Pattern puzzle: Vintage WW1 pattern pt.2

leather_sock_patternI’m pleased and surprised by the number of correct responses to yesterday’s challenge. The answer is a chamois leather sock. I can never figure you guys out. Something I think may stump everyone, you figure out right away. Stuff I think is easy, few guess. I think it’s me. It find it easier to re-wire my shop than to turn on the TV.

The full illustration is at right but you can find a larger version in Maud Churchill Nicoll’s book, Knitting and Sewing: How to Make Seventy Useful Articles for Men in the Army and Navy (pdf), copyright 1918, 207 pgs.

This challenge was a roundabout way of introducing the resources available at the Antique Pattern Library, a not for profit 501(c)(3). Their goal is to archive historical patterns and instruction; mostly needlework to include embroidery, knitting and crocheting. Other than free downloads available from the catalog on their site, they have a yahoo group with announcements of new additions as these become available.

I scanned the long list of titles available and found a few gems. Two showed vintage fashions; the French one (Femme Elegante) had quite lovely styles. I also looked over some of the available sewing and pattern instruction books. The Complete Course in Dressmaking in Twelve Lessons (a twelve part book series ) by Isabel de-Nyse Conover (look under “C” in the catalog) was particularly interesting. I looked at How to Make Underwear (lesson three, 87 pages) and frankly, was very impressed. By the way, this book would be better described today as how to make under garments. The pattern making instructions (starting on pg 19) are very clear and easy to follow. On page 22, we find guidance on the correct truing of edges. Through out the text are mentions of using a block pattern, a foundation pattern et cetera with nary a word of the then derogatory “slop patterns” which are better known today as “slopers”.

In closing, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that the site is limping along with a dearth of financial support. If you find the content useful, it would be great if you could make a donation to support the effort.

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  1. Traci Akierman says:

    Thanks for sharing this Kathleen. I scanned the first chapter “Preliminary Information”. It is quite entertaining and there is a lot of good information in there. It’s interesting to note that the author specifies that the correct seam allowance is almost always 3/8 of an inch. I think I recall someone else mentioning that ;)

  2. Amanda Peters says:

    Thanks for this interesting post, and indeed for your whole blog, which I really enjoy reading.

    When I clicked on the link to the Seventy Useful Articles pdf., only one or two diagrams appeared, but all the text did. Is this right? What an amazing woman Maud Nicoll was! She would certainly have been a blogger in these days!

    Thanks again.

  3. Sandy Peterson says:

    My guess was wrong, but that’s ok. After looking at the pictures above, I still didn’t get it. So I looked at the book and now I get it!!

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