RH708 — 1690s-1710s Mantua

(2 customer reviews)


17th century Women’s Dress sewing pattern



Buy our pattern and make yourself the versitile dress of the Golden Age.

Full size paper patterns for 1680s-1710s Mantua based on extant English examples. Upper class and lower class, closed front and open front, and trained and non-trained versions included. Fits busts 30½”-48″ and waists 23″-41″. All sizes included in one envelope. Embellishment suggestions included.

Suggested Fabrics:
silk, linen, or wool

Yardage Requirements:
Mantua (no train) 4 yds at least 45″ wide
Mantua (with train) 6 yds at least 45″ wide
Petticote (no train) 3 yds at least 60″ wide
lining (optional) 3 yds at least 60″ wide
Petticote (trained) 4 yds at least 60″ wide
lining (optional) 4 yds at least 60″ wide

(optional) metal rings
(optional) cord & buttons or hooks & eyes for looped back

Let us help you! At Reconstructing History, we want to see you wearing the best garments you are capable of making. Email us at and we will answer any questions you might have.

Additional information

Weight 345 g
Type of Product

Paper Pattern, Downloadable

2 reviews for RH708 — 1690s-1710s Mantua

  1. Molly Housego

    Not criticisms, just a few watch points…

    Please note that the slits by point C either side of the Mantua body are different lengths on the pattern for back and front, so that you end up having to extend the front one by about 2 1/2″ for the underarm & side seam to work properly.

    Also, it would be very helpful if it was a little clearer which seams were right-to-right sides etc. It was only after I’d looked carefully at my Janet Arnold book that it became apparent. Same applied to hems, please! (The JA book also reassured me that your slits were incorrectly drafted as well, and not my error!)

    Also, some advice regarding working with patterned fabric would be helpful – showing grain direction is all very well, but grain can work 2 ways and the pattern pieces don’t make it clear enough whether that’s also relevant to patterned fabric as well. Would make life very difficult for someone making this from striped material, for instance!

    Perhaps a revision of the slit-lengths and to the instructions would be helpful to anyone else using this pattern?

    Otherwise, pretty good and thank you!

    • Kass McGann

      The above issues have been corrected in the current version of the pattern. Thanks, Molly, for bringing them to our attention. — Kass

  2. mabailey82

    As a response/addendum to the above review, I am currently working on this using a striped material (60 inches wide) and can confirm that there is a little confusion regarding the fabric grain for the side gore, particularly for patterne fabrics.

    The pattern piece for the mantua front and back show the fabric grain running lengthwise (i.e with the warp, as expected); this agrees with the pattern layout on page 3. The pattern piece for the side gore (a right triangle with the most acute angle cut off) shows the fabric grain running parallel to points C and D, the short leg of the triangle. However, the suggested pattern layout shows the side gore rotated 90 degrees, so that the grain direction marked on the pattern piece runs parallel with the weft threads, not the warp.

    This is perfectly ok when working with a solid color, but I was uncertain how the rotation would impact stripes, so I traced the tiny pattern pieces from the suggested pattern layout onto a paper towel, taped together a mock-up, and drew on the stripes in two ways, depending on whether the pattern-marked grain arrow was aligned with the warp or the weft. I decided that the stripes worked best when the pattern piece aligned with the warp, as marked on the pattern piece, and NOT with the weft, as shown in the pattern layout.

    Unfortunately, laying out the side gore in the orientation marked on the pattern piece meant that I could not snug it up against the edge of the mantua body as shown in the pattern layout, and the upshot of that was that I was coming up short on material. No problem – I could just take the suggestion at page 1 step 4 and shorten the side gore. But there aren’t instructions regarding in which dimension to shorten the side gore. On the short side of the triangle between C and D? Between D and A? Should the distance between A and B be maintained in order to sew it to the turning gore? Should the angle at C be adjusted? I ended up reducing the pattern in both directions in order to fit it on my material, kept the C angle consistent, and left off the turning gore. Ah well, there’s bound to be some variability in style! After I finish this one, I’ll have a clearer idea of how to handle these adjustments, so my second one will likely be better!

    Meanwhile, I’m very much enjoying this project; it’s exciting seeing the pieces take shape! I’ve got my stays and petticote complete, and my shift is nearly done – just is missing some final hems which I will do once I have it on with the mantua. I’m very eager to see the final product 🙂

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