Here is the hidden treasure that I found at this sale.
Madeleine Vionnet by Betty Kirke, with a forward by Issey Miyake.
This book is so gorgeous I can't even begin to tell you. As it states on the cover wrapper, "Madeleine Vionnet was the greatest dressmaker in the world. Considered a genius for her innovations with the bias cut - one of the most difficult and desirable cuts in clothing design - she is legendary among haute couture designers and her dresses are considered masterpieces".
I could get lost in this book and study it for hours, her designs are so clever and you can see echoes of her techniques in everything shown today.
The book includes photographs of her creations and patterns for many of the designs, mixed in with a biography tracing her life and the developement of her couture house through her retirement. She lived to be 97 and saw the influence her work had on designers such as Balenciaga who was a great friend.
This dress, in the section called "Quadrants" is from 1932. I could see this looking completely modern at a formal event today. The name is "Bias to Grain".
Another one I particularly liked is this one that is also in the "Quadrants" chapter, called "In-Out-In" and uses a shape called barrel cuts. Below is the technical drawing, which shows the 3-dimensional petals that form the skirt.
I have just looked through the book and read a few chapters, it deserves some further study. I wish I had a reason to attempt one of these styles, it would be a fun challenge. If you are looking for a book to put on your holiday wish list and you like fashion history I recommend this very much (and you have a generous gift giver to suggest it to - quite expensive as new).
More estate sale goodness, I also picked up these books. Those paperback Singer sewing books are really good reference volumes, the photographs are fantastic. I refer to the Tailoring book all the time, if you ever see it snap it up!
By this time my arms were getting tired, and I had other stuff to do that morning so I tore myself away from the sale, but not before adding whole bunch of nice muslin fabric. I do claim that I rarely make muslins and OK, that is true for myself, but when it comes to sewing for other people I definitely will do one. Should I tell you that this haul was claimed for less than the price of a couple of fancy coffees at you know where (something that my inner cheapskate never lets me purchase anyway). Which is great, because then I have more mad money for estate sales.
Here is a sneak peek at something that is just about completed. Not really a muslin...let's call it a "denim" instead of a muslin since I often use old denim to test things. Actually it is a preliminary version in anticipation of an item for my mom. Hey, I just made a dress for my sis, gave the black denim jacket to Alice, working on a garment for mom. It's time to get back to some selfish sewing :) That could happen as I just ordered 3 Vogue patterns this morning on the sale. Eeek. Uncontrollable in the face of new patterns. Oh well, a very minor vice.
happy unselfish sewing to all, Beth
No idea what this plant is but I should try and get another one, the tag is tucked away somewhere. It is a lovely vine that is putting out all kinds of flowers this year.