This is a 2-part post: see the second half here.
Last weekend we went visiting to my Mother's house. It was a flying visit, so we didn't stay long (we were on our way back from a day-long visit to one of my brother's house nearby).
So, I was lingering in Mummy's dining room and as I was idly scanning my eyes over her bookshelves I spotted some sewing books. Now, Mummy and I have never had one of those archetypal, stereotypical Mother-Daughter relationships that families are supposedly meant to follow. [For which read: we have generally never gotten on, we are civil but not overly friendly, and we have never bonded over anything. I have no special memories of time spent/family events/occasions/touching moments during my childhood, teenage or adult years that involve my Mother - although there are many happy times with my Father, brothers and the rest of my family. Basically, as the old adage goes "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family" - and whilst there is no animosity present, we just don't hang out or anything like that.] So, you can imagine my surprise when I came across these alluring tomes! Had these tantalising vintage sewing relics been in my midst during my formative years; when sewing did not draw my attention in the way it does now, then maybe my pleasureable pastime might have come to fruition much sooner LOL! (Back then it was merely a useful tool when I wanted to crop some jeans into shorts, or hem a skirt bought in the local Oxfam for £1.50 I made 2 dresses that I recall, and not much else.)
Anyway I digress! So, I HAD to take some pics of course ;)!
The first two books that I pulled off of Mummy's shelves were by Adele P. Margolis (and spookily enough I already own copies of these very two titles myself):
Design Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis (1971)
ISBN 0263516741, Original cost £3.85
(I have the re-issued 2006, paperback edition now titled 'Make Your Own Dress Patterns', ISBN 0486452549).
How to Make Clothes That Fit and Flatter by Adele P. Margolis (1969)
ISBN 0385090641, Original cost £UNKNOWN.
I thought that was the lot, but as I put the Adele's back, I spied at the end of the very long shelf some more reading-marevls!
Clothes - Their Choosing, Making & Care by Margaret G Butler (1965)
ISBN 071342700, Original cost £UNKNOWN
Sewing for Men and Boys by Simplicity (1978)
ISBN 0918178002, Original cost £0.60
Curiously, Mummy seems to own a UK edition (it has 60p printed on the front cover). However, online I can only seem to find the US edition with $1 on the front. Flicking through Mummy's copy I've realised that the photo on the cover is different between the different countries.
Introducing Pattern Cutting Grading and Modelling by Margaritha Goulbourn (1971)
ISBN 713427108, Original cost £1.90
Introducing Pattern Cutting by Ann Tuit (1974)
ISBN 0435428608, Original cost £2.80
Betty Foster's Dressmaking Book (1979)
ISBN 0356063198, Original cost £1.25
McCall's Sewing in Colour ((C) 1963, Impression 1977)
ISBN 0600024571, Original cost £2.95
Dress Pattern Designing by Natalie Bray (1974, 4th Edition 'Metric')
ISBN 025896944X, Original cost £UNKNOWN
This is the link to the current, modern 2003 Edition.
More Dress Pattern Designing by Natalie Bray (1974, 3rd Edition 'Metric')
ISBN 0258969725, Original cost £UNKNOWN
Again, link for the latest 2003 Edition.
Tucked inside one of the books was a pink and white packet of Betty Foster's Dressmaking Design Paper. It's large paper, printed with squares, and the idea is that you use a smaller diagram of a pattern and transfer by hand all the lines, and curves onto the larger squares of the 'design paper' - thereby keeping everything in proportion to the scaled-down smaller diagram. (On a side note, it even looks like the company Betty set up to sell her products is still up and running in Crewe.)
More pics are in my Flickr photo set of the books here.
Please see my next post about How Did Mummy Start Sewing? for more!