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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Treat from my fairy godmother

My friend Susan is kind of like my crafting fairy godmother. Before I had a sewing machine of my own, she very generously let me use hers to make little crafts. Since I started sewing, every now and then she gives me something amazing (thanks to her, I own pinking shears!)

The other day I got an unexpected package in the mail. As if that wasn't fun enough, look what was inside!


How amazing are these? The Makeover Guide is copyright 1942 and the Dressmaking Guide was first copyrighted in 1936!

The Dressmaking Guide:
This has tonnes of detailed information. From how to set up your sewing room to step by step instructions for a bound buttonhole.


It's also chock full of the loveliest line drawings.


The Makeover Guide:

This one is pretty fascinating. It's really from a different time. In the opening paragraph they mention "holes in a 'teen age girl's blouse, or sweater, caused by gadget pins." Huh?

The design of both of these books is gorgeous. Look at this typeface!



And the above mentioned "Modern" neckwear:


Although the book starts off with your basic how-to-darn-a-sock instructions, it becomes pretty sophisticated pretty quickly, describing how to combine two old, worn dresses to make a new, chic one. Or how to add contrasting yokes and hems to keep up with the growing girl. Or how to turn a worn out men's suit into a ladies' skirt suit!




Look at the caption! "very little effort" my ass! Clearly, this was made for a generation of women with some pretty impressive sewing skills! 

I am pretty taken by the recon of this fur coat.


Have you ever attempted anything as daring as reconstructing a fur coat? How about re-purposing a man's suit for yourself? Or darning a sock? 

This book made me feel lazy and wasteful! But it got me thinking. I would love to make better use of the clothes I wear, but clearly, my sewing skills are not up to snuff.

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