The BookServer is a growing open architecture for vending and lending digital books over the Internet. Built on open catalog and open book formats, the BookServer model allows a wide network of publishers, booksellers, libraries, and even authors to make their catalogs of books available directly to readers through their laptops, phones, netbooks, or dedicated reading devices. BookServer facilitates pay transactions, borrowing books from libraries, and downloading free, publicly accessible books.
I decided to check if they had any sewing books and found an absolute treasure trove of 82 sewing books from the 1890s to 1921 that were sourced from Harvard Library. My favourite and by far the most useful is the Butterick Publishing Company's 1921 edition of The New Dressmaker. It is 176 pages of text and illustrations covering every conceivable hand stitch and machine sewing technique (albeit invisible zips and knits weren't invented yet) as well as complete pattern drafting instructions.
If you are teaching anyone to sew, the site has school sewing manuals from throughout this period. I think I'm doing sewing at the level of the 6th grade based on these books!
The best part is that they can be downloaded as PDFs or epubs free of charge.
Will post shortly on my sewing away weekend and update on the formal dress (nearly there!)...but just had to share my excitement about this.