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Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 1: Undergarments, Bodices, Skirts, Overskirts, Polonaises, and Day Dresses 1877-1882 Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 1:  Undergarments, Bodices, Skirts, Overskirts, Polonaises, and Day Dresses 1877-1882 + Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 2: Evening, Bridal, Sports, Outerwear, Accessories, and Dressmaking 1877-1882 + The Edwardian Modiste: 85 Authentic Patterns with Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 2 pages
  • Publisher: Lavolta Press (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963651757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963651754
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frances Grimble is the author of nine books on historic costume and needlework (one of which, After a Fashion, is in its second edition). Over 60 of her articles on sewing and vintage clothes have appeared in national magazines, such as Threads, Sew News, and Antique Trader Weekly. Ms. Grimble has been a how-to writer and editor since 1983. She has worked for book publishers, magazine publishers, and software companies; she has written a number of user manuals and coauthored a computer book. More, and detailed, information on her books is available on www.lavoltapress.com.

Ms. Grimble has substantial formal education in researching social history and in clothing design. In 1974 she began making historical reproductions for periods from the Renaissance into the 1920s; she tries to schedule regular sewing time in addition to that required by her writing projects. Since 1972, she has collected vintage clothing and accessories from the late 18th century into the mid 20th.

Ms. Grimble lives in San Francisco, California. She is married to a researcher/developer of artificial intelligence software. Her favorite pastime is reading, and her favorite fiction genres are fantasy and science fiction. She is also fond of historic costume dramas on DVD.

Ms. Grimble has no intention of posting a blog anywhere, because it deducts too much time from writing her books.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
If you have some sewing experience and you love this period it is really a great book!
De vreugde van de prinses
In this book it's amazing to see fashion plates of overskirts that look similar in the plates, but the cut and drape shown by the pattern pieces is quite different.
Historic Seamstress
This sure beats trying to decipher the patterns in an original 1890's issue of Harpers!
Town&Country

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book contains patterns for the following:

corsets, hoopskirts and bustles (some)

underclothing and negligee wear (quite a few)

day and evening skirts (only about four)

day bodices (quite a few)

evening bodices (some)

overskirts (some)

polonaises (some)

day dresses (quite a few)

some = around ten

quite a few = over 20

I would recommend this book for anyone who likes victorian costuming. It not only works as a pattern book, but as a source book, having lots of pictures you can use for reference. Even if you just look through it, it really can help you understand the styles of that era.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Historic Seamstress on September 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
There's just so MUCH material in this book--so many pictures and patterns and so many pages of hard-to-find information. Women's styles of the period were intricate, with separate bodices, overskirts, and skirts, or with polonaises (a bodice with the overskirt attached) and skirts. This book separates patterns for bodices, skirts, overskirts, and polonaises to mix and match however you want. It also gives patterns for whole dresses, but you can mix their components too.

There are far more patterns for EVERYTHING than I've ever seen anywhere else. There were many, many ways of cutting and draping an overskirt or a polonaise. In this book it's amazing to see fashion plates of overskirts that look similar in the plates, but the cut and drape shown by the pattern pieces is quite different. There are even 19 patterns for chemises.

This book will keep me busy for a long time!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Zuzana Kraemerova on April 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am very pleased with this book and I think it gives a load of information for a very reasonable price.

The book (together with vol.2) is overfilled with all kinds of garments you can imagine and for each sort of garment there are always many styles.

It is not directly a drafting book, it does not tell you how to draft your own bodice etc. by using your measurements, but the method of using the patterns and the enlarging rulers is very close to that and, as I think, it might produce a very good substitution for a custom-drafted dress with saving a lot of your time and being very simple to do. It is something between custom drafting and pre-sized patterns, because you create the garments by using your bust and back length measurement, which are the two most important measurements for making a garment suited to your proportions and it will probably need only little easy modifications like adding/substracting from waist and hip width and maybe some changes for the front length. But all possible and most frequent modifications are very well explained in the book.

It is all written in such a way that even with no or little knowledge of drafting, you'll be able to produce a probably very well fitted garments.

For a drafting professional, it's a good help when doing things like skirts, especially draped overskirts and all garments creating a shape or silhouette that is hard to figure out. Even if you won't use the patterns for enlarging and draft the things yourself, you can very well keep to the shape of the patterns as you can see, unlike in so many pattern books, NUMBERS.

I think this book has the best ratio of the price and the information given of all costume book I've come through. It's a pity that there are no such books for earlier periods:-(
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Claire E. Frasier on January 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
The pictures and descriptions within the book are an excellent reference if you are researching and intending on recreating one of these beautiful designs. Advanced knowledge of sewing skills is a must for those who wish to recreate these (definantly not for the novice sewer). Frances Grimble, you've done it again. Please keep them coming. I will buy every book you put out.
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Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful. I believe I own every book Frances Grimble has written and anxiously await more. The variety of patterns is amazing and allows the experienced sewer to create their own designs from various components, like sleeves and collars. This sure beats trying to decipher the patterns in an original 1890's issue of Harpers!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By De vreugde van de prinses on May 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for seamstresses with some experience(I think it would be too hard for beginners.It would be good if you have some comprehenesion on sizing(drafting patterns yourself for example)but that isn't even necessary.I think it would be easier though:)

Frances Grimble gives clear instructions for changing patterns to size and even to different body shapes(large bust, short back etc.

You do need to take some time for this, but well, you'll have an authentic pattern in your hands, how great is that?;)And there are so many in this book! I was having a very hard time finding real historical patterns in The Netherlands(so far found one french journal from 1902)and I feel like a kid in a candystore now.:)I <3 this book already.

You can make a complete outfit, from undergarments to overgarments.

If you have some sewing experience and you love this period it is really a great book!

Amazon's service is excellent too. It didn't take very long for the item to arrive(from US to the Netherlands)(with one step faster shipping, expidited?)it was even a lot faster then the estimated arrival time.
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