A Madame Demorest tissue-paper pattern for a boy's jacket was advertised in Frank Leslie's Ladies Gazette as early as March 1854. These early patterns were unsized and sold for twenty-five to fifty cents. Starting first with children's garments, Demorest moved to women's dress. The aim was to sell patterns for separate garments— bodices, sleeves, mantles, basques—that could be used in combination with others. Madame Demorest later made custom patterns by special order available. It was not until the early 1870s (nearly a decade after her archrival Ebenezer Butterick) that Madame Demorest was mass-producing sized patterns. The business burgeoned into an international enterprise within a few short years. In 1876 Madame Demorest sold over 3 million paper patterns throughout America and Europe.
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