Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sewing Instruction from Yesteryear - a book giveaway

I have been sewing up a storm lately, in the best possible way.  After all, it is wedding season and as a guest you want to have a great dress, right?  So I have been making quite a few of those. . . at least I hope they were great.   Also in the works is an unusual wedding dress for a wonderful bride who brought me a roll of vintage Kimono silk. The wedding is not until August, so no photos until then.
Vintage Butterick 7950

Meanwhile, I noticed that it is Vintage Pattern contest time on Pattern Review.   I had every intention of giving that a whirl this year, but now I am not so sure, for a couple of reasons.
Mostly because I have plenty of other projects that take priority, but partly because I really have no need of a vintage style dress.  Unless I can convince a friend of mine that she needs this one.  She saw this in my stash, but couldn't really figure what color or fabric.  I like the short sleeve, and of course it would be great in black, very Audrey.  But I am not crazy about sewing on black.  Plus it takes about 6 yards, eek.   

A few months back I found this book at a garage sale, and then brought it home and realized I already have a copy, which I think I inherited from my great-Aunt Jo.  So how about a giveaway for any of you thinking of making something vintage this month?  Or if you just want to add to your sewing book library.
Smpl sewing book 1
This book is amazingly useful. I find all those old sewing books to be very helpful and refer to them when I am trying to figure something out.  Recently I was trying to add godets to a garment and found some good info in this book.  Godets - you don't hear that one every day :)
Smpl sewing book 6Smpl sewing book 5

The page on the right talks about combining two patterns, I don't think I have seen that in a book before.

And here they talk about turning facings and trimming - my favorite topic.
Smpl sewing book 7

Smpl sewing book 8
They are promoting a method on these old Simplicity patterns which they call "the Simplicity Unit System" of sewing,  which instructs you to treat each portion as a unit - i.e. finish the entire bodice, or skirt, or sleeves and then attach together.  Which is exactly the opposite of how I sew things.  Not that it matters.  They haven't moved on much since 1958 when this book was published as the Simplicity patterns I use lately seem to have the exact same instructions with some different verbiage. 

Saving the best for last and creating a desperate desire in all to have this book, I reveal the most helpful pages in the whole book.  The lucky winner can pore over the chart and find just the right color for your new outfit!    Really ?? Sadly my combination of brown hair and green eyes is not listed so I will have to muddle through choosing my own fabric colors. And I find the redheads kind of scary.  

Smpl sewing book 2

If you would like to be entered in the giveaway for this book, leave a comment or follow the blog and I will do a drawing on June 15.  (international is ok with me).

The sun was shining today, the jays are still sitting on their nest, and latest development is a honey bee hive in the apple tree.  So I am waiting for a local beekeeper to come over and hopefully take them away to continue their good work elsewhere.   

Happy sewing,  Beth


  1. I would love to have this book. I have purchased a few vintage patterns, but have been nervous to attempt them. This would be perfect.

  2. so happy international is ok for your. i would love to win. :-)
    have a great day!

  3. We'll mention on our Twitter @thebestcrafters

    Sounds like a good book!


  4. Ooh, I've been after this simplicity sewing book for ages. Mum had one when she was starting out and swore by it. Great find for a garage sale. I'll happily enter ths competitiion!

  5. Love the book and love all the useful info on your site. I used to sew years ago and have just taken it up again, having a great time. I'm still learning and expanding my knowledge, so a book like this would be really helpful to me. Hope I'm lucky and thanks for doing this!

  6. OH, may I join the contest too? I would love to win this book. Thanks for including international in the contest :)

  7. Oh - that is such a wonderful book. How do I know? Because I have that book, the exact same edition. So, don't include me in the giveaway but I wanted to say that whoever does win it will be getting a real gem - I'm always dipping into mine.

  8. Please toss my name into the hat for this book. It may be the only way I'll be able to tackle those vintage patterns I have in my stash.

  9. I would love to win this book...I adore anything from yesteryear!

  10. What a fun giveaway! I love looking at old vintage sewing books. My MIL has found me a couple over the years at garage sales. Makes me yern for the days of wearing dresses all the time. BTW, I have brown hair and green eyes too!

    Melissa :-)

  11. What fun it would be to win this book, I love vintage sewing books!

  12. That redhead lower middle right is super scary!!!
    It shouldn't be hard to convince someone to take that vintage Butterick dress. It is just GORGEOUS!!

    Good luck with your wedding sewing! Can't wait to see your creations for the bridal party!
    (no entry please)

  13. I would love this book! As a beginning sewer, I often get confused about how to finish seams and about the different types of hems - seeing that the cover mentions the book contains "28 kinds of seams" and "16 kinds of hems," it sounds like it would be really informative for me to read!

  14. Great looking book - I've got Vogue and Readers' Digest sewing books from the 70s, but nothing that vintage. *crosses fingers*

  15. I would love a vintage sewing book! Those images are so lovely!!!

  16. Love that vintage dress, but six yards is a lot of fabric! Especially in black!

  17. Hello, Beth, I came by to say hi and look what I found. This looks like a great book, with or without the scary redhead!
    I haven't sewn a vintage pattern before, but I find a lot of inspiration in them, so I hope to soon for my daughter.

  18. That pattern is cute, probably would look more modern with a shorter skirt. I guess there's some sort of petticoat underneath?

  19. Beth, i would love to have this book! It looks that there are great tips.

  20. Hi, Beth. I would love to win this book. How do I do? Thanks!