Sewing Vintage Modern made its way onto my bookshelf recently. Have you seen it yet?
The back of the book reads: "Vintage Looks Meet Modern Fashion," which is pretty accurate. The book gives a nice overview of fashion history from the to the 1980s (God, the 80s are vintage already; I'm old!), with notes on influential designers and fashion trends, and great drawings of clothes and accessories.
The book includes 5 master patterns (printed on double-sided, trace-your-own-and-add-seam-allowance Burda sheets. There's a lot on each sheet, but it's not like the newer magazines; you can actually see what you want to trace.
The master patterns are then turned into 19 different looks, as follows:
Pattern #2, a man's shirt, is a 1940s button-down shirt with chest pockets, a 1960s tuxedo shirt with ruffles and hidden buttons, and a 1960s jacket.
Pattern #3, another dress, is used for a multitude of looks: a 1950s full-skirted dress, a 1980s bustier dres, a bodice for another dress, and 5 different tops.
The last pattern, #5, is for pants - everything from stirrups to pajama bottoms to bell-bottoms.
The most valuable part of the book, to me, is that it's more or less a mini course on adapting a master pattern to suit your needs. Each look from a master pattern is broken down completely - how to re-draw each pattern piece, with instructions on measurements and truing up the pieces, is fully explained and illustrated.
The patterns run from sizes 0 - 14, or European sizes 32 - 46. I wish the size range had been a little more generous, or that there had been instructions on how to adapt patterns to your size, not just to the specific look. (The largest size measures 41 x 34 x 43, and face it, there's a lot of 34" waists out there on women who don't fall into a full plus-size category; I'm built more or less on the lines of a fire hydrant myself, so I know of what I speak).
I like vintage. I like real vintage. The things I like about real vintage are the details, the complicated sewing, the weird pattern pieces (gussets, anybody?) - the things that you don't find in most modern patterns. These patterns allude to the original, but they are definitely directed to a younger sewist who isn't into true vintage. Or at least not yet.
This would be a great book for someone not too new to sewing, but who hasn't experimented much with reworking patterns. The book has a conversational tone and the directions on how to adapt patterns aren't intimidating at all - everything is explained well, and in a manner that's much more user-friendly than textbook.
All that being said, I still give this book a pretty high rating, but I think it'll do better out there in the world with one of you than remaining on my shelves.
Please leave a comment telling me why you deserve this book, and you'll be entered to win my copy. I'll do a random drawing next Sunday, January 6th, and announce the winner here on the blog. U.S. only, please.
Happy new year, everyone!