The Newest “Must Have” Books for Your Christmas List

Whether shopping for the perfect gift for someone special or making your own wish list, there are some great new books out this fall that ought to be on your Christmas list.

For the needle-worker, seamstress and quilter, there is Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases and Needle-books by Anna Worden Bauersmith. This book shows step-by-step how to make an assortment of well researched sewing cases, housewifes and needle-books. Filled with templates and color photographs, this book is sure to keep the hands busy all winter long.

Everyone who dresses for the Civil War era will want Dressing the Victorian Civil War Lady: A Guidebook to Dressing the 1860s by Joy Melcher of the Civil War Lady. This book is filled with original photos, illustrations and tips for interpreters, reenactors, seamstresses and stage costumers.If you love to dance, you will have to have the West Side Soldiers Aide Society’s release of  The Ball-Room Manual of Belfast, Maine from 1863. The facsimile book has page after page of period contra dances acceptable to “the Young, as well as the Old Folks at Home”.

I was very excited to see this second volume available. The Way They Were: Dressed in 1860-1865, Volume 2 by Donna Abraham. Volume 2 takes a closer look at the details of the clothing women, men and children wore through newly published photographic images magnified for an indepth study.

The following books aren’t brand new, but if you don’t already have them, you should have them on your wish list:

Anyone making their own mid-century clothing, or just looking to understand it better should own The Dressmaker’s Guide by Elizabeth Stewart Clark.

Donna Abraham’s The Way They Were: Dressed in 1860-1865 is packed full of original CDV images. I just love this book as my copy is filled with notes and arrows.

What else is on my wish list? Well, I need to learn more about men’s clothing so I can make my husband a full set of civilian attire. (I also need to convince him this is a great idea.) With that in mind, on my wish list we find The Victorian Tailor by Jason Maclochlainn as well as Mr. Ruley’s digital version of Louis DeVere’s 1866 Handbook of Practical Cutting on the Centre Point System.

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