June 30, 2011

Withstanding the test of time

Do you think sewing and craft books age badly?
I tend to think a lot of the techniques stay the same, even though new, and maybe more 'convenient' stuff may be added over time.

So, when I found these 1970's craft books (part of a 'Time Life' series, if that means anything to anyone) at a local thrift store at 1.50 euro a piece, I decided to take them home with me.

They include the usual techniques for sewing and fitting.

They also feature simple projects, some of which I would still make and wear today.

Of course, the styling pictures are terribly dated.

But I have never found a better tutorial for making leather gloves,

Or a boxy handbag.

And there is a surprising amount of knitting patterns, many of which might still look good.

All in all, I think this was a very good find and I'm sure I will use these in the near future. I'll make sure to credit them when I do.
As ever, more later.


  1. I love vintage knitting patterns and use them all the time.

  2. Oh you have found yourself a treasure trove.

    I can imagine how you feel, i was handed over some vintage sewing and craft books by my aunt who taught me how to sew for the first time ever in my life and taught me the nuances in the art of tailoring!

    I still cherish them, some of the books like Tatting, Cane Basket making are in those region where i might never venture into, but still treasure them as who knows i may extend my love for art and craft into them as well some day or can easily hand it down to my daughter as part of her mom's crafty heirloom!!!

  3. A good find! I think old sewing books are often better than new ones... They rely more on techniques than supplies, it seems to me. Of course, I don't know too many of either sort of books. :-)

  4. I have a couple of those Time-Life books and they have some wonderful explanations of techniques and excellent technical drawings. Good for you finding the whole series!

  5. I think that's a wonderful find! I must admit I try to weigh purchases like these against the likelihood of me actually using something from the pages---I've had to restrain myself severely the last few times I was at the thrift store, as a whole series of "make that" books has appeared, mostly knitting/embroidery/other needlework projects, which I don't indulge in at this point in my life. I would totally have scooped up that glove-making one, though!

  6. HI Lauriana, thanks for your comment! Yes, the tie piece should be cut on the bias ideally... and It uses far more fabric than you imagine, about 80cm, which you have to cut and join to get the full length on the bias. I don't think it would be necessary to cut the padding and underlining on the bias however, I didn't.
    I put the link to my pattern in that post, and it is on Burdastyle too. You have to click on "print pattern at home" to get the instructions and the pattern, which are both part of the same pdf.

  7. The Time Life series is excellent! They are the number one resource I recommend to seamsters graduating from beginner to intermediate. I've curled up in bed with them on many an occasion. Nor very romantic, but highly informative and inspiring.

  8. I recently also found two of these at a local thrift store. What a find! I'm really happy with them. :)