Lavolta Press

Lavolta Press publishes high-quality books on historic costuming and vintage clothing. Our readers include people involved in reenactment and living history, theater and film costumers, vintage clothing collectors and dealers, steampunkers, goths, vintage dancers, doll artists, needleworkers, and historical novelists. We sell to consumers, museums and other institutions, retailers, wholesalers, and libraries. We have been in business since 1993.

To find out more about our books, browse the following pages:

Our two newest titles! 

Bustle Fashions 1885–1887: 41 Patterns with Fashion Plates and Suggestions for Adaptation
Authentic patterns for women’s clothing, plus ideas for optional style variations for sewers who know flat pattern techniques. Includes a chapter on 1885–1889 dressmaking and one on making 208 sewn trimmings. Suitable for Old West/Wild West events; Sherlock Holmes events; Victorian dances, teas, and weddings; historic house tours; steampunk and goth outfits; and productions of plays by Wilde.

Directoire Revival Fashions 1888–1889: 57 Patterns with Fashion Plates and Suggestions for Adaptation
Authentic patterns for women’s clothing, plus ideas for optional style variations for sewers who know flat pattern techniques. Includes instructions for 34 sewn trimmings. Will appeal to those interested in wearing Austen-inspired styles for the Victorian era.

After a Fashion: How to Reproduce, Restore, and Wear Vintage Styles
Currently out of stock.
Second Edition! How to make men’s and women’s historic clothing from Middle Ages to Art Deco. In addition to sewing techniques, this book gives instructions for pattern drafting and alterations. It also gives detailed instructions on buying, restoring, and altering men’s and women’s vintage clothing.

The Lady’s Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette
Includes entire manuals and substantial chapters on dressmaking, corset making, alterations, millinery, knitting, haberdashery, hairdressing, cosmetics, hygiene, wardrobe planning, laundry, and many other subjects, here translated into English for the first time. Suitable for the Extended Regency Period, the American Federal Period, the Fur Trade Era, Colonial Canada, and the Bourbon Restoration.

Reconstruction Era Fashions: 350 Sewing, Needlework, and Millinery Patterns 1867–1868
Women’s clothing and needlework patterns. Suitable for Dickens fairs; Old West/Wild West events; sidesaddle riding; Victorian dances, weddings, and teas; historic house tours; and Verdi, Wagner, and Offenbach productions.  Useful to American Civil War reenactors who want an in-depth knowledge of the era’s fashions, sewing techniques, and needlework techniques. Of how these changed two to three years after the war, and how they remained the same.

Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 1: Undergarments, Bodices, Skirts, Overskirts, Polonaises, and Day Dresses 1877–1882
Currently out of stock.
Contains 160 authentic women’s clothing patterns for Victorian reenactment and theatrical costuming. Suitable for Old West/Wild West; Oregon Trail; British-Zulu Wars; Victorian dances, teas, and weddings; Sherlock Holmes events; and productions of operettas by Gilbert & Sullivan and Johann Strauss II.

Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 2: Evening, Bridal, Sports, Outerwear, Accessories, and Dressmaking 1877–1882
Contains 184 sewing, needlework, and millinery patterns. Includes an illustrated 87-page manual on 1870s and 1880s dressmaking, tailoring, corset making, and millinery.

The Voice of Fashion: 79 Turn-of-the-Century Patterns with Instructions and Fashion Plates
Patterns for women’s styles from 1900 through 1906. Suitable for Edwardian garden parties, teas, and weddings; ragtime dances; historic house tours; Sherlock Holmes and steampunk events; and productions of plays by Chekhov and Shaw.

The Edwardian Modiste: 85 Authentic Patterns with Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques
The Edwardian Modiste is out of stock except for a case we recently found in the warehouse. The books are all brand new and shrink wrapped. People often e-mail us wanting to buy this book, so we are making a special offer directly to readers. The price is $100 per copy plus $18.50 shipping (within the US) by UPS.  We are not shipping outside the US during the pandemic. First come, first served. No holds except a reasonable number of days for the check to arrive. No returns—this is supposed to be an out-of-stock book. We don't accept credit cards so it will have to be payment by check or by the Zelle® online fund transfer system which most US banks now offer their customers. We do not have automated checkout. We will ship the order when payment clears. Please see The Edwardian Modiste page for more details.

Patterns for women’s styles from 1905 through 1909.  Includes edited selections from a 1907 dressmaking manual. Suitable for Edwardian garden parties, teas, and weddings; ragtime dances; vintage auto events; historic house tours; and productions of plays by Shaw. Popular for Titanic and Downton Abbey style costumes.

Terms & Conditions and Occasional Special Offers
Information on shipping, sales tax, and payment. Lists discounted “hurt” copies when available. We currently also have a number of single copies of costume books from other publishers for sale.

Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to questions readers ask explicitly and implicitly about Lavolta Press books and business procedures. Includes PDFs of sample book pages.

Dress Diaries
Links to blogs where our readers discuss making garments from our patterns.

This web site functions as our catalog. All our available books are described here. Our web site contains more information on each book than we are able to send out on hard copy. Although we are happy to sell directly to you by mail, we are a publisher rather than a bookstore, so do not have a storefront for browsing or pickups.

Lavolta Press also has a Facebook page:

Contact us at:

Mailing address:
Frances Grimble
Lavolta Press
The UPS Store
3308 El Camino Ave, STE 300
Sacramento, CA 95821