One year ago June 22, my dear dog Emmie, whom I love dearly, spotted a rabbit in the corner of our back yard. Unfortunately, she and I were both on the top step of my back porch and her leash was looped around my wrist when she took off after said rabbit. I went air born down the six steps to our driveway, breaking my right ankle. That’s my driving ankle, so I was pretty much house-bound and then some complications made me couch-bound for the entire summer. I couldn’t even make it down the basement stairs to my sewing room, so no sewing got done all summer. What’s a rabid stitcher to do?
Well, let me tell you. I became obsessed, thanks to my laptop’s ability to connect me with the rest of the world, with vintage sewing books. Ebay and Etsy became my best friends. I amassed quite a collection. Unlike many book collectors, condition was not an issue – I have come to love the dog-eared pages, stained covers and hand-written notes – all signs of a well-loved and eagerly used volume. If it includes pattern drafting, I’m sold.
At first I limited myself to those published in the 1940s and 1950s. I love the quaint attitude and near-reverence toward sewing that they reflect. But then I came across an earlier work, “Practical Sewing and Dressmaking” by Sara May Allington, published in 1913, that absolutely stole my heart. Sara devised the “Allington System of Drafting” and this book STILL had the original two-piece, hinged cardboard drafting ruler tucked inside. From 1913!!! The book is divided into "Lessons" instead of chapters, including "Utensils Needed fo Sewing and Dressmaking", "How to Take Measures", and "Women's Circular Drawers".
I plan to share and showcase little bits of my collection for those of you who might find them interesting after my daughter's wedding next month. If anyone else out there shares this passion, I’d love to hear about your collection.
Garden of Daisies Embroidery