McCall's Step-by-step Sewing Book

>> Thursday, June 01, 2006

This was a recent thrift shopping find. I got excited when I saw it, and I even got a discount from the 75 cent cover price - it was 49 cents.

I just love the cover, I love the pose with the man pinning her skirt for her in those great Cary Grant style high-waisted trousers. (With a haircut you could set your watch to.) And if you look at it from a modern point of view, the decor style is still really nice. Her sewing room has great storage drawers and compartments, everything light and airy, with that beautiful white featherweight Singer on her handy folding table. And I also love the grey swivel chair - what a great design. Not sure about her dress fabric though. (You can click on the picture to see it larger).

I actually have a white vintage featherweight myself, but I'm so used to my really old black Singer I haven't adjusted to the featherweight yet. It may need a bit of a tune-up - an oiling or belt adjustment or something - despite the fact that it seems to be in perfect condition - almost new. When it arrived (I bought it on Ebay) I felt like someone could have just popped back to 1970 to buy it for me. Even the green carrying box it came in was perfect.

The inside of this book is great too - there are lots of illustrations, and colour photographs, but mostly just close-ups of sewing techniques. I think it will be very handy when I try my first dress pattern. I haven't made my own clothes from a pattern yet, but I'd really like to try. I also like that this old book has descriptions that are relevant to my old sewing machine and attachments. Most contemporary books assume you have a zigzag sewing machine at least, and usually a few other functions as well.

That being said I do use new sewing books as well, my girlfriend gave me DK's The Complete Book of Sewing for my birthday and it's so useful. I used it last night to figure out how to sew cuffs on some jeans I was turning into knee length shorts/capris. It's actually quite easy, but I didn't quite know how to do it properly. Now I do and they turned out really well!


Heather June 01, 2006  

This is just what I need! LOL Great find of yours! You are like the Thrift Goddess! In highschool I remember making a sweatshirt with cuffs and a zipper, a simple skirt with an elastic waist and a tank top. I still have the tank top and wear it. I'll take a picture soon and post it.

molly | June 01, 2006  

what a great book--the cover reminds me of how my mom used to mark and hem my dresses when I was little. although the fabric my dresses were made out of was a little tamer!! great find.

Anonymous,  June 02, 2006  

Cool book! I've got a black featherweight that belonged to my great grandma, but it's enjoying a comfortable retirement while my new Bernina does all the work.

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