Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Mantua Maker's Seam--A Tiny Tutorial

Have you ever looked at a sheer early 19th century dress and wondered how they could possibly make skirt seams so small? A mantua makers seam recreates that look with much less effort than a French or flat felled seam.

The mantua maker's seam is described in The Lady's Guide to Plain Sewing, Book II from Kannik's Korner, which is a wonderful book--along with Book I--for anyone interested in period stitches.


Cut your skirt as normal. Put your pieces right sides together, as usual. Offset the under edge slightly, especially if you're using a thicker fabric. (I actually didn't do this since my cotton voile was so light.) Then, treating the two as one roll them as if you were going to hem it. Pin the whole seam like this.


Then, just as if you were hemming, whipstitch the seam. Your stitches should be small and fairly close together. And that's it!

The sample here is the skirt on my Lost Hope dress.


  1. Wonderful! Thank you so, so much - I've been wondering just that!

  2. Isn't it a great technique? And it's so much easier than trying to get the other methods so small! I didn't get my seams super tiny on this, but it wouldn't be too hard to go smaller, and they're already smaller than I can get with other methods.

  3. Holy crap that is genious! Need to make an Regency shear now that I know this trick!

    (and wish I'd known this on my net Regency ball gown)

    1. Isn't it? It works so well!

      And it would've been a great method for that!

  4. The tips of my fingers are too fat to do anything like this! sigh...

    1. It's not hard--I'm sure you could! It's easier than soutache :)