Behind The Seams

Ramblings of a sewing fanatic

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Location: Fashion Hell, Florida, United States

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Sewing Treasure

Last week I noticed this book for sale on Ebay. The seller had posted beautiful photos of the inside of the book (like the one shown below), several of which caught my eye. As is my luck, it caught the eye of a few other bidders as well.

Before I bid on Ebay books I always hop over to first. Often I will find the same book for less as I did here. This book, as you can see, is titled clothing construction. The authors are Evelyn Mansfield (formerly of Michigan State) and Ethel Lucas (of Framingham State).

I don't often get overly excited about sewing books but this little gem is truly a treasure trove of techniques. Loaded - and I mean loaded - with photographs, clothing construction covers a lot of ground. For example, Chapter 1 covers sewing equipment and setting up a work space. Chapter 2 contains lovely photographs of various machine and hand stitches. Chapter 3 goes into pattern selection, general fitting principles and fitting a pattern - including tissue fitting. Would you like to know how to sew a padded slot seam? Or maybe you'd like to make curved tucks on a collar. How about covering weights to control the drape of a cowl neck? It's all in there! There are seventeen chapters over nearly 400 pages with photos too numerous to count. This is truly a wonderful addition to the library of any sewing fanatic, beginner or advanced. I notice there are still four copies available at Amazon....

UPDATE: I take that back - there are no more copies left! Wow, you guys are quick.

Clothing Construction, 2nd edition
(c) 1974 Houghton Mifflin Company
ISBN 0-395-16728-0


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out Clothing Construction, Gigi. It is now on my list of books to watch for.
If you don't have Dress Design by Evelyn Mansfield and Marion Hillhouse, keep your eye out for it. What they did in this book is show both draping and flat patternmaking techniques to achieve (dresses only) designs. They felt that both skills were important to understand successful design. They wrote the book to be used as a college text - and because they couldn't find any other book that had already done this.
Thanks for blogging! I enjoy reading it.

2:17 PM  
Blogger cmarie12 said...


I was going to make a comment similar to Miriam's! I am on the hunt for the Dress Design book. It is absolutely fantastic and I must have a copy for my collection. If you really liked this one I know for sure you will love the Dress Design book!

8:02 PM  
Blogger Els said...

That looks like a fabulous book,a real sewing treasure congratulation. I wil put this on my wishlist too.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guilty! I bought one after reading your blog. I'm a sucker for sewing books.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Debbie Cook said...

Hmmm. Didn't mean to be anonymous. That's me ... Debbie Cook

4:59 PM  
Anonymous ShannonG said...

Gigi, I have the 1953 edition of Clothing Construction in my library. You're right; it's a real gem! Wait til you see what she does with smocking:)

12:42 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Gigi, after reading your blog entry, I got one from Amazon. Awesome book. Thanks for the alert.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Liana said...

Gigi, you are quite the little enabler there! I just ordered a copy from They have the Dress Design book available too.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Fasanella said...

Gigi, I love that book. One of my never published secrets is how to sew that curved/scalloped line a whole heckuva lot faster than by turning it under by hand! Isn't the back yoke gorgeous? I have some blue lamb that would be perfect for it ...some day, some day...

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Kirsten Spitzner said...

I am SO envious, I ALWAYS get outbid when I'm trying to buy this... The first time I tried it went for over $80. You're completely correct, this is a fabulous book

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible book! Fortunately enough, they have it on shelf at my college's library, but I'd love a copy of my own.

10:30 PM  

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