The New Dressmaker

A while back, my mother (antiquer and thriftarian par excellence) presented me with several vintage-to-antique sewing related books. I thought I’d try to feature a few things from (at least one of) ┬áthem while I’m In Transition from one city (and province) to another.

The New Dressmaker

Meet The New Dressmaker—Copyright 1921, but with illustrations that hint at their earlier origin.

I like several things about the New Dressmaker—for one thing, it’s very well-illustrated. I’ve read (or tried to read) several early-20th-century sewing books and between the terminology differences (“plait”=pleat, “waist”=bodice) and the lack of illustrations it can be fairly flummoxing. And while it doesn’t have much in the way of pattern-drafting information (it is, after all, produced by a pattern company), it has lots on sewing techniques, and everyone’s favourite—fitting. ;) So I figured I’d share the various fitting chapters over the next few posts.

This first fitting chapter discusses making basic length adjustments to the pattern itself.

See what you think

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The New Dressmaker

  1. A picture is worth a thousand words. Tha’ts very cool. And shirtwaist makes a lot more sense to me now.

    It’s interesting how many older books have small fonts and a wall of text. And this is when glasses were a little harder to come by. I see all that text and feel a little overwhelmed, I wonder how it appeared to the audience at the time.

  2. Ooo, interesting feature. Better than my RUN AWAY AND ABANDON THE BLOG method of keeping your blog updated during hectic times. :D

    I…just realized (after looking back in my archives) that I have the 1911 version of that book!
    http://sewingonpins.blogspot.ca/2012/02/book-dressmaker.html
    Unfortunately, it accidentially got put in the Box of Book To Go Into Storage (aka Mom’s Place), so I don’t have it with me right now. But I do remember being decently impressed with the figures in it. It’d be interesting to compare the two and see what’s changed, and what hasn’t.

  3. Oh how lovely – vintage books are nice but they’re SOOOOO much better when they’re illustrated!! I love the difference in language; as long as there’s something to put it into context :)

    Are you moving then? What province you headed to? :)

  4. Joy

    I love flipping through old sewing books, but don’t have any that old. The title of this one highlights the silliness of ever putting the word “new” in a title!

  5. Oklahoma Mom

    Looks wonderful, I have never seen any vintage sewing books before. Thanks so much for showing us.

  6. Zena

    I’ve got a couple of old sewing books that I refer to from time to time. It can be interesting to see older ways of solving problems that we aren’t generally exposed to now (pinking! mending!!).

    Violet I. Wilson, Sew a Fine Seam (Toronto: McGrall-Hill, 1955) (just noticed that this author was teaching at a high school in my city!)

    Mabel D. Erwin, Clothing for for Moderns (New York: MacMillan, 1949, this printing 1956)

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