Old sewing books

Be sure to click on the pictures to see them up close.

Advanced sewing made easy / by Mary Brooks Picken. Fawcett Publications, 1954.

Adventures in sewing / editor -- Mabel Obenchain. [n.p., n.d.]

American dressmaking step by step : containing complete, concise, up-to-date, and comprehensible instruction in sewing, dressmaking, and tailoring; prepared to meet the needs of the home and professional dressmaker and pupils of this branch of Domestic Art in our schools, colleges, and universities / by Lydia Trattles Coates. Pictorial Review Co., 1917. [Former owner: Annie Lee Pritchett]

Art in dress / P. Clement Brown.  1922.

The art of dressmaking. Butterick, 1927.  [Previous owner:  Mrs. D.J. Feehly]

Wow, all three measurements are the same!

The art of fashion draping / Connie Amaden-Crawford.  [2d ed.]  Fairchild Publications, 1998.

The Bishop method of clothing construction / Edna Bryte Bishop, Marjorie Stotler Arch. Lippincott, 1959.


Butterick dressmaking book.  Butterick, 1941.

Clothes with character / by Hazel Thompson Craig and Ola Day Rush. Heath, 1946.

Clothing and health : an elementary textbook of home making / by Helen Kinne and Anna M. Cooley.  (The home-making series). Macmillan, 1919.

Clothing construction / Evelyn A. Mansfield.  Houghton Mifflin, 1953.

Clothing construction and wardrobe planning / Dora S. Lewis, Mabel Goode Bowers, Marietta Kettunen.  Macmillan, 1955.

Clothing for moderns / Mabel D. Erwin, Lila A. Kinchen. [3d ed.]  Macmillan, 1964.

Clothing for women : selection, design, construction, a practical manual for school and home / by Laura I. Baldt.  (Lippincott's home manuals).  Lippincott, 1916.

Clothing for women : selection and construction / by Laura I. Baldt.  (Lippincott's home manuals).  Lippincott, 1929.  [Former owner:  Elizabeth C. Meisinger]

Clothing for women : selection and construction / by Laura I. Baldt ; illustrated by Margaret R. Pritchard, Emily H. Schreiber, and Margaret Schaff Lacey.  Lippincott, 1941.  [Sadly, this edition lacks the lovely color illustrations the previous editions had, perhaps because of the war, or perhaps simply because someone swiped them from this copy.]

Clothing : simplicity - economy for the high school girl / by Laura I. Baldt and Helen D. Harkness.  (Lippincott's home economics texts).  Lippincott, 1933.

Color and line in dress / Laurene Hempstead ; sketches by Mary Highsmith.  Prentice-Hall, 1931.  [Mary Highsmith may have been Patricia Highsmith's mother]

Color harmony and design in dress / Millicent Melrose. Social Culture Publications, 1922.

The complete book of sewing : dressmaking and sewing for the home made easy / by Constance Talbot ; edited by Isabelle Stevenson. Greystone Press, 1943, rev. 1949. 

Yes, kiddies, we really did dress like this in the 50s.  Even my mother, who disliked both "cute" and children, bought matching outfits for us all.

Costume design and illustration / Ethel Traphagen.  (Wiley technical series for vocational and industrial schools).  John Wiley and Sons, 1918.


Costume design and illustration / Ethel Traphagen. [2d ed.]  (Wiley technical series for vocational and industrial schools).  John Wiley and Sons, 1932.




Costume design and illustration / Ethel Traphagen. [2d ed., fourth printing, October 1944] (Wiley technical series for vocational and industrial schools). John Wiley and Sons, 1932.  [Note to any other collectors out there:  the 1944 imprint is the merely a reprint of the 1932 edition, aside from any concessions to the War Production Board.]

Design and sew it yourself : a workbook for creative clothing / by Lois Ericson and Diane Ericson. [Rev. ed of Design it yourself, Sew it yourself] Eric's Press, 1983.

Designing and decorating clothes.  Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1930.  Bound with:  Dress decoration and ornament.  Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1929.

Drafting and pattern designing : principles, methods and proportions for drafting to measurements and designing individual, modish patterns.  Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1924.

Dress decoration and ornament  SEE Designing and decorating clothes

Dressmaking : a manual for schools and colleges / by Jane Fales.  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917.


Dressmaking made easy / by Laura I. Baldt. McCall Co., 1928.

Dressmaking made easy. [Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, n.d.].

Easy, easier, easiest tailoring / by Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch. [Rev. ed.] Palmer/Pletsch, 1983.

Elements of costume design for high school students / Marie Downs and Florence O'Leary ; illustrated by Louise Sarrazin. Bruce Publishing, 1923.  [Former owners:  Everett Library, Queens College; Anne L. Booker]

Embroidery stitches / by Vera Willis.  Methuen and Co., 1932.

Fabrics and dress / by Lucy Rathbone and Elizabeth Tarpley. [New edition] (Riverside home economics series) Houghton Mifflin, 1937.

Fabrics ... reconstructed : a collection of surface changes / by Lois Ericson. Eric's Press, 1985.

First steps in dressmaking : essential stitches and seams, easy garment making, individualizing tissue-paper patterns. Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1941.

Picture of former owner (?)

From thimble to gown : a manual of sewing / by Ethel Van Gilder.  Allyn and Bacon, 1932. [Former owner:  Mary E. Reeves]

Good taste in dress / Frieda Wiegand McFarland ; foreward by Florence Hall.  Manual Arts Press, 1936.


Goodwin's course in sewing : practical instruction in needlework for use in schools and at home.  Book 1 / Emma E. Goodwin.  Frank D. Beattys, 1910.

The great put on : sew something smashing! / Lois Ericson, Linda Wakefield. Eric's Press, 1992.

Harmony in dress : beautiful clothes; corsets and dress foundations; silhouettes, colors, fabrics; good taste in dress, millinery, and accessories; the dressmaker and tailor shop; European shops. Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1925.

Home sewing and modern dressmaking course. Institute of Modern Sewing, 1926. Book I. Stitches [...] seams [...] tucking.
Book II. Textiles, their selection and use.

Book III. Hemming, facing, plackets, closings buttonholes.
Book IV. Fancy and embroidery stitches, ruffling, plaiting, shirring, braiding.
Book V. Lace joining, piping, commercial patterns, edgestitching, drafting, cutting of materials.

Home sewing made easy / by Laura I. Baldt.  McCall Company, 1928.  The contents are identical to "Dressmaking made easy," published the same year.

The back cover is stamped with the GE logo.

Miss Baldt herself.

How to make clothes that fit and flatter / Adele P. Margolis. Doubleday, 1969.

How to make dresses the modern Singer way.  Singer Sewing Machine Co., 1932.

Illustrated sewing primer with songs and music for schools and families / arranged by Louise J. Kirkwood.  American Book Company, 1909.  [Former owner:  Mrs. W.E. Moore]

Individuality and clothes : the blue book of personal attire / by Margaret Story ; revised by Catharine Oglesbey ; illustrated by Hjördis Ethel Anderson.  Funk and Wagnalls, 1940.

The little girl's sewing book / edited by Flora Klickmann.  Girls Own Paper and Woman's Magazine, [1915].  [Fourth impression]  [Former owner Eileen Winch [of Worcester, England?]]  See my review on Amazon.

Back cover.  The book is full of wonderful advertisements.

I love the projects in this book, but not the drawings.  They are a little too Joan-Walsh-Anglund-ghastlies for my taste.  And they also seem unusual for the time.

Instructions for using Wheeler and Wilson's "no. 9" sewing machine. [Wheeler and Wilson ?, n.d.].

Lingerie and sleepwear : 24 original designs you can make yourself / edited by Jack Angell. St. Martin's, 1981.

The magic of dress / Grace Margaret Gould ; illustrated by E.M.A Steinmetz.  Doubleday, Page, 1911.  Previous owner: Lilian D. ? [illegible]


Making smart clothes : modern methods in cutting, fitting and finishing.  Butterick Publishing, 1930.

McCall's sewing book : dressmaking made easy. McCall Corporation, 1955.

McCall's step-by-step sewing book. [Rev.] McCall Pattern Co., 1971.

Modern clothing : a text for the high school girl / by Laura Baxter and Alpha Latzke. Lippincott, 1938.

Modern needlecraft / Editor: Davide C. Minter.  Blackie & Son, 1932.

I really love 30s whitework.

Mother Pletsch's painless sewing with Pretty Pati's perfect pattern primer and Ample Annie's awful but adequate artwork / by Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch. [Rev. ed.] Palmer/Pletsch, 1986.

Needles and pins : the American woman's complete sewing book / by Ida Riley Duncan. New York : Liveright Publishing, 1943.

The new dressmaker, with complete and fully illustrated instructions on every point connected with sewing, dressmaking and tailoring from the actual stitches to the cutting, making, altering, mending and cleaning of clothes for ladies, misses, girls, children, infants, men and boys.  [3d ed.]  Butterick, 1921.

The new encyclopedia of modern sewing / edited by Frances Blondin. Wm H. Wise and Co., 1946.

Opening and closing : closures / by Lois Ericson and Anne Charles. Eric's Press, 1996.

Paris frocks at home.  Butterick, 1930.

Personal motifs.  Book no. 1.  Flowers.  Clark and Co., [1930s?]

The piece bag book : a first book of sewing and weaving / Anna La Tourette Blauvelt ; illustrated by Truda Dahl. (The work and play series). Macmillan, 1927.  See my review on Amazon.

A picture from the end papers, with Jack the Cat in the background.

Principles of clothing selection / by Helen Goodrich Buttrick ; drawings by Gertrude Spaller Kinder.  Macmillan, 1929.  [Former owner: Edna [?]]

The secrets of distinctive dress : harmonious, becoming and beautiful
 -- its value and how to achieve it / by Mary Brooks Picken.  Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1918.  [Inside front cover:  "October 14, 1918 Pointes Aux Barques" "Lady Rock was at Pt. Aux Barques" "Komestai, bene bene"  Former owner:  Marjorie Kulling, perhaps Majorie Kulling Sullivan who died  April 30, 2011?  If so, she would not have been the original owner.]

Sensational silk : a handbook for sewing silk and silk-like fabrics / by Gail Brown. Palmer/Pletsch, 1982.

The sewing book : containing complete instructions in sewing and simple garment-making for children in the primary and grammar grades / edited by Anne L. Jessup. Butterick, 1913. [Former owner: Elizabeth Baldwin.]

The sewing book for children's, girls', and young women's clothes / prepared by the Clark's O.N.T. Thread Co., 1925. (For distribution through the newspapers represented by Frederic J. Haskin.)

Sewing made easy / Mary Lynch.  Garden City Books, 1952.


Sewing magic / Mary Brooks Picken.  McGraw-Hill, 1952.

Sewing magic for teen-agers / Mildred Graves Ryan ; illustrated by Mary Ronin ; technical illustrations by John Forzaglia. Greist Manufacturing, 1954. ("Published by the Greist Manufacturing Company, New Haven, Connecticut, for your sewing enjoyment.")

Sewing materials : textiles, laces; embroideries and findings; shopping hints; mending, household sewing; trade and sewing terms. (Woman's Institute library of dressmaking).  Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1928.

Sewing with sergers : the complete handbook for overlock sewing. Book 1 / by Gail Brown and Pati Palmer. Palmer/Pletsch, 1988.

 Sewing without mother's help : a story sewing book for beginners / by Clara Ingram Judson ; [illustrator: Elizabeth Colborne] (What I can do with my hands books). Nourse, 1921.

Simplicity fitting book. Simplicity Pattern Co., 1984.

Simplicity sewing book. [Rev.] Simplicity Pattern Co., 1972.

Singer electric sewing machines.  1938, 1939.  Gorgeously printed in silver and pink.  [Gift from Sally]

Singer make-over guide : ideas and instructions for renewing-altering and restyling clothing and fabric furnishings. Singer Manufacturing Co., 1943.

Singer sewing book / Mary Brooks Picken. Singer Sewing Machine Company, 1949.

Smartness and economy in home sewing : a variety of designs stitched into fluffy dresses / by Hazel L. Hunt. Greist Manufacturing, 1919.

"Youth and simplicity stitched into fluffy dresses for the sweet girl graduate and the debutante." Seems to be in part an advertisement for another Greist book, "Sewing efficiency," which told how to use Greist attachments, and which cost fifty cents back then. You'd be lucky to find it for less than $50 now.

Texture ...a closer look / Lois Ericson.  Eric's Press, 1987.

A touch of style : sewing simple, inventive clothes / by Pieke Stuvel. Penguin Books, 1981.

The Vogue sewing book of fitting, adjustments and alterations. Butterick Fashion Marketing Company, 1972.

Vogue's book of practical dressmaking. [Condé Nast?, January 1929?]

Vogue's book of smart dressmaking. Condé Nast, 1936.

Vogue's book of smart dressmaking. Condé Nast, 1942.

Vogue's book of smart dressmaking. Condé Nast, 1948.

Vogue's new book for better sewing / prepared by Vogue Pattern Service.  Simon and Schuster, 1952.

The well-dressed woman : a study in the practical application to dress of the laws of health, art, and morals / by Helen Gilbert Ecob.  Fowler and Wells, 1892.  [On the cover:  "The good, the true, the beautiful"] [Former owner:  Jenny L. Hamlin]

What dress makes of us / Dorothy Quigley ; illustrations by Annie Blakeslee. Dutton, 1897.

When mother lets us sew / by Virginia Ralston. Moffat, Yard and Co., 1910.  See my review on Amazon.

Wright's bias fold tape and trimmings : the sewing-room labor savers. 192? 

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