The emphasis on learning plain sewing gradually shifted in the 1800s as ready-made garments became increasingly available. Such clothing was made by seamstresses who were paid by the piece. By the middle of the century, authors were lamenting that women no longer knew how to make or mend their own clothes. In the 1870s, educational reform focused on manual and industrial training and included the teaching of plain sewing skills in public schools. A few enterprising publishers even provided printed patterns featuring exercises that were similar to those used by the British and Foreign School Society in the early 1800s.