Modern Home Sewing

Some of you know that I’m a vintage sewing book junkie. I pick them up wherever I can: flea markets, thrift stores, antique malls, online, if it’s a sewing topic, it’s going home with me, and the older the better.

This is one of the newest in my collection:

Published in 1953, it tackles the sticky topic of how to use the NEW, MODERN zigzag sewing machine!

I love the emphasis on creatively extending the budget with sewing around the home:
And it even includes refashioning advice–two whole chapters!
I love that vintage books don’t shy away from discussing sensitive subjects, like fitting “problem areas” like a “bulging tummy.”
Plenty of the content here is super useful today, too, like removing stains:
But here you see my dilemma: the binding is caput. And it’s killing me. Anyone have a suggestion for where I can get this timeless beauty rebound? My preference is some kind of library service that takes the cover off and puts it all back together (rather than the Kinko’s-spiral-binding option) but I’m pretty open. I want to save this gem!
A lot of this reminds me of my grandfather’s family, some of whom survived the attacks on Pearl Harbor on this very day, 68 years ago. The skills they took for granted are ones we struggle to learn, and the things that we do easily would be completely foreign to them, and yet we all have plenty to talk about.

Keep in mind: some of the best sewing advice is the simplest. This book was published for an audience for whom a sewing machine with a zigzag stitch was a novelty! And yet look at all they were creating by hand. If they could do it, we can totally do it. Sew on, y’all.

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  • A.
    December 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I love older stuff like this, too. The manual to my vintage machine is a real treat. Not only do they use wording that is totally lost on us today, but they really tell it like it is!

    Anywho, I don't know your area, but I wanted a book rebound and the used bookstore by me recommended a shop to me. If you've got a used or rare book dealer in your area give them a call and they can probably point you in a good direction.

  • dana
    December 8, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Cool book! And I agree….there are more stitches on machines these days than we know what to do with. I really only use my normal stitch and the zigzag. Seems like the true art test is to create something out of simplicity.

  • Miss Sews-it-all
    December 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    That is a great find! I collect vintage sewing books for the very same reasons. I've never seen that one before, it looks totally cool. Happy reading!