I've only been sewing for about 5 years and with vintage patterns a bit over 4 years. I do enjoy it, but I sometimes feel like a poser when I think of the vast amount of stuff I don't know. When I'm at a loss on something (which is most of the time) I often refer to my many, many instruction books.
We all have them. We all value them. Hell, there are even blogs dedicated to them! Anyone who sews with vintage patterns is bound to amass a collection of vintage sewing books. I *cough* have a rather robust *cough* library of them, all dating from 1930s to 1950.
I tend to favor the tips and tricks of the books that are from the war time era. Boy oh boy did they get creative! They packed every booklet with so much information. Its amazing what resources they are.
These are two of my favorites.
I've even made a bag from the Build Your Own Wardrobe booklet.
Get compliments on it all the time.
The page below is from the Make & Mend booklet.
But when I find myself in a sewing pickle, or Im looking for a vintage technique to finish off a look, I always, always refer to this book.
This book is my absolute favorite go-to on any delema I have on sewing. I have sewing guides from Singer, Vogue, Clarks & Coats, the Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing, random booklets from sewing material providers, and what not, and a lot of them often cover the same material. But this 76 page manual I always refer to. Its just packed with great illustrations, concise explanations, and the verbiage does not talk down to you.
The first few sentences of 'Know Your Own Figure' are stellar.
A lot of books I have that were written for women often speak at the reader like she is a four year old, you know? Not this one.
It covers everything from tips on making a coat to weights for fabric, to frogs to whatever.
This sleeve breakdown I actually include in the packet with my repro patterns.
I just adore this book. And no, Im not partial because its a Du Barry publication...I don't think.
So as time goes on, and I get into more projects, Ill start to post the relevant sections of this book that have helped me along the way.