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Vintage Books: Dressmaking Made Easy, 1928

This dainty little book from 1928 was written by a woman named Laura I. Baldt, who held the title of Assistant Professor of Household Arts, Teachers College, Columbia University. Here’s a picture of Ms. Baldt:

She looks like a knowledgeable sort of woman, does she not? Inscribed in the front of the book in tiny cursive is the name “Francis M. Morey, Dryden High School, 1928-29.” I suppose this book must have been used as a home economics text of some sort, as the tone is quite teacher-ly, and the lessons fairly basic. But the advice is sound and straightforward in that particular way you find in vintage books written by and for women:

“The subject of clothing from one or another point of view, claims the attention and interest of all women. Some view it as a means of self-gratification; some as a means of artistic expression; others from the viewpoint of economic pressure; while others try to give it the true place in their thinking, for if ‘we express our thinking in our clothing,’ whether it be disorder, beauty or ugliness, or harmony, depends really upon the thought we expend upon it.”

My favorite section of the book is the chapter dedicated to “The Home Sewer’s Workshop.” Among other things, it lists a range of equipment and tools that are vital to the home sewer. By and large, it’s not very different from the things you’d find in a sewing room today: a cutting table, a sewing machine, a dress form, an iron, along with pins, scissors, pinking shears, needles, and tailor’s chalk. It’s amazing to me how little has changed in the world of sewing.

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



January 16, 2010 #

Fabulous! I love it when you share your vintage sewing books. It’s great to see them and to know that the art of sewing has fundamentally changed very little. :)