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A dressmaker is a person who makes custom clothing for women, such as dresses, blouses, and evening gowns. Also called a mantua-maker (historically) or a modiste.

History of dressmaking

The Oxford English Dictionary first records dressmaker in 1803. Throughout the nineteenth century and until the rise of ready-to-wear, most women who did not make their own clothes at home resorted to a local dressmaker, who copied or adapted the latest fashions from Paris based on printed illustrations called fashion plates.

Today, custom dressmakers fill a niche between haute couture and ready-to-wear, and are most often consulted for one-of-a-kind special occasion dresses, such as wedding gowns and prom dresses.

Related terms

  • Dressmaker as an adjective denotes clothing made in the style of a dressmaker, frequently in the term dressmaker details which includes ruffles, frills, ribbon or braid trim. Dressmaker in this sense is contrasted to tailored and has fallen out of use since the rise of casual wear in the mid-twentieth century.
  • Mantua-maker, in the eighteenth century a maker of mantuas, or in general a dressmaker.
  • Modiste, a maker of fashionable clothing and accessories, with the implication that the articles made reflect the current Paris modes.
Dress Definition

Dress Size

Tailor

Corsetry / Corset Maker

Culottes

Hobble Skirt

Ballerina Skirts

Artistic Dress Movement

Cocktail Dress

Gown

Evening Dress (White Tie)

Court Dress  

Academic Dress

Mess Dress

Pant Definition

Trouser Definition

Petticoat

Clothing Definitions

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dressmaker).  11/2/04

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