In A History of the Paper Pattern Industry, author Joy Spanabel Emery explores the history of the paper sewing pattern, from the very first published works for tailors to today’s printed patterns for home sewists. She looks at how the printed format, fashion styles, marketing, and consumption of paper patterns have evolved through the years.
Included are 125 full color illustrations and 75 black & white illustrations. (The photos you see in this review are all black & white because my pre-release copy did not include color.)
And at the end, 9 complete sewing patterns to make reproduction vintage garments from different eras. (Brief assembly instructions are included. You will need to scale the pieces up to full size in order to use them.)
This is an academic book appropriate for someone who is wanting to make serious study of vintage patterns. This book would be an excellent resource for vintage pattern collectors!
I don’t know that I fall into the category of a vintage pattern collector, but I do find myself drawn to older sewing patterns. And I’ve long been intrigued with the paper sewing pattern as a technical document. So much information packed within a relatively small space! Now that I’m reading through A History of the Paper Pattern Industry, I’m learning more about historical context of older sewing patterns.
One section I found particularly interesting was that on the effect of 1940s rationing on the styles of clothing available in sewing patterns. Not only was yardage restricted for the home sewist, but the styles were restricted as well. A “no fabric over fabric” rule meant there could be no patch pockets or knife pleats. Skirt circumference could be no more than 72”. The next time I pick up a 1940s pattern, I’ll see the designs with a new layer of appreciation.
I have a copy of A History of the Paper Pattern Industry to give away to one Craft Gossip reader. To enter, leave a comment here telling me your favorite decade for style. I’ll choose one comment at random as the winner.
Deadline for entry is midnight CST, June 17, 2014.