by Elizabeth Baker, Allison Louw and Valerie Punchard
Published in 1972
Some Chapter Headings:
Shirtmaking (actually, every section is about skirts, so I believe there’s a typo in the table of contents!)
Sewing for Children
- The good tips in “Generally Speaking”, that are written for beginners, but are good reminders for more advanced sewers. For example, “Always choose a thread one or two shades darker than the fabric… ” (page 11).
- The comprehensive measurement chart on pages 13 that includes 27 measurements, and the instructions on how to measure them.
- The bluntness of Chapter 5 “Coming to Grips with Your Figure”. Yikes! The subtitles are “Which type are you?” and “What is your problem?” Double yikes!
- Awesome instructions for using your dress form and padding it to match your measurements! This is the first time I’ve found these!
- The way the chapter on fabrics shows photographs and labels of many types of fabrics.
- A great table on the faults of wrinkles in a skirt, and the pattern adaptations to correct them.
- An actual plan for making, fitting, perfecting and using a muslin!!!!
- The great Vogue patterns from the 1970s that were made and photographed for this book. You can tell they are dated, but many of the styles are still very classic!
- It’s ever so slightly difficult to find the tip you need.
- The horrid picture of 2 little girls on page 237 wearing fuzzy yellow fleece coats. They look like miniature ducklings!
- The idea that it is very likely I probably wore a stretch terry cloth playsuit like those pictured in the Sewing for Children chapters. But hey, it was the 70s!
This book is thorough. You can find instructions for everything from using your muslin to adapt patterns to covering snap fasteners with fabric. And, during this season of the dress, I can’t rave enough about chapter 36, “The shirt dress story” or chapter 34, “The jumper conversion”. I’m not familiar with Golden Hands or any of their other how-tos, but if you are looking for another great, well-rounded resource for garment-making then this is your book.
Would I buy it for myself? Despite the very blunt advice regarding my “figure problems” (“If this is your problem, your figure needs the very best support you can afford.” Gee, thanks.), I have already ordered this book from my favorite online bookstore. You can get it as low as 13 cents + shipping. That’s crazy!
Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Yes. Yes. and Yes.