 pages in an 8.5" x 11" format.

with over 740 B/W period illustrations.


You can find The Art of the Mantua-Maker: 1870 - 1879

In paperback at

The Art of the Mantua-Maker: 1870 - 1879
Fashion, Sewing, and Clothes Care Advice

Historical Sewing Patterns

The Mantua-Maker