SEW Bad!

book of sewing

Complete Book of Sewing
Larry Eisinger, ed.

Submitter: Working my way through weeding the 600s and found this jewel. Some sewing techniques may not have changed since 1972, but fashion has! These are not the clothes patrons are looking to make. And who says only daughters should learn to sew? This book is now gone, gone, gone from our public library.

Holly: I agree.  Even if you could use the techniques presented here, and maybe even some of the patterns, the pictures are such a turn off that no one will check the book out.

family sewing

teaching your daughter to sew

pink pantsuit



  1. The “mother” who is teaching her daughter to sew seems to be wearing a shirtwaist dress from the 1950’s. Maybe she needs to make herself some modern (1970’s) dresses.

  2. I’ll take it! I want to learn to sew and I also want to take and adapt 70’s patterns as I feel many of the women’s fashions from that era are superior to today’s.

  3. I thought that “mother” was wearing a Hazel-style uniform. Have the maid teach your daughter to sew!

  4. This was about when I learned to sew and this was the sort of stuff I aspired to! Cringing.

  5. Come to think of it, the last two photos just smack of the positively retro fashions we’ve been seeing Jess (played by Zooey Deschanel) wearing on the Fox comedy series “New Girl”……. But, yeah, the first photo of the family screams for eye bleach…..

  6. These are the type of clothes this patron is willing to make! I bought an old sewing machine at an estate sale a while back and I am looking for patterns of vintage clothes so this is up my alley.

  7. Also forgot to add that I think the last two pics are examples of classic timeless fashion, particularly the one with the three women.

  8. What is the deal with the beanies? If it’s warm enough to wear booty shorts (pardon, “hot pants”), then surely the knitted beanie is too hot. If it’s cool enough that you need a ski hat, then what’s with the hot pants?

    Someone should show this to Nichelle Nichols, because the last outfit (whose model is twirling her hair) looks unnervingly Trekkie.

  9. I taught both of my sons to sew. I was sad a few months ago when I had to explain what madras was to our student assistants.

  10. Though I think lots of people might want to copy these designs for retro fashion interests, look at all the hipster kids. Or even drama departments may want it. Having said that – I think I was forced to wear some of the plaid as my mother tried to learn to sew outfits for the whole family. shudder.

  11. I am surprised no one has mentioned the frightening photo of the girl and her doll in matching outfits. I don’t know which is more cringe-worthy, the blue clogs with white socks or the big red bow in her hair …

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