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This description refers to the set, of which this is volume 2.
Fashions of the Gilded Age contains a complete wardrobe of authentic women's styles from the late 1870s and early 1880s. This "natural form" silhouette, with its slender bodice, graceful drapery, and flowing train, is one of the most elegant of the 19th century.
The 343 patterns and 798 illustrations in this work are drawn from numerous rare original sources. Volume 1 includes patterns for corsets, bustles, lingerie, skirts, day bodices, evening bodices, overskirts, polonaises, and day dresses. Volume 2 focuses on evening dresses, ball gowns, wedding dresses, riding habits, bathing costumes, and outerwear. It also includes millinery, accessories of all types, and needlework trimmings created by such techniques as embroidery and crochet. Each pattern is accompanied by practical instructions, and often by an exquisite fashion plate. For even greater variety you can exchange most pattern components, such as bodices and overskirts, with those of other patterns. Although enthusiasts will want both volumes, each can be used independently.
You can enlarge the patterns by several different methods, depending on the source. The German manual Vollstandige Schule der Damenschneiderei, newly translated into English, gives patterns to be drafted with apportioning scales. Apportioning scales are special rulers that enable you to draft custom sizes, from queen size to dolls, without doing arithmetic. It also gives patterns you can draft with ordinary rulers, and patterns you can develop from a period "sloper." The scaled diagrams from Harper's Bazar and other publications may be enlarged by gridding or projection. Each volume contains clear, step-by-step instructions for all these enlargement methods and a full set of apportioning scales.
Extensive quotes from fashion magazines and etiquette manuals give you in-depth information on construction, materials, trimmings, and wardrobe planning. Volume 2 includes a substantial manual on 1870s and 1880s dressmaking and millinery, created especially for this book. A glossary, which appears in both volumes, explains period fabric names and dressmaking terms.
Fashions of the Gilded Age is a rich pattern source for those who create period costume for theater, film, living history, reenactment, bridal wear, or dolls. It's a valuable identification and dating tool for costume historians and vintage clothing collectors. This may be the only book (and the only patterns) you'll ever need for women's fashions of 1877 through 1882.