Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vintage 1978 Sewing Guide and Projects

I was flipping through my Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing (original copyright 1978) yesterday when I found myself again laughing over some of the projects in the back. First up is a convertible quilt - which wouldn't be so strange if the child model didn't look so scary somehow - Chucky? are you sleeping over?

Then comes a gardening coverall modeled by a woman who looks like she's about to punch herself in the face:

Maybe she wanted to punch herself because she missed out on the chance to model the beach coverup below. Or is it a cape? or changing-tent? With no arm holes I'm going to suggest we just stick with calling it a simple skirt and not try so hard.

Packable rain hat: what can I say? trenches and scarves are back in vogue, but I doubt a hat styled like a fairy hat is anything a serious career girl would sport walking into her cubicle. Could be useful for the odd little woodland fairy costume one might sew.

This woman looks like she could be Madonna or Gwyneth Paltrow stepping out after a private Pilates session with her trainer. Funny how looks come back around again! This project is for a duffle bag, but today I think you're more likely to find a yoga mat and bottle of Evian in there.

Then came the myriad of home decor projects. Some of this has definitely come full circle and is back in style, perhaps only with a few minor tweaks here and there. Fabric covered foam blocks in a fresher fabric would make a great lounge area and the fabric covered trash can is a clever way to bring in pattern. However, those lamps, sea chest, and random roller shades would have to go...

I think the curtains are horrid but, in principle, the rest of the room isn't too bad and wouldn't be hard to bring into a current style. I'm still confused about the random roller shades: how practical are they as room dividers?

The bordered curtains and the monogram shams are totally something I could see somebody doing now, but the coverlet and the shag rug...seriously...a pattern for a shag rug??

This little boy room actually features some good mod-kid projects. However, how does one sit on a stool that has a giant pom-pom in the middle?? And who styled this room so that there's not a chance of opening the dresser drawers??

I love the lamp on the bedside table in this teenage girl's bedroom. The ridiculous amount of throw pillows is only possible in a kid's room where slumber parties and pillow fights abound. I'm just not buying the supply list that says I need vinyl sheeting for the bed coverlet...ew and ew again.

The last room is sooo dated looking, but I suppose you could find use in the wall pocket organizer project. I really don't think I could trust the organzier hanging up on the curtain rod, though. I could see a kid overloading or tugging on it and pulling the whole thing off the wall.

For all it's dated looks and projects, this book has a ton of good information that's already been a help. Today I washed and ironed some fabric and tomorrow I hope to start sewing again!


Anonymous said...

Hello, these three lamps are great! Where can I find them and how much do they cost?
Thanks for answering and best regards :)

M.S. said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Did you scan these pics in or what? HILARIOUS.

juliette said...

I used my phone camera to take pictures of the book pages - I know, total riot! I think the really shocking thing is how fashion has come back around. I wonder how hard we'll laugh at ourselves in 30 years...ha ha!

Ika - these are images from a vintage book, so I have no idea about the lamps. =)

eco-stylista said...

Hello, I have came across your blog recently and I like it very much. These projects (from the year when I was born) are so hilarious :-) Thanks for sharing!
Have a nice day!

Cate said...

wow, so great. yes, sew sew sew! but no vinyl sheeting, please-super ick.

(p.s. i actually love that little boys room minus the unusable dresser. it's kind of mod and cool)

Jeannette said...

I came here looking for your Corner View but this is so much better.
Your dry comments ...love it!
And now I´m so curious what you are going to sew....
Tomorrow I have to read the rest of your blog. Looking forward to it!

christina said...

Whoah, thanks for the déjà vu moment. I took a look at those pictures and thought,"Hey, wait a minute, you've seen those before". I have the 1988 edition of that very book in my bookshelf but haven't looked at it in YEARS.

C N Heidelberg said...

I love those radish pillows!

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