Sewing Like it’s 1972

While I love perusing the glossy images in new sewing books, sometimes the oldies are the goodies – which is why I went straight to Amazon after reading Modflowers’s post on the Golden Hands Encyclopedia of Dressmaking and snapped up a copy for the bargain price of £3.

I’ll admit, I mostly bought it for the retro illustrations, but there are some really useful tips in here too, starting from basics like what tools to buy and how to work with different fabrics, to slightly more advanced techniques like embroidery and making your own patterns. Although some of the styles featured are a little too 1970s for my liking (it was published in 1972, after all) it’ll be fun to adapt them so they’re a bit more up to date (and so I don’t look like I’m going to a ’70s fancy dress party).

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3 thoughts on “Sewing Like it’s 1972

  1. I think vintage books are often the best at teaching stuff because they go into so much detail. I have an old Reader’s Digest book on sewing (80’s I think? I’m basing that on the abundance of shoulder pads in the book) and it’s amazing. It’s like this is how you put an invisible zipper in, PLUS this may happen if you do it on delicate fabric, here’s how you fix that. And it even addresses stuff like should you prewash the zipper (answer: don’t bother) and i’m like good gosh I never even thought of that!

    Also retro illustrations are always great!

    1. What a find! I agree that vintage books are best at conveying instructions about things like this. My mum has this fantastic, very dense sewing book from the early 1980s that I have always coveted, and she found a copy in a charity shop for about $2 so bought it for me. It’s my sewing bible – really clear instructions, great diagrams and photographs.

      Looking forward to seeing your adaptations of these patterns!

  2. Those pictures are lovely! I’d be tempted to cut them out and frame them for my future sewing room (if I could bear to cut up a book that is!).

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