"Reconstruction Era Fashions"
350 Sewing, Needlework, and Millinery Patterns 1867-1868
By Frances Grimble
544 pages, 350 patterns and 609 illustrations. $45.00
Reconstruction Era Fashions contains a comprehensive selection of women’s styles from the years
immediately following the American Civil War. By late 1867 the large, elliptical dress skirt of the
mid 1860s had evolved into a smaller, looped-up, “polonaise” overskirt.
This attractive silhouette was inspired by 18th-century fashions. Historical interest was also expressed
by “Watteau” back pleats, “Pompadour” necklines, and “Marie Antoinette” fichus.
The appeal of these styles was intensified by rich fabrics and lively colors.
The 350 patterns and 609 illustrations in this book are drawn from a rare complete bound volume of
the first issues of Harper’s Bazar, from November 1867 through December 1868. Harper’s Bazar was the
most sophisticated American fashion magazine of this period. It weekly published sewing, needlework,
and millinery patterns illustrated by exquisite engraved plates.
These practical patterns enabled every woman to make her own entire wardrobe.
They were supplemented by columns that advised readers on planning their outfits and by articles
that focused on specific techniques.
This unique book provides sewing patterns for day dresses, evening dresses, accessories, outer wear,
lingerie, corsets, crinolines, bridal wear, and clothes for riding and bathing.
Instructions for enlarging, fitting, and using the patterns are included.
Patterns for garment trimmings use such techniques as heirloom sewing, embroidery, crocheting, knitting,
tatting, and ribbon work. Millinery patterns include bonnets, hats, and evening headdresses.
Additional articles give instructions for authentic dressmaking, corset making, millinery, hairdressing,
crocheted tatting, and netting. Selections from fashion columns describe materials, colors, shoes,
jewelry, trousseaux, and mourning.
In short, this book contains all the information needed to create a complete outfit—or many reconstruction
Era Fashions is a rich pattern source for sewers and needleworkers who recreate period costumes for
the theater, living history, bridal wear, or dolls.
It’s a valuable identification and dating tool for costume historians and vintage clothing collectors.
And it will spark ideas for fashion designers.
For further informations : Harpers House