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Does anyone else absolutely love vintage sewing information? I’ve got a small collection of vintage patterns and sewing books of my own, but I just love seeing how our mothers and grandmothers sewed in their time with the fashions of the day. I’m proud to carry on this tradition in my family, but I was never lucky enough to be gifted with much more than a pattern or two…

But vintage fashion isn’t just restricted to printed materials – thanks to the internet, we can now watch some great vintage sewing videos, too! Archive.org have a lot of pre-1975 fashion videos (including this home sewing gem from 1948!), and over on my side of the Atlantic,

the BBC have a “What We Wore” archive collection (UK viewers only, I’m afraid!) including a series of “Clothes That Count” shows from the late sixties that demonstrate how to sew your own shirt waister, suits, and coats using only “paper patterns”!

If you’re still wanting more, have a look at these vintage sewing ads on YouTube. I’ll have to start thinking of BurdaStyle as “our own private club” now, like the Sewing Center shown in the ad!


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    Nov 4, 2008, 11.56 AMby vickles

    Thank you for the info on the BBC vintage sewing programs! They are brilliant! As well as being a televisual step back in time (something which I love – and which was at times, very funny) they are actually very helpful and the lovely lady makes pattern alterations really easy and offers some useful tips!

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    Nov 3, 2008, 11.02 AMby mirela

    Wonderful videos!

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    Oct 28, 2008, 05.12 AMby squirrellypoo

    Looking past, your machine sounds fantastic! The best vintage sewing book I’ve found recently is “The Complete Book Of Sewing” by Constance Talbot, which goes for really cheap on abebooks.com all the time. It really is the most comprehensive sewing book I’ve ever seen!

  • Emilykate_large

    Oct 27, 2008, 08.56 PMby emilykate

    Thanks for the links! I love vintage ads too. I have quite a few old sewing books myself, and lookingpast is right- there’s a lot to be gleaned about women’s lives between the lines. Even just thirty years ago lives and expectations are very different than now.

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    Oct 27, 2008, 04.08 PMby lookingpast

    Oh yes! I LOVE vintage sewing and everything about it—the machines, the ads, the books, the patterns. . . . I’m definitely going to check out the fashion videos too—thanks for posting that!

    I collect vintage machines too, and do almost all of my sewing on my mother’s 1953 Singer Featherweight. One of my vintage books, the Singer Sewing Book, dates from around that era and besides the excellent sewing information, it’s fascinating to read ‘between the lines’ about women’s lives. There’s a whole section in the book about the importance of dressing nicely, putting on makeup, and having a manicure when you sit down to sew!

    Thanks for posting this great blog!!


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