Sunday, August 07, 2011

Another Addition to my Sewing Library

There is a review of this book on Stitcher's Guild by Alexandra, who authors the blog, Studio Alexandra.


I have a couple of books by Judith Rasband in my sewing library so I went looking for it thinking that I had purchased it in the past...but no I hadn't so it is on its way to me now. 

You may wonder why I've purchased several sewing books lately when there is so much information now available on the internet?  Well, yes there is but I'm a woman who learned to sew when books and TV shows were the best and only ways of getting this information...unless of course you took a class...which was also pretty available when I was young girl.  So books are my preferred ways of learning and lately I've just wanted to add another dimension to my sewing...to learn some more advanced techniques and to move my sewing forward.  There is always something new to learn and I don't want to stagnant in my art.

While I was searching the books in my sewing library, I happened upon this book:






It is a very treasured book to me.  So treasured that it has earned a paragraph in my will.  I found this book in a used bookstore in Montclair, NJ.  I use to live in Montclair and took my daughters to this bookstore almost every weekend to share my love of reading with them.  This establishment frequently bought books from estate sales and sometimes the sewing section would be bursting with older sewing books that were just amazing to me.  My family and I visited the bookstore so often that the manager would let me know when new sewing books had arrived...and he often teased me that if something happened to me to let them know so that he could reclaim his books!

What touched me the most today about this book is the copyright date:  1911.  I am in possession of a book that was published a century ago and it's still in marvelous condition.  It's a slim book that is very concise in it's sewing techniques but it is a wonderful part of my sewing library.  I did a google search and Alibris.com has some reproduced books that you can purchase or you can download a copy of the original from The Library of Congress.

I love the internet.  I love how it brings together sewists from around the world and allows us to share ideas, thoughts, inspiration and information.  However, to me books are an important part of our heritage and the ability to learn especially since historically black people in America were shut out of opportunities to read and learn...so I treasure my books and my ability to purchase and own them.

Okay...this has gotten a little deep so I'll swing it back the other way...I'm still working on the pea green linen dress...slowly...and I don't know if I will have it finished today.  I think the rush of sewing I did last weekend has satisfied my creative urge.  But the day is still young and my sewing machine may yet sing it's siren's song to me...urging me to spend some quality time with it! *smile*

...as always, more later!

18 comments:

  1. "earned a place in my will" That, is brilliant and wonderful

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  2. I learned to sew long before the internet so books and TV were my teachers also. There is always something new to learn and reading about sewing is an inspiration to sew. Looking forward to seeing the green linen dress. I know it will be fantastic as all your sewing is. Awhile back you mentioned ordering fabric from Sawyer Brooks...well I went to their site and had a look. I ordered fabric and I am delighted with it. Great service from them also. Thanks for the tip.

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  3. I have to tell you, I've been reading your blog for several months via Google reader and have enjoyed it immensely. More importantly, I've learned so much from it and this latest blog proves how valuable your blog is to the sewing community. I found the book, The Dressmaker 1911, on the National Archives, and started reading it. The description of French seams was the first one that made sense to me.
    Also, it had "Nun Tucks"; those lovely folds you find in garments of the era. What a resource! I completely understand why you included it in your will! Thank you, Carolyn!
    Jen.

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  4. Books are still the best way to learn if you can't take a class at FIT or Parsons. There are way too many beginner or intermediate sewists on the internet who are styling themselves as experts and are teaching and giving advice that's just wrong. As in, incorrect. There are very few people on the internet giving advice who actually know what they are talking about. Give me a book from 1911 any time.

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  5. It's great that you have such an old and treasured book. One of the treasures of my collection is a McGuffy's First Eclectic Reader from 1897. My Dad taught me to read with it, as his mother taught him, and her father taught her. With my sons added to the lineage four generations have now worked out of it, and I hope it goes for another four.

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  6. I love buying books. Even just to look at the cover or browse a few pages. Months or years later I will pull it off the shelf and enjoy. I especially love purchasing sewing, knitting, cooking, and interior design books in addition to my fiction novels.

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  7. What a great reference book to have in your collection. I have acquired a few when my daughter took me to her favorite thrift shop.

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  8. I'm with CoutureArts on this one. :)

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  9. Please never worry about "going too deep"! I love the way that your blogs cause me to think about a whole lot more than just the mechanics of sewing. Education for all, has always and will always be the route to understanding ourselves and each other. Thank you for sharing yourself with me!

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  10. Okay, now the regrets have kicked in. I went to an estate sale this weekend and that book was there and I DID NOT BUY it. Darn! I did buy a lot of other books, but not that one.

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  11. I have several oldish sewing books picked up from second-hand bookstores. The oldest has no publication date but looks to be from the 50's judging by the styles. I LOVE my books and I love your blog, too. Thank you for imparting to others, your joy in sewing.

    Kathy in Oz

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  12. I'm glad you mentioned the "Fitting and Pattern Alteration" book. I've been toying with the idea of buying it. Alexandra's review has made me think more about buying it and has probably moved it from the "maybe" to the"yes" column.

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  13. I love that you treasure it enough to put in your will. I have an early 1900's copy of the Dilmont DMC needlework book that I should do something similar with. Although I have no clue who would treasure it and not put it on a sale for a quarter. Actually I should think of something do do with all my books. And sewing/craft stuff.

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  14. Dover Books reprints some OOP sewing guides; the Victorian sewing and pattern books are useful. I sewed only from books and television until I stumbled across the sewing blog world. I sat before my computer screen and wept for joy that I had found someone else who liked to sew. The internet has many bad and good aspects. but the best -- in my only-too-humble opinion -- is that it allows for community to be nurtured. Always enjoy reading your posts.

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  15. Books are my friends as well. I like to have it right next to me when I work on a pattern, and I've got this book in an earlier edition. It's a great book.

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  16. I learned to sew by the seat of my pants,and I did not know about sewing books until I migrated the United States. Then I found PBS and sewing with Nancy and I began to buy sewing magazines and the rest is history. And just like you I had an extensive sewing library because I love to read and I love books; the internet is a great source of information but nothing, and I mean nothing takes the place of books.

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  17. We're on the verge of becoming book hoarders at our house! Both hubs and I are avid reader/collectors. While we have several old volumes, none that old, or better still, a sewing volume. :) Lucky girl.

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  18. I was so excited to read about your sewing book because I have a copy of it too! It's one of the treasured volumes in my sewing library. I inherited it from my mother-in-law who was according to her own account, quite a seamstress back in the day. She used to tell us about coming home from work in the evening and cutting out and sewing an outfit in time for her sister to wear it the next day. She sewed everything on her Singer Featherweight which I also own now. (Though I prefer to use my Bernina for garment sewing.)

    Anyway, to bring this back on topic, I love reading about (and trying) older sewing techniques. And I like to see how they were done in former times. It helps me decide whether or not I want to use shortcut methods. On some garments I definitely want to go slow and use old fashioned techniques.

    --C.B. (who sews at http://quiltingbibliophagist.blogspot.com)

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