R.L. Shep Publications

We re-publish original tailoring and dressmaking manuals as well as books on etiquette, needlework and hatmaking. This is primary source material which means that text and patterns have been in no way altered and were actually used by people in these periods. The patterns do take some tailoring knowledge and an attempt has been made in the added notes and glossaries to make it easier for the modern reader to use these valuable primary sources.

Recent titles

WOMEN'S COSTUME 1877-1885: The Complete Dress and Cloak Cutter

by Charles Hecklinger

American women step out of the house and stride into their place in the Business World with the demise of so many men in the Civil War. And they also move on from the dress of Victorian England. Here is an American tailoring system for the American Women of the times, including why and how the fashions changed in 1883. Of particular interest are the excerpts from American Etiquette books showing what was worn in many different situations here rather than in Europe. What is shown here could well have been a spark for the many changes in Women's fashions and position as they marched towards greater equality. 224 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-29-2 $24.95


edited by R.L. Shep

The end of Men as Dandies & peacocks! Fashions did not change much since they were set by George IV and Beau Brummell except they were less extreme. This book is a good look at what they were between the 1820s up to 1850 and how to make them. After that they got more drab and less interesting. George Walker's rare "The Tailor's Masterpiece" of 1838 is paired with the full text of "Hints on Etiquette" 1836 and fashion plates from Modes de Paris to give a full picture of what was worn and when, what was proper and what was not. The manual features a wide range of all types of coats, capes, jackets, waistcoats, and uniforms. 224 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-28-4 $23.95

LATE VICTORIAN WOMEN'S TAILORING: The Direct System of Ladies' Cutting

by T.H. Holding, 1897

Women's clothing loosens up as the Victorian Era comes to a close and women continue to open up due to current attitudes and women's interest in sports, including cycling and golf. (The previous great strides made by American women as they entered the field of business can be found in Women's Costume 1877-1885 by Charles Hecklinger). Here is a tailoring book by one of the most renowned tailors of the day known for being easy to follow and comprehensive. It also includes many illustrations of both tailored clothing and more casual wear, accessories and underclothes. There are instructions for a wide variety of garments and the braiding used for trim. It includes instructions for both the 'leg o'mutton' sleeve and the new slimmer sleeve which were defining fashion. 192 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-23-3 $19.95

Popular Backlist

CIVIL WAR LADIES: Fashions and Needle-Arts of the Early 1860s

edited by R.L.Shep

What did women do during past wars? History was not written with them in mind and we can only get information from women's publications of the times. Here we have a country wounded, scarred, and in mourning. Women had to bear these burdens and were not liberated enough to really institute change. Civil War Ladies contains hundreds of fashions, patterns, under garments, needlework, hair styles, items made at home, and many songs of parting and sorrow. Hair jewelry was also important as 'remembrance' or 'mourning' jewelry and a large selection is illustrated. Primary Source Material is mostly from Peterson's Magazine (an American publication) of 1861 and 1865. 348 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-09-8 $30.95

EDWARDIAN HATS: The Art of Millinery

by Mdme Anna Ben-Yusuf, 1909

Women love Hats! Hats are a special treat, always in fashion and innovative, and bound to lift your spirits. This work has long been known as one of the best practical manuals for hats through 27 step-by-step lessons covering all types, including children's and those for special occasions. With these basics you can let your imagination go and create just about any kind of hat --even though this was written in the Edwardian period. There are also instructions for making ribbon decorations and silk flowers. Many illustrations have been added from a 1909 New York department store catalog. 272 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-15-2 $24.95

LADIES' HAND BOOK: of Fancy and Ornamental Work - Civil War Era (1859)

by Florence Hartley

For a complete picture of what Women did during the Civil War you cannot go wrong with this book, paired with "Civil War Ladies". Women couldn't just go to the mall and buy things, they had to make them. Here you find an extensive workbook covering all the forms of needlework of the day as well as some additional works on household management. Practical instructions are enhanced by nearly 300 illustrations. Even if you never make anything that you find here, this historical information on the clothing, household items and accessories in use is invaluable. 242 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-13-6 $21.95

LADIES' SELF INSTRUCTOR in Millinery and Mantua Making, Embroidery & Applique (1853)

Informative and practical handbook covering all types of plain and fancy sewing for the period, including embroidery, knitting, crochet, applique and garment making. An American early victorian classic. Embellished with both the original engravings, and others from Godey's Lady's Book for 1853. Historians, embroiders and costumers find this book very valuable. 252 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-08-X $15.95

A list of out-of-print titles

CIVIL WAR GENTLEMEN: 1860's Apparel Arts & Uniform

by R.L. Shep

now out-of-print

Broad coverage in this volume includes military and civilian dress, men's and boys' coats, vests, pants, shirts and important accessories, and features a complete period tailoring system in "Salisbury's System of Actual Measurement and Drafting" (1865). Also, photos of soldiers, additional illustrations of clothing, excerpts from the Army uniform regulations for 1861 and a section on the 7th Regiments New York National Guard. Agnes Gawne, reviewer for Somewhere In Time newsletter says: "....wonderful resource for Civil War reenactors, fashion designers, historians and theatrical costumers." 288 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-22-5

THE GREAT WAR: Styles and Patterns of the 1910s

edited by R.L.Shep

now out-of-print

A wonderful mix of the more liberated American women's fashions and 'dashing' British military and civilian uniforms. Often called "The Forgotten Era", the "Teens" bridge the gap between the Edwardians and the Flappers. American women's fashions are amazingly soft and informal while the British cling to a more formal look. We have combined The American Garment Cutter for Women's Garments with British patterns and articles from the West End Gazette to cover all types of clothing for men and women, plus British military uniforms and civilian uniforms such as Red Cross, policemen, chauffeurs, etc. There are many fashion illustrations and a department store catalog of 1915. 238 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-26-8


by Frederick T. Croonborg.

available from www.lacis.com

Enlarged edition edited by R.L. Shep, which includes extensive and detailed excerpts from "The Blue Book of Etiquette for Men" (1905) by Charles Harcourt. Croonborg's original work has extensive patterns and illustrations for vests, trousers, and coats of all kinds - including occupational coats (livery, etc). This work is also notable for a large section on military uniforms of the United States, including descriptions, illustrations and tailoring drafts. Sections on cutting cloth and tailoring techniques are also included. 256 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-30-6

CIVIL WAR COOKING: The Housekeeper's Encyclopedia

by Mrs. E.F. Haskell, 1861

now out-of-print

Hundreds of recipes plus instructions for putting up foods, production of wine and vinegar, managing servants, entertaining, care of the sick. Sound advice for managing the household while the mate is off to war, and much more, to provide a remarkable picture of home-life in the 1860s. Chuck Hamsa, widely respected reviewer of Civil War reference materials and books states '..... highly recommended for anyone interested in American Society of the mid-nineteenth century.' 464 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-16-0


by Edward Minister & Son, 2nd rev. ed., 1853

now out-of-print

A legendary and major work of costume history. The basis for the Minister System, it had a profound influence on the tailoring industry. 2 volumes in 1, covering: full range of men's garments including servants' and livery, some womens' including ladies' polkas and riding habits, English Army, Navy and Civil dress regulations, as well as uniforms. With additional, contemporary, fashion plates. Useful in the making of Early Victorian, Crimean War, Napoleon III (1850s/1860s). A good reference for one of the most elegant periods of men's clothing. 366 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-17-9

REGENCY ETIQUETTE: The Mirror of Graces

by A Lady of Distinction, 1811

now out-of-print

This important work covers the manners and customs of late 18th and early 19th century society. In large part devoted to 'The English Ladies Costume' it includes charming fashion illustrations, as well as rare additional fashion plates from contemporary sources. Deals also with deportment, movement, the correct dances, propriety and aids to beauty and health. Indispensable for anyone interested in the times of the early United States, English Regency, Jane Austen, Napoleon, War of 1812 and beyond. Original text is enlarged for easier reading. 272 pp, 5 1/2 X 8 1/2, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-24-1

CIVIL WAR ERA ETIQUETTE: Martine's Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation (1866)

edited by R.L. Shep

now out-of-print

The best etiquette book of the period is combined with a dictionary of vulgarisms and illustrated from Godey's Lady's books and with men's uniforms. 236 pp, 6 X 9, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-07-1

CORSETS: A Visual History

compiled by R.L.Shep

now out-of-print

The line of fashion is determined by the foundation garment. This volume contains hundreds of illustrations from original ads and catalogs. A good reference to foundation garments of the mid-1800s to the 1930s. 272 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-20-9


by Louis Devere, New Rev. Ed. 1866

now out-of-print

A very clear drafting system which can be used for tailoring 1850s, 1860s, 1870s men's and boys' fashions. Enlarged and revised for easier use, with nearly 350 patterns and diagrams for all types of coats and jackets, trousers, breeches, waistcoats, gaiters, capes, etc. Plus Ladies' paletots, riding habits & trowsers(!). This book is an extraordinary reference for the making of accurate Mid-Victorian and Civil War dress. 236 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-03-9


by R.L.Shep and Gail Cariou

available from www.lacis.com

SHIRTS are often ignored in tailoring books, and finding patterns for historical shirts has always been a problem. This long-awaited book containing primary source patterns for shirts from the 1840s to the 1920s, as well as styles shown in advertisements and a history written by Gail Cariou of Parks Canada, features systems by Vincent, West End, Stone, and Simons, in addition to patterns from Godey's, Cassell's, Devere's, Tailor and Cutter, and Ladies Home Journal, etc. It covers Victorian, American Civil War, Edwardian, and The Great War, to the early 1920s. There are also patterns for a large variety of Victorian and Edwardian men's occupational costumes, as well as pyjamas, robes, flannel shirts and sports shirts. Indispensable to costumers and reenactors, historians and museum curators in giving authenticity these garments. 240 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-27-6


by P. Clement Brown

now out-of-print

Practical dressmaking manual of elegant early 1920s fashions including sportswear, lingerie, evening wear, capes. Includes a number of children's outfits. Illustrated with pattern diagrams and very beautiful, Deco fashions a la Erte. An important period resource with complete drafting instructions, plus additional notes and illustrations. This book is a real treasure.192 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-19-5

TAILORING OF THE BELLE EPOQUE: Vincent's System of Cutting All Kinds of Tailor-Made Garments

by W.D.F. Vincent (1903)

now out-of-print

Straight-forward approach to cutting by the acknowledged master tailor of the turn of the century -- five parts in one: trousers, jackets & coats, robes & shirts, ladies garments and fitting. Covers dress for men & women, military, clergy, civil servants, court & academic. Over 400 pattern drafts clearly presented with step-by-step instructions. Additional fashion illustrations from contemporary periodicals plus introduction by Betty Williams. 304 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-11-X


edited by R.L. Shep

now out-of-print

Contains a transcription of the oldest tailoring book in the English language, The Tailor's Complete Guide, London 1796; compared to The Tailor's Instructor by Queen & Lapsley, Philadelphia 1809. Extensive descriptions of women's clothing as well as men's. Includes patterns for uniforms, children's clothing, ladies' riding habits, etc. Numerous rare and exceptional illustrations from contemporary sources. Plus embroidery patterns. Essential reading for fans of Jane Austen, War of 1812, the US Federalist Era, and the English Regency. This book includes a 6 page glossary of terms. 224 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-25-X

VICTORIAN NEEDLE-CRAFT: Artistic and Practical

edited by R.L.Shep

available from www.lacis.com

A Late Victorian practical manual (published by Butterick, 1889) with instructions for creating household articles, linens, dress accessories, children's articles, as well as period stitches and designs. Offers valuable insight into late 19th century decor and is indispensable to creating authentic Victorian Style. 600+ illustrations including additional material from Household Elegancies (1875). 336 pp, 8 1/2 X 11, quality paperbound. ISBN: 0-914046-21-7

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