Books & CD-ROMS

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Books available directly through Farthingales:

The Basics of Corset Building


A Handbook for Beginners by Linda Sparks

A new look for the original book, same great information under a new cover as Linda's book is now published by St. Martins press. Order here or ask at your favorite bookstore.

Learn the basics of corset building as taught by an expert. A step by step guide for beginners which covers everything from tools, fabrics and bones to creating a fashion corset - even if you have never made a corset before. Linda discusses commercially available patterns, making alterations and several approaches to making a corset alterable and non-alterable.


The 18th Century Corset


A complete illustrated draping, pattern and construction guide in metric measurement. By Mary Logan.


Farthingales stocks only three other books at present and all were written by Canadian Robert Doyle.




Waisted Efforts


"Waisted Efforts" covers a great deal of information on corset building. There are photos of actual corsets and bodices from various time periods. Scaled down original patterns from English corset making companies and photos exhibiting the draping method of corset construction. Not only does it include historical information it contains practical information for the custom corset maker. Not just a reference book.

The second edition is now available.


Laundry, The Whys And Hows Of Cleaning Clothes


The title basically says it all; how to clean clothes now and in the past. Care labels, chemicals and cleaning tips for antique linens are just a few of the bits of information.


The Art of the Tailor


Close to 500 pages of information for anyone interested in tailoring; history, techniques, patterns, taking measurements and much more. This book looks at shirts, ties, collars, trousers, waistcoats, jackets and uniforms and even some women's wear. No doubt you will find information that you had not previously known.


Compliation CD-ROMS’s for Costume Research

The Dressmaking Research CD-ROMS are compilations of reproductions (images) of previously printed material for you to view on your computer.


Dressmaking Research Sampler


Research materials from 1870s to 1940s - this sampler CD contains images, text and diagrams all taken from original source materials. You will find items from McCalls, Demorest’s, Delineator, Fashion Service and many other publications.

This CD and others may be purchased direct from the publisher,


Dressmaking Research publisher
James Harrington Writes:

Fans of

It's been a long time in the making, but I'm ready to announce the arrival of my latest CD-ROM compilation. Please take a look at:
My skill in scanning and creating files has been steadily improving. I now am able to pack over 600 pages of information on one CD thanks to the use of Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional. This is nearly triple the size of my previous CDs. The result is an e-book packed with research. You'll find more information here than you expect, and it's an enjoyable search. This CD will run on all previous versions of Adobe Acrobat, but you will also be able to download the new 6.0 version from the website mentioned on the inside cover of the CD.

Searching through 600 pages could be intimidating but, just like my 1928 CD, 1897 is fully indexed and pages are linked together through the click of your mouse button.

Within these 600 pages there is an amazing amount of information. You can see several maternity garments that supply some answers to the mystery of Victorian pregnancy. For the sports enthusiast there are several bathing, bicycling, climbing, golf, riding, tennis, and yachting garments. There's a nice variety of bridal, visiting, street, and promenade costumes. You'll see many "house" and "at home" designs as well as wrappers and tea gowns. Two particularly good articles on knitting are included. There are even several examples of the shocking use of mink heads as trim! Comparisons can be made between a "shirt waist" and a "blouse waist", a "dressing sack" and a "night gown", and even "jacket basque" and "basque waist". These comparisons will bring up many interesting points to the student of costume.

I'm continuing to scan and study the many Harpers Bazzar pattern sheets from the collection of Helen Berry. This is turning into a massive undertaking. Soon you will see some samples of these marvelous patterns as pages on my website. These patterns include an impressive amount of detail presented on an inch scale grid.

My next CD will be 1918. I'm warming up to a study of the soft, unstructured shape of the early 1920's. I will display the scope of my research collection and include as much variety as possible.

The progress of these emails, my web site, and future CD-ROMS is dependent on YOUR input. Please let me know what you want to see here, I will do all that I can to accommodate you and your needs.

Thanks a million,
James Harrington
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