Vintage Learning

by Ramona on April 26, 2013

There’s the old saying, “What is old is new again”! This is definitely true in sewing.

Several years ago, while exploring “sewing” on the internet, I came across a couple of websites I thought I’d share. These websites have information on pattern drafting and sewing techniques. Many of the things found in today’s sewing reference books, are the same techniques found in these vintage books which are now online.

This is one of my favorite sites: VintageSewing.Info

This on-line collection has information from pre-1900 to 1950 which includes:

  • dressmaking
  • school textbook
  • sewing course
  • pattern design (drafting, draping, etc.)
  • tailoring
  • glovemaking
  • millinery
  • laundry/dry cleaning

Not too long ago we did a webinar on fitting. Take a look at this page, Lesson IX The Mystery of Fitting Solved. Though for a 1930’s “Paris Frock”, I think you’ll find some of the information familiar.

And isn’t it wonderful we can visit the Library of Congress on-line and discover some of the sewing books archived there—

You will see there many books listed which have been digitally scanned. Click on a title and you will see a file and may have a .pdf downloadable file on some. Type in a specific sewing topic in the search feature and see what you’ll discover. For instance this link to the 1901 teacher’s edition “Home and School Sewing” which may be read online or downloaded as a .pdf:

Some of the books on-line may be downloaded to your computer hard drive for future viewing. Copyright and useage is described for each publication.

Google or Bing “Old Sewing Books” and see what other websites you may find of interest. Post the links in the comment section below so we can all discover what sewing books are in our on-line world.

Sew ’til next time,



{ 1 comment }

Kristin May 18, 2013 at 12:18 am

When going through my grandmother’s belongings, my aunt discovered an old sewing book from the early 1900’s. She thoughtfully passed it onto me. It is now one of my cherished possessions as I knew Grandma probably used it as a young girl.

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