I borrowed two great sewing books at my local library this year (multiple times).
All-around Sewing Reference
Note: Same book, different editions: 1961 and 1970 (they removed the tag-line). The 1970 edition was available in a metal binder version, see below.
Better homes & Gardens Sewing Book (1961)
What's I found cool inside:
The book shows five different ways to make a sheer overdress with an opaque inner slip that also formed its own foundation garment. The instructions included details on how to construct the inner corselet for each dress. The construction is a little different depending on how the outer sheer dress was to be attached to the inner slip.
Drafting and Patternmaking
Designing Your Own Dress Patterns (1951)
Designing Dress Patterns Third Ed. (1971) by Helen Nicol Tanous.
Check out some of the styles I could create from this book (more at the link above):
Examples of drafting projects
Her method of moving darts is probably no different than many other guides, but her variations are what I love. The book shows things that they did when designing clothes in the 1940-50s that they don't do anymore in home sewing patterns. Besides the Advanced Vogue designer patterns the goal nowadays is easy quick sewing, with a minimum of custom details.
I want my own copies. Onward...new mission!
Update: Just ordered them both from Alibris!!