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Harvey, Sylvia M
Sylvia Harvey fashion pattern book.
London, 1934.
Physical Description:
1 volume (120 pages) : ink drawings ; 28 x 36 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2019 30
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View catalog record for a similar pattern book compiled by Rosemary Ursula Gordon, 1934
Archives & Manuscripts
Madame Jeanne Trois Fontaines was the author of Dressmaking: designing, cutting, and fitting (London: Virtue, 1933) and the principal of the Paris Academy of Dressmaking in London (on Old Bond Street). An article published in the West Australian (Perth) newspaper on February 18, 1930 noted that the school had recently opened and that Mme. Trois Fontaines was an "experienced Parisienne teacher" and that "Students are perfected in the art of design and taught to reproduce models from sight." Students had to be at least sixteen years of age and a full course (45 lessons of 3 hours each) cost 25 guineas. The school was a more genteel establishment that catered to middle-class women, rather than the trade schools or technical colleges that existed at the same time that also taught dressmaking skills (see: Amy de la Haye, The cutting edge: 50 years of British fashion 1947-1997. London: V. & A., 1996.)
The manuscript is very similar in form to a pattern book compiled by Rosemary Ursula Gordon when she was a student at the Paris Academy of Dressmaking, in 1948 (YCBA, Department of Rare Books & Manuscripts, Folio A 2019 29). See link herewith.
The volume is bound in (original) black cloth.
The volume includes approximately 130 different fashion patterns, with notes on measurements and steps for cutting and construction. The patterns cover garments including bodices, basques, collars, capes, children's dress, coats, cowl necks, cuffs, darts, divided skirts, hoods, jabots, jumpers, kimono, lingerie, princesses, pyjamas, raglans, riding breeches, a sailor collar, skirts, sleeves, trains (court), and a wedding dress (all listed in an index at front). Harvey probably compiled the volume as a final project or examination, in order to demonstrate her ability to create or copy and adjust patterns, and explain how to use them to make clothes. On the inside of the front cover, the volume is graded and dated: "Extra good, 100%, and congratulations. J. Trois Fontaines, 30 October 1934."
An example of lace work for a skirt with border has been pinned onto page 35.
Three sheets have been laid in to the volume. One is a watercolor mock-up for an advertisement ("Two new spring fashions. Fashions that will appeal to women.") There are also two copies of a printed sheet with mathematical tables for bust divisions, neck divisions, and dart divisions (e.g. "1/8 of 12 inches equals 1 1/2 inches."). The name and address of Trois Fontaines' academy appears at bottom right.
Harvey's name appears in large letters on the inside of the front cover ("Sylvia M. Harvey").
Subject Terms:
Clothing and dress -- Great Britain.
Dressmaking -- Patterns.
Dressmaking -- Study and teaching.
Fashion -- Great Britain.
Fashion design -- Study and teaching.
Gordon, Rosemary Ursula, 1923-2013.
Lace and lace making -- Great Britain.
Needlework -- Patterns.
Needlework -- Study and teaching.
Paris Academy of Dressmaking (London, England)
Patternmaking -- Study and teaching.
Sewing -- Study and teaching.
Tailoring -- Patterns.
Trois Fontaines, Jeanne.
Pattern books.
Ink drawings.
Lace (needlework)
Machine lace.
Trois Fontaines, Jeanne.

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