It comes with the territory, I suppose-- being voraciously attracted to the aesthetics of the days of yore.
I don't just collect any type of book, however. I collect vintage sewing and craft books, with a splish splash of reference and factoid. Through the guidance and nurturing of these books, I have been taught everything I know, or have been introduced to new hobbies.
If I took the time to name and describe every single book in my library, this review post might end up taking hours to read and process... and sadly, I still don't have them with me in my new home away from home.
But if I did, then the ones I am about to show you would still be the treasures of my collection (minus 2 or 3 not present). These were all gifted to me by my wonderful younger brother and loving husband...
This rather small but fruitful collection of books deal with sewing; drafting patterns through draping and flat-pattern design, and professional finishing techniques. I recommend each one highly for the intermediate seamster.
5.) The Art of Dressmaking by Butterick Publishing Co. 1927
Probably the oldest and the smallest in size of the five, this book is rife with a myriad of brief but informative construction techniques. The thing that makes this book worthwhile, though, is the quaintness of the diagrams and imagery; it lends a peek at the procedures of clothing construction and silhouettes of the 1920's.
4.) Practical Dress Design by Mabel D. Erwin 1954
This, along with two other of the books, was once used as a textbook in a college of design. Not as widely known as the other two, but this concise text does not disappoint. It offers and extensive variety of ideas for finishing and drafting techniques that are invariably timeless.
3.) Clothing Construction by Evelyn A. Mansfield 1953
As we near the end of the list, the quality is always surmounting. Another of the three textbooks, this one is quite the gem of vintage sewing photography. Rich with beautifully depicted black and white photos, and wonderfully complete instructions, page after page, you'll quickly see why Clothing Construction is one of my go-to drafting book picks!
2.) Modern Pattern Design by Harriet Pepin 1942
By far the rarest of this collection, this book was once (and probably still is) the paradigm of expert sewing knowledge-- old techniques that have become so hard to find, make this one of the most coveted vintage sewing books to date. I could easily spend hours absorbing the information on each page.
1.) Dress Design by Marion S. Hillhouse and Evelyn A. Mansfield 1948
Last and probably not least, the proverbial diamond of my collection. Let not the cover and the title fool you, for this book will give beginners a run for their money, and experts the final here-say of vintage clothing construction. This is the final and best textbook of the others, in regards to construction and drafting techniques. I pair this often with Modern Pattern Design, and together I feel I have all the knowledge I could ever use on the subject. Designs in this book range from simplistic, to the intricate. Worth every penny!
There you have it, my top vintage pattern drafting book picks. Five is likely to be the first to change in favoritism, as there are still so many other good vintage sewing books to be had! But 1,2, and 3 are likely to remain on the very top of my list.
Do any of you, dear readers, have a favorite vintage book you'd like to own or go back to all the time?