Keeping up with fashion



The book worm and her favorite book / Will Houghton.

I’ve been reading more about pleats and plaits in my sewing books at home and learning many new things. Below are a couple of scans from a vintage dressmaking book that is also available online. I also discovered that The Delineator magazine can be accessed as well.

The scans of plaits are from my copy of the book The New Dressmaker by the Butterick Publishing Company, 3rd edition, 1921. It is available in a couple of different places on the World Wide Web. For instance, there is the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries Digital Collections. There is a search magnifying glass in the upper right of the screen and one could type in “1921 Butterick New Dressmaker”, or here is the direct url to the contents page of the book. Tucks and plaits is Chapter 20.

The Internet Archive also has a copy. I had trouble locating it from the main entry portal at so I tried a Google search for the book and that worked. Here it is:

A new-to-me addition to online library collections is The Delineator magazine. Not all of the Volumes are available however.

The Delineator was a monthly magazine started by Butterick in 1869. In addition to advertising there were stories, recipes, sewing and embroidery tips and patterns. has an article about the history of the magazine. The University of West Florida also has a in-depth article.

1894-1922 are the years that have Full View access to The Delineator magazine .

“Dressmaking Made Easy” by Eleanor Chalmers was an article in Volume 73 of The Delineator. It begins on page 64.;view=1up;seq=70

Just now browsing and found a lovely  afternoon costume in Volume 84, January 1914. The illustration shows a “dressy tailored suit of the latest and most graceful lines”.;view=1up;seq=30;size=150

Below are the two scans of plaits. I’m impressed with the engineering effort to support the inlaid plait in the last illustration.

scan0140 (2)

scan0141 (2)

2 thoughts on “Keeping up with fashion

  1. I have supported my pleat with a line of hand topstitching, based on the instructions in my 1934 dress pattern. I must get on and post – the skirt is coming along gradually.


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