September 16, 2012

Library Love: Sewing books

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen 

I don't often buy books because it just creates more clutter in my house. However, I do abuse my library priviledges when it comes to sewing books.

My most recent trip I got a few gems, including two from the 70s which are amazing (in both a useful and a hilarious manner).

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

I got two lingerie sewing books, a draping book and a pattern alteration book but the real fun items were these two: The Undies Book (1976) by Nanette Rothacker, with 25 patterns (and over 10 that I'd actually use!) and Making Leather Clothes (1972) by Kirsten Jorgensen with styling straight out of my mom's old photo albums. That leather pants with crochet bell bottoms and matching crop top ensemble on the cover, yeah, my mom would have totally worn that!

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

There's some questionable Beiber hair going on in this book but some of the women's looks are surprisingly hip.

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

High waist leather shorts with boots and a boat neck top with leather loop fringe? Count me in!

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

Leather jacket with knitted sleeves and collar. Totally could wear that today!

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

Patchwork midi-length a-line skirt? I want to go to there!

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

Button up shorts with lace-up sides? Yes please!

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

Fur-trimmed zip up leather boots? Inuit chic!

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

Fox fur trimmed leather snuggie? Uh, wait... nevermind. Hey, I didn't say they were all winners!

Making Leather Clothes by Kirsten Jorgensen

The patterns are all only in one size which is lame. They're printed to scale so you're supposed to blow them up to size yourself on gridded paper. Both books are like this.

The Undies Book (can I just say thanks to the 1970s lady who used Undies rather than Panties) is even more awesome, without all those weird fringed vests. What I like most about it (besides the fact that patterns come in three sizes, the bras come in even more sizes) is that most of the designs are so modern you'd think this book was printed yesterday. Sure, some of the info on finding fabrics is out of date and the book doesn't even mention sergers at all, but the book has lots of illustrations and information.

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker
 The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

Variations on the basic brief include hip huggers, bikini, french cut and string.

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

There's some pettiepants and pants liner patterns that I'd probably never use (I've never even heard of a slip for pants, hmm... must be a 70s thing).

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker
The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

Then we get to the good stuff - a great non-wired, contour bra in several sizes, a basic triangle cup bra,  a convertible bandeau bra and a lounge bra that looks super cool and fun to make!

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

There's a couple shapewear style patterns and a bodysuit that could be easily made into a swimsuit.

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

Then we get into useful slips including half-slips in different lengths.

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker
The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

A bias-cut full slip, a straight chemise slip and similar camisoles. There's another bodysuit, a little petticoat and a weird peasant style cami.

The Undies Book by Nanette Rothacker

In the end you can crochet your own undies or knits a set of long underwear for skiing. You know, if you're into that sort of thing...

Anyway, most of these undies patterns look awesome and since they're so small they won't be hard to blow up to the correct size. I have a feeling this book is going to be extra useful. If you're interested in lingerie sewing you can find this book for the cheap on Amazon and eBay (Maddie, I'm lookin' at you!). If you want to check out some more pics go to my flickr page or click on the images for bigger versions.

Have you ever found cool old sewing books at the library??

15 comments:

  1. The first thing I noticed was their kindness in selecting the word undies. I bet many of us will forever appreciate that choice of word. :)
    I adore the illustrations. It looks like a lovely book, and if on top of that it has wearable garments it's even better!

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  2. Interesting books. Even though the styles seem slightly dated, I'll bet they could be updated and that there is some good sewing advice and tips.

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  3. These look like fab books, the 'Undies Book' especially.
    While my library has a great selection of sewing books, most of the ones of this vintage are long gone. I have however, had great luck finding some very cool sewing books in second-hand book shops.

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    1. The big downtown library in my city has all the good vintage books but some smaller libraries have cool stuff occasionally. I haven't been to any book stores lately but I should check some out. You never know what you'll find!

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  4. I have a sewing book that was published in 1940, and besides the choice of wording ("the smart wife will want to..."), it really has a wealth of information! Some of the old books really are gold!

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    1. Haha, sometimes reading really old books like that is shocking. Did people really think that way - about being a "smart wife?" It's like living in an episode of mad men!

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  5. Okay, The Undies Book gets most epic book title ever. Am loving the patterns in there- some things never change style wise :D

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  6. I completely want the Undies Book!!! And if anyone else does just google the title/author and find it for under 5 bucks with shipping.

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    1. yes! it's super cheap! everyone should buy one, haha!

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  7. AHHH! How did you know I would read this post?!?!! I was going to scroll down and comment how jealous I was of your findings and then I read my shout out! You're awesome, can I just say that?

    I have been on Ebay and Amazon lately and you better believe I'm made some good purchases! Your findings, though, are killer!

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    1. ;) i think you'd find that book really useful, maddie!

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  8. Iove the illustrations in the undies book!

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  9. Yes indeed, pettipants are from the '70's! And very useful at that. However, at the time, I chose to line all my pants because I'm allergic to wool. And because it was considered bad taste to have unlined pants - unless you had pettipants!

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    1. that's interesting because i've never owned a pair of lined pants. i could understand the wool allergy. it's interesting on how some things have changed in 35 years while other things are very much the same.

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  10. Oh, I've got to have that underwear book! Love the illustrations.

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