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Original 19th c Tailoring Books Online by Marion McNealy

Detail from The Bridesmaid, James TissotWho'd like a shelf full of free Victorian tailoring manuals? Yes, I knew that would prick up your ears! It's been a full year since Marion last shared a collection of dressmaking and sewing books. Inspired by Jason's series, she's been building another collection: mens' and womens' wear tailoring books from 1855-1886.

Looking for riding habit ideas? Searching for cutting instructions for a Norfolk jacket or a Newmarket skirt and jacket? We've got the answers here, in these complete digitised online copies of original Victorian books, ready for you to download and enjoy.

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Vintage Corset Making and Fitting Books

Woman in a corset brushing her hair, 1908This month Marion McNealy shares with you some of the vintage corset making and fitting books that are online.

The books range from patterning and making an 1857 corset (perfect for the Single Pattern Project!)  to 1920's and 30's corsets, corselettes, brassieres, bandeaux and girdles. We've even got an excellent book from the 1950's for corset saleswomen on fitting a customer and making her feel at ease during the fitting process, still applicable to customers today!

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Build Your Library - Pattern Cutting for Men's Costume by Elizabeth Friendship

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Traugott Riedel, 1801This month we have a special treat!

YWU reader absintheskiss reviews Elizabeth Friendship's brand new book Pattern Cutting for Men's Costume.

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Patterns of Fashion 4, reviewed by Marion McNealy

Dorothy Cary, later Viscountess Rochford, c. William Larkin

The ten year wait for Janet Arnold's last work is over: Patterns of Fashion 4 is to be published on November 7th, and this month YWU is celebrating its release!

This extraordinary treasure trove, the final book in the series, has been completed with additional material by Jenny Tiramani and Santina M. Levey after Janet's passing in 1998. We've been smiling very sweetly at the publisher, and our grovelling has paid off with an advance copy. So Marion's ready to give you her exclusive review!

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Build Your Library - 18th century Costume Books by Loren Dearborn

Dancing Children by Lorens Pasch the younger (1733-1805)If you're an 18th Century costume buff, odds are you already have these.

But if you're just now falling in love with Rococo they should be at the top of your Christmas list!





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Build Your Library: Medieval Era

Detail from Roman dela Rose

Marion McNealy reviews several books on Medieval Era fashion and clothing.

Of course there's the must have Medieval Tailor's Assistant, but there are two others that you may not know about that she thinks you need to have on your library shelves.

Would you like to review a book for us? Drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. including your YWU username and what titles you'd like to review.


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"Corsets" by Jill Salen: review and competition!

Replica of 1890 corsetThis month Cathy Hay reviews the new exciting new book: "Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques"  by Jill Salen.

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HEARTH Online Library by Marion McNealy

The Lovers: Morning RecreationThe HEARTH  (Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History) online library is devoted to books and journals published in the field on home economics.

It has a large variety of books on many different subjects, and I'll teach you how to get the most out of this valuable resource! I also share some of the books that caught my attention and a few favorite quotes.

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Build Your Library - Tailoring Books

The village tailor, 1894, Albert Anker As a seamstress, you may be happy to tackle just about any type of garment, but the thought of tailoring probably makes you feel a little faint and a lot intimidated.

Here are Cathy Hay's three favourite tailoring books that'll take away the mystery and show you the way, step by step, to beautifully tailored clothes both for you and for the gentleman in your life.


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