Sharing "How to Tailor a Woman’s Suit" from 1946

Last night I stumbled across a great vintage sewing resource completely by accident!

I was searching for suggestions on how to tack the center back pleat of the lining on my Sew for Victory jacket. I just wanted to do something slightly more decorative than simply sewing it a couple of inches at the top, middle and bottom like I’ve seen several resources suggest. My pattern tells you to use a bar tack, but I thought for the fun of it I’d look for other ideas.

Well my keywords ended up uncovering a true gem! It’s a free digital copy of a 1946 publication by the U.S. Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics Agricultural Research Administration (say that ten times fast). It’s called “How to Tailor a Woman’s Suit” by Margaret Smith.

Get “How to Tailor a Woman’s Suit” from Google Books here

If you look closely in the corner, you can see it was received by the University of Minnesota Library on April 4, 1946.

It’s 24 pages of vintage tailoring information for a woman’s suit, including the jacket and skirt. Pretty amazing!

You can view the ebook here, in Google Books. Just in case that link changes in the future, you can search for it by the terms “miscellaneous publication issue 591 tailoring” (don’t leave off the word tailoring, or you’ll end up finding a version of it that isn’t available digitally).

Now when you follow the link you can choose several options—to view it on the web or download it for a tablet or smart phone using Google’s free Play Books app (that’s how I downloaded it to my iPad). You can also save it as a PDF file in the upper right-hand corner of the web page:

The description at the beginning of the PDF explains the copyright has expired so it’s in the public domain. However Google’s usage guidelines don’t explicitly state if you can or cannot share a copy, so just to be on the safe side I’m letting you all know how to download it for yourselves.

If you have any interest in vintage sewing or tailoring, definitely check out this little jewel of a resource! I’m just thrilled I stumbled across it.

Oh by the way, I didn’t forget about the original search that led me to this pamphlet. It suggests you cross stitch across the center back pleat with silk thread or buttonhole twist. I may do just that. 🙂

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