Stylish Looks You Can Make

Sewing without a pattern coverSewing without a Pattern

Submitter: I’m teen librarian working in a public library in [Louisiana] and I have been weeding our teen nonfiction section and separating it from the adult nonfiction. I’ve come across many awful books, but just recently I’ve found a truly awful book. Surely there are new books on this topic. This book is from 1972! 44 years old! This book is 44 years old! I can’t believe my library still has this book much less thinks that teens would want to check it out.

Holly: Good catch. It doesn’t belong in either collection – adult or teen non-fiction! It belongs in the book sale, where it will be sold in a matter of minutes. Sweet lampshade hat, though (see image below).


Sewing without a pattern

basic cape

ice skating skirt

beach hat



  1. I personally own that !
    I’ve even used it to make clothes, that I wore.
    But you are right. It doesn’t belong in a public library any more.

    1. Oh, I don’t know — about that time, my roommate and I were making things without patterns. I recall some long skirts, and midriff tops with matching wide-legged pants. They came out quite fine. You just can’t expect to make very tailored things that have to fit closely.

    1. Even if it were not wool (I think felt could be a mix of fibers), it is way too hot and NOT suitable for a beach hat.

  2. Nice work on the YA nonfiction section! A book about making clothes without patterns would fit perfectly with makerspaces, hacking fashion, etc. I’ll bet you can find a newer, better one!

  3. When a children’s/young-adult nonfiction book is older than its target audience, it’s time to take a second look. When it’s older than the target audience’s parents … a single look is generally all you need.

  4. The author’s name is misspelled. Unless there happened to be two craft book authors in the 60s/ 70s, one named Phyllis Fiarotta and one named Phyllis Ficarotta.


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