Thursday, February 17, 2011

Those Lovely Edwardian Blouses - In Praise of Mary Brooks Picken and the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences

As a vintage sewing enthusiasts, I am sure I am not alone in being somewhat intimidated by patterns and sewing techniques of the past. Those wonderful vintage patterns of the early 20th century often assume a knowledge I do not possess.

Enter the wonderful Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences and the brilliant Mary Brooks Pickens, whose instructional booklets are a real find. If you have any other them in your sewing collection, you know what a treasure they are. As they are designed for young women learning the art of sewing, they an excellent tool for the 21st century seamstress and seamster.

I have been lucky enough to find a few of these books at thrift stores and one very lucky eBay auction win. One for my favorites is: Tailored and Lingerie Blouses - Part 2 (I hope to find Part 1 one day). Published in 1921, the designs are from Edwardian Era and include blouses that could have been worn in the 1900's or 1910s. I hope you enjoy these images from the book.

I have started photographing and scanning my copies and I am offering .pdf copies on eBay. If you are interested in the content of these books, rather than in collecting the originals, I hope you will take a look at those I have on offer here. This is a slow process but I hope to get all of them finished and available by the end of summer.

Can't you just imagine wearing one of these beautiful blouses to a garden party or dinner party?

Happy Sewing!

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