My mother had the Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book, 1970 edition. I LOVED leafing through that book when I was a kid. The techniques were interesting to me even before I learned to sew, but the pages on putting together a wardrobe were absolutely fascinating. Even the “casual” looks were elegant.
Years after I grew up and left home, I spotted that same book, same edition, at an antique fair. I couldn’t snatch it off the table fast enough. I think it was $10, but I would have paid just about anything to have my own copy. Following are my favorite pages:
When I was in college, I’d sometimes go down to the basement of the school library to look at the Vogue magazines from the 1940s and 1950s. They were right out on the shelves. The women all looked so sophisticated.
I spent several hours at the mall this afternoon, chauffeuring a couple of eighth-grade girls. Although I picked up a camel cardigan and a cream sweater that would both look good with vintage-inspired pieces, the outfits on these pages are far more stylish than anything the mall had to offer.
As I drove out of the massive parking lot, I felt happy not only that I can sew my own clothes, but also that I have vintage sewing books to turn to for inspiration, including one I first read more than 30 years ago.