A New Way to Read a Book

Make and Mend for Victory, 1942. Click to enlarge

Make and Mend for Victory, 1942. Click to enlarge

Another lot of books from online collections for the student and teacher of dressmaking and tailoring, flat patternmaking and draping. In these unique volumes from the past one finds a wealth of interesting facts. By simply reading the text and observing the diagrams and drawings new ideas come to mind. The  pleasurable pursuit of reading, seeking and finding fresh information, is often its own reward. If one is interested in a particular subject, testing by trial and error will eventually lead to a firm grasp of the topic at hand.

If you desire to teach a class, books from these digital collections are always right at hand for every student. Similar to the widely used wikipedia.org site, these book depositories of the world wide web support themselves by donations. What a wonderful service they provide for a new generation of learners and teachers. Let us support them as we can.

Make and Mend for Victory,  Spool Cotton Co., 1942


Perfect Fit Patternmaking,  French Fashion Academy


Principles and problems of pattern making as applied to women’s apparel, Book I, 1939 edition.  Charles Kaplan and Esther Kaplan.  I have Book II, 1940 edition so I am very happy to find this.


Precision Draping; a simple method for developing designing talent, 1948.  Nelle Weymouth Link


Sewing Handbook for Use in Extension Work, Feb. 1923.  Colorado Agricultural College, Fort Collins. “Free Pattern Cutting”, p.50, When using newspapers to drape, the columns help as markers for grain direction. Complete directions.


Individualizing Tissue-Paper Patterns. Woman’s Institute booklet, fitting tips


Costume Designing, Pattern Drafting, Dresscutting, Millinery, 1922.  Eugene Dickinson, Jessica Dickinson.  Children’s dresses, p. 35; Appliqué Cutting, p.36; Circular Ruffling, Plain and Scalloped (or other design), p.37; Draping, p. 33


Parisian Ladies’ Tailoring System  Circa 1918.  A.Z. Zeisler


Drafting trousers for men, boys, women a complete and reliable system, 3rd ed., 1945.  Harry Simon.  Boys’ sailor pants, One piece pattern for each leg, p.98


Designing sack coats, dress coats, and vests, 1917.  Harry Simon


 Thrift with a Needle; the complete book of mending, 1954.  Mildred Graves Ryan


Woman’s Institute books from the collection at the University of Pennsylvania, circa 1915-1934


Designing and Planning Clothes, 1930, Woman’s Institute.  Greek law of division of space; tall, thin figure, neckline, sleeves.


Pattern Drafting, Pattern Grading, Garment Making and Garment Fitting,1939.  Edmund Gurney.  From The Library of the New York State College of Home Economics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.  “To Draft the Swagger Coat”, p. 114, same page as Now poem. (“If you have hard work to do, do it now…”)


Efficiency, simplicity, economy in cutting and making women’s garments, 1917.  Edmund Gurney.  Has a neck and armhole curve that could be easily duplicated on page 23.


The 15 books listed above make excellent and enjoyable reading. I am reminded of the “Happy Thought” of  Robert Louis Stevenson: “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings” (and queens). I really enjoyed finding these books.

More dressmaking and tailoring books:



2 thoughts on “A New Way to Read a Book

    • My pleasure. Aisha is so prompt and gracious in her replies. I was looking for a treasured classic and she found it right away. It’s so impressive that she loves her work preserving books so that the world at large can read them.

      Liked by 1 person

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