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The "Keystone" Jacket and Dress Cutter: An 1895 Guide to Women's Tailoring [Paperback]

Chas Hecklinger , Kristina Seleshanko

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Book Description

Aug. 11 2006 Dover Fashion and Costumes
As the 20th century dawned, women began to abandon frilly fashions for sharply tailored suits. Professional tailors of the time turned to this comprehensive resource to create office outfits, riding pants, blouses, and other garments. Filled with more than 80 patterns, it's an invaluable reference for costume designers and fashion historians. 92 black-and-white illustrations.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (Aug. 11 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486451054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486451053
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 20.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #557,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks complex but well worth the historically accurate results! Oct. 4 2008
By J. Krasicky - Published on
This book is *THE* guide for tailoring suits of the 1890s. When I first flipped through the book in the store, I was intimidated by the diagrams shown throughout the book. But honestly, if you have a roll of wide paper, a large ruler, a quilter's square, a french curve set, a few pens and pencils, and a calculator, it isn't very difficult. You just have to be sure to follow the directions carefully--and pay attention for slight mistakes in the print (I have found just two so far, and they're just a matter of common sense, one being the size of a measurement needing to be 1/6 of something instead of 1/3).

Once you have drafted your basic bodice pattern, you essentially use it again and again as a base for most of the jacket and shirtwaist patterns in the book--so you just have to retrace them and make the changes for the new pattern. And the method of measuring ensures the right fit the first time (as long as you remember to add seam allowances on the pattern edges).

If you don't like or need the "Leg 'O Mutton" sleeves, you can substitute the plain sleeve pattern included in the book. Most of the patterns, with some modifications, will work well for a range of about 1877-1882 and 1890 to 1905. You could even use the vest pattern for a modern vest, or even a men's vest if you lessen the measurements in the bust area. The longer jacket patterns would work very nicely for modern coats, as well.

One thing--if you want to look authentic, you will need a corset (no pattern is included in the book). has a great pattern that is very easy to work with (I've used it to great success before). If you don't need a corset, it won't be a problem since the patterns are drawn to measure to fit you.

Happy drafting and sewing!
4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward and clear instructions. Jan. 19 2010
By Flo B. Foxworthy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't yet made any of the patterns in this book, but the instructions look to be very straightforward and simple to follow.
I'd say that anyone with an understanding of pattern drafting would have no trouble using this book to create authentic period costumes.
A few illustrations with each set of drafting instructions would be helpful (mainly so you know exactly what style you are working on), but all in all i think this is an excellent book for the price.
4.0 out of 5 stars A little hard to follow, but overall excellent Feb. 13 2011
By ShinyCat - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While the directions were rather complicated, a working knowledge of tailoring and pattern construction make this book usable, and it is an excellent reference for a wide variety of couture clothing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage clothing construction Dec 3 2010
By Cameo Cottage - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a seamstress interested in vintage clothing, I found this book very helpful. It would be possible to use this book to actually make patterns and clothing. Very interesting look back in history.

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