Books

Mid-Victorian Underpinnings

Mid-Victorian Underpinnings

Sunny walks you through every single item that a mid-Victorian lady might have worn under her gown, with references to appropriate patterns from all sources.

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Shopping in Paris: A Lady's Guide

Shopping in Paris: A Lady's Guide

Oh, to be a wealthy American traveling to Paris to order a dress from Worth! These original guides discuss what it was like...

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World War One Fashion Library 1914-18

World War One Fashion Library 1914-18

Fashion changed immensely from 1914-18 and there's a wealth of information to explore. Here's our pick of the best resources for your library!

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1912 Bookshelf & Influences

1912 Bookshelf & Influences

What books would have influenced fashion choices for a lady of 1912? What dress advice would a "stout" lady have been given?

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The Workwoman's Guide Part 2

The Workwoman's Guide Part 2

An outstanding primary source for the history nerd and sewing masochist. Ava translates the four fundamental stitches.

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The Workwoman's Guide Part 1

The Workwoman's Guide Part 1

An outstanding primary source for the history nerd and dressmaking masochist. Ava begins to translate the directions for 21st c sewers!

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New Book Reviews

New Book Reviews

Looking for some last minute gift suggestions? Cathy reviews two new books from 2010: Fashioning Fashion and High Style.

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Natural Form Era (1876-1882) Bookshelf

Natural Form Era (1876-1882) Bookshelf

We've gone through our links, pored over the bookshelves and searched for the best in books to help you create a masterpiece for the Natural Form Era 1876-1882.

We've got an awesome trilogy of ladies' tailoring books by Charles Hecklinger and his equally amazing trilogy of men's tailoring books.  

Having trouble getting a smooth fit to a cuirass bodice or Princess dress? We've found period  fitting guides with step-by-step pictures to guide you through the process.  Want to know what options women had for corsets and petticoats? Check out a mail order catalog from 1883.  And that's just the free stuff, not from a bookstore!

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Revolutionary Era (1770-1789) Bookshelf

Revolutionary Era (1770-1789) Bookshelf

Marion's got all the books and resources you need to create an amazing ensemble for the Revolutionary period:

The Must Have books and the Nice-to-Haves; A 1785 French fashion magazine with men's and women's dress, hat and wig fashions; and much more!

 

 

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Original 19th c Tailoring Books Online by Marion McNealy

Original 19th c Tailoring Books Online by Marion McNealy

Who'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

Vintage Corset Making and Fitting Books

This 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

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

This 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

Patterns of Fashion 4, reviewed by Marion McNealy

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

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

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

Build Your Library: Medieval Era

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!

"Corsets" by Jill Salen: review and competition!

This 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

HEARTH Online Library by Marion McNealy

The 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

Build Your Library - Tailoring Books

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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Build Your Library - Embellishments

Build Your Library - Embellishments

This month we feature two books that focus on the details: buttons and three dimensional fabric manipulation. Both of the featured books are fun to look through as pure eye candy and inspiration for future projects.

 

 

 

 

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August: Treasures of the Far East

August: Treasures of the Far East

With the Olympic Games controversially due to begin in Beijing this month, we thought we'd take this opportunity to give our costume construction-based Website of the Month an Oriental theme.

Here you'll find the best of the Far East, from traditional patterns to fine fabrics and the smoothest silk thread you'll ever sew with.

 

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