Monday, May 16, 2011

Free Vintage Sewing Tutorials

*This post has been in draft form for about six months now. Only after seeing Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman in the bookstore did I realize I never published this and that someone besides me might be interested in what I found. So...

Once I found a document on Sewing Vintage's website with instructions on how to draft your own blouse from the 1930s I started to wonder if more of these pamphlets or the directions sometimes detailed in magazines could be found on the web for simple projects like these. Well, they could! These articles provide instruction on creating your own pattern with measurements, a ruler, and tracing paper, though I use butcher paper instead. To save you some trouble, here are the ones that I was able to find: If you know of others, please let me know! Enjoy!

Australian Home Journal, January 1926 1926 beach wrap/cape dropped waist tea frock with flared skirt ladies "jumper" (tunic) with middy collar

Not only that but you can see complete issues (April 1 1949 - Sept 1 1952) of the Australian Home Journal on the Internet Archive here. Bizarre vintage ads, questionable recipes and knitting patterns included.

Woman's Weekly, June 27, 1936 A simple tea frock with cut-on (Magyar) sleeves and an inverted pleat in the skirt, and variations

Fashion Service magazine, August 1931 The Magic Bias slip

Draping and Designing With Scissors and Cloth, a WIDIS (Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences) publication, Simple draping instructions for a dress

Fashion Service Magazine, September 1928 A fairy-like dance dress

Source: Christine’s Costume page; Dressmaking Research


Dibs said...

Thanks so much for this information. I'm learning how to draft my own patterns nd this will help

golden star said...

Wow! Thanks!

KC said...

Thank you for these wonderful links! I can't get enough of the Australian Home Journal!

the fabled needle (jen) said...

have you ever made a dress from such a pattern? i'm wondering how well it would turn out. i mean, do you enlarge the image and print on multiple sheets of paper? anyway, these styles are really cute and it's nearly impossible to find actual patterns from the '20s in usable condition!

Ronniie said...


I think you will find, at least with the Australian Home journal, that the free patterns (usually modeled on the front cover) were included with the magazine. So you would not need to draft the pattern yourself. The link to the Australian home journal is showing pattern layout with the corresponding instructions.

I have several Australian Home Journals ranging from the 30's to the 60's and that is the case with the magazines I have. By the way I am Australian.

mamakemi said...

Thank you for the links. Quite some time ago I found a great vintage sewing site which contained the pages from entire vintage sewing books covering a range of topics like drafting patterns, sewing, glove making and millinery. Imagine my distress when it disappeared completely. By chance, recently I rediscovered it buried in the depths of cyberland. Here is the link in case any of your readers are interested.