Paperback, 303 pgs. Subtitle: A Guide to 19th Century Decorative Arts Fashion and Practical Crafts. This 1838 masterpiece of domestic instruction for the 19th-century homemaker is highly illustrated with patterns and drawings for hundreds of everyday apparel and household furnishings. The author details the construction and maintenance of nearly every conceivable item used by a 19th century household. She outlines the unique "Nail to Nail" system whereby patterns were cut out by uneducatred young girls in nearby factories to produce correctly and easily all of the items described. This remarkable volume, an indispensable source on the material culture of America during the 19th century, is housed in majo0r libraries throughout the world. An earlier edition produced in England has been long out of print, making this edition of unique value.
Each item of apparel - for babies, children, men (laborers and gentlemen), women (servants and society women) is graphically depicted both in the stages of creation and completion. Not only is the creation of these items explained, butalso their cleaning, storage and disposition to the poorer classes. Justa a few of the items covered are shifts, trousers, drawers, waistcoats, nightcaps, dressing gowns, aprons (eight kinds), scafts, bustles, shirts, petticoats, dresses, nursing gowns, burial clothing, caps, pinafores, bonnets, handkerchiefs and slippers.
The Interior decoration section guides the neophyte through all of the steps necessary to become an accomplished upholsterer. Another section on Straw Platting describes the bleaching, drying, splitting, preparing and platting hats and other items; and then discusses their cleaning, truning and storing.