1950 free sewing book : how to make gloves

Many knew the wonderful website that was VintageSewing.info.  Unfortunately the website has been down since 2011.

Nobody seems to really know what happened to vintagesewing.info and I thought it would be a shame if all their wonderful and hard work was lost forever. That’s why I’ve decided to republish it online under the same Creative Commons licence.

I saved pretty much all the texts and pictures from VintageSewing.info on my home computer back in 2011 and today I’m sharing one of their work unaltered.



How to Make Gloves


Eunice Close


How to make gloves

How to make gloves

Read the book

You can access the table of content and every chapter of the book from this page : How to make Gloves by Eunice Close 

More ?

I’ll be adding some more books from their work, when I get the time. As some of you know, I’m pretty busy right now launching my little bag patterns company : Sacôtin. The boutique will open next week : May the 15th to be exact (you still have time to try and win a bag pattern by the way).

The next book I’m thinking of adding is “Modern Pattern Design” by Harriet Pepin (1942). Because it’s a pretty large book and re-publishing it takes time, I’ll probably publish one chapter at the time.

Do let me know if you’d rather have me put another book online first, as written above I have pretty much all their work saved on my computer.

Haradrim LARP costume

This is the costume I wore last weekend for a small “Middle earth” LARP (Tolkein’s “Lord of the rings”).

I played an Haradrim witch (Haradrims = Moors, substantially). I don’t remember reading descriptions of Haradrim women In Tolkien’s books… Only men.  So I used the “color chart” for Haradrims (red, black, gold) and did want I felt like and what seemed consistent for the character.

In truth I’ve done little sewing for this one.

I’ve had the shirt for a long time and I bought the corset (because it is beauuuuuuutiful).

So I just made two elasticated waist skirts.

  • The underskirt is made of a red embroidered Indian fabric purchased from Nalli Silk Saree in Delhi. It has a slit on one side… Being able to run is essential when LARPing !
  • The overskirt is in black crepe. Once sewn, I gleefully torn it into strips by hand. I thought the torn effect was perfect for this character and it allowed a glimpse of the beautiful fabric of the underskirt when I moved ^ ^.

Oh I also whipped up a veil. I used what was left of the golden embroidered border of the Indian fabric to make a headband. I tied it around my head and then I pinned a rectangle of fabric until it looked ok and sewed it. I just added two small darts under the eyes to give more of a rectangular shape to the opening and to have a better field of vision.


Find the differences game : There is a difference between the 1st and 2nd pictures… Which one ? It’s not subtle !


costume haradrim gn

Haradrim costume

gn costume haradrim

Haradrim costume… something has been added !

The difference : yes it’s the ritual dagger at the hip (thank you Ben ^ ^) … Well let me reassure non-LARPers: this is not a real one, it’s foam / latex.

Just before the beginning of the “game” !


Grand Theogonist costume

Here are pics of my “grand Theogonist of Arianka” costume.  It’s a character I played during my last Warhammer LARP. It’s an authority figure with precepts like : order, discipline and unity.

Those of you who know the Warhammer universe know that the Grand Theogonist represents the cult of Sigmar, but we were in a parallel universe where Arianka is the main Goddess in the Empire.

As a base, I used my white medieval style dress to which I added large sleeves, a corset, a train and a headband / tiara…  All of this, brace yourself,… In a golden color !

robe médievale blanche

White dress : the base of the costume for the Grand Theogonist (the large sleeves are removable)


I used McCall’s 4491’s large lower sleeve pattern. I elasticized the upper edge to be able to change them quickly. To get clean edges, I did a rolled hem with my the serger.

The fabric is a stretch golden knit

Corset with train

No, I did not make the corset! No time! And  I don’t know how to make one to begin with, do learning as the same time would have taken me even more of a time I did not have!

But a golden corset is tough to find. That’s why I bought a white corset that I simply painted with a gold acrylic paint purchased in an art store (regular paint, not fabric paint). Because this corset will always be dry cleaned, the acrylic paint shouldn’t be an issue. I painted two layers.

The end result isn’t too bad.

I thought, for a moment, about adding embellishments to the corset but I finally opted for simplicity (as I do most of the time in my sewing projects), especially since the character is pretty uptight : frills aren’t her thing.

For the train : I made it directly on the dress form. I just hung the golden fabric at the upper edge of the corset back, where I hand-stitched it, and then cut the train until it looked like what I wanted. I used the same stretch fabric as the sleeves and didn’t hem it (the fabric doesn’t fray).

The headband / tiara

bandeau diademe arianka warhammer


I used a faux leather as the base (but it can’t be seen in the end result anymore) in which I cut the shape of the headband.

I then stitched lengths of golden ribbons over it.

Finally I glued the symbol of Arianka. The symbol was cut out of faux leather and painted gold (with fingers oO). At the center of the symbol a big strass is superglued.

To form the headband and for it to fit snugly around the head, I sewed the two ends to a piece of wide elastic (2.5-3cm), also painted gold. The elastic being hidden under the hair once the headband is in place.


Add to that a two-handed sword (thanks Jean !) and I was the leaving image of authority…  What do you mean it’s all because of the sword ?

Costume doré

3/4 dos

warhammer larp costume

De profil

warhammer larp

3/4 devant


LARP costume dress

Going somewhere and meaning it !

During a ritual

1920’s sewing magazines

Today I’ll introduce you to three 1920’s issues of a French sewing magazine called  “Modes & Travaux Féminins”. It’s full of illustrations of 1920’s women and children clothes, so don’t worry about the language and enjoy the pictures !

I’ll start with a confession: when I was little girl and saw “Modes & Travaux” magazines at my grandmother’s I thought they were super cheesy. Since then I haven’t flipped through the magazine so I have no idea what its current style is. But when you get your hands on the very first issues of “Modes & Travaux Féminins” dating from 1919, it’s not cheesy anymore, it’s a great vintage fashion magazine and reliable source of inspiration for 20’s costumes.

You’ll see 20 pages I picked at the end of the post but you can also flip through the first three issues of  the magazine via the links below :

Source : BNF (National Library of France)/Gallica

# 1 – November 15th, 1919

# 2 – December 1st, 1919 

# 3 – December 15th, 1919

And as a bonus :

# 165 – November 1st, 1926

In the magazine

“Modes & Travaux” at the time was a sewing pattern catalogue. You could mail-order the sewing patterns. The embroidery patterns were included at the end of the magazines.

Each issue consisted of many models of women and children clothes (dresses, coats, hats, lingerie, …), each model is illustrated by a drawing and a caption detailing the style. You can find some examples in the pictures below (click to enlarge).

Women patterns were available in sizes 42-44 and 46. If I don’t talk nonsense (please correct me if I do!) at the time women sizes matched the half-bust measurement. So a size 46 would fit a woman with a bust measurement of 92 cm, Size 44 = bust size 88 cm, etc. Patterns for girls were offered in sizes 6 to 15 years old depending on the model.

There were also style analysis articles and advices on fashion in vogue at the time : cuts, fabrics how to compliment your “silhouette”. I find it particularly delicious to read.

Clic on the pictures to enlarge


Robes jeune-fille et enfant années 20

#1 - Child and young girls dresses 1919

Robes femme années 20

#1 - Women dresses 1919

Robes soirée années 20 vintage

#1 - Evening dresses 1919

Tenues fillettes hiver années 20 vintage

#2 - Girl winter outfits 1919

Manteaux années 20

#2 - Coats 1919

lingerie années 20

#2 - lingerie 1919

Robes soirées magazine vintage années 20

#2 - For theatre nights 1919

couture Robes d'apres-midi années 20

#2 - Afternoon dresses 1919

Tailleurs femme années 20 jupe et veste

#2 - Women suits 1919

robe enfant fille années 20

#3 - Children 1919

Lingerie vintage années 20

#3 - Lingerie 1919

couture Robe pour prendre le thé années 20

#3 - For tea ! 1919

Robes et manteaux pour fillettes années 20

#3 - Girls dresses and coats 1919

partons robes pour les diners années 20

#3 - for special dinners 1919

Manteaux années 20

#3 - Coats 1919

manteaux et robes enfants 1926

#165 - Coats and dresses for children 1926

lingerie vintage

#165 - Lingerie 1926

Manteaux vintage

#165 - Coats 1926

tenue de soirée années 20 vintage

#165 - Evening wear 1926


All pics source BNF/Gallica.

New Priestess of Shallya dress #2

McCall's pattern 4491

McCall’s pattern 4491

Pictures of the dress at the bottom of the post.

Pattern Description

McCall’s 4491
MISSES COSTUMES: Lined dresses have princess line, close fitting bust, scoop neckline, sleeve variations, laced band back closure, optional purchased trim and sweep hemline; dress D has contrasting lined sleeves.

I’ve made view C (short sleeves) but also made the sleeves from view D (which is the only difference between C and D)

Pattern Sizing:
Size. AA (6-8-10-12), EE (14-16-18-20)
I used size 16

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes !

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes they were pretty easy. The dress itself isn’t really hard to construct. I’ve read others had trouble with the gussets but I though the instructions were pretty clear on this too, you just need to mark each symbols on the fabric pieces carefully.

Likes or dislikes about the pattern

Loved the sleeves on view D, the laced back and I have a thing for princess seams !


SUGGESTED FABRICS: Dress, Sleeve Lining D – Brocade Jacquard Silk Velvet Velveteen; Dress Lining – Lining Fabric.

I used white linen for the dress and a net like fabric with small hearts for the sleeves (the heart is a major symbol for the character I’m impersonating)
This dress being for a LARP event this summer I didn’t use regular lining (I get too hot and sweaty^^) and used a sporty kind of lining instead.

Pattern alterations 

Train :
I removed the train effect completely.
To do that :
-I ignored the pattern piece for the back train.
-I had to redraw the hem on the back pieces to make a curve.
-I also had to redraw the hem on the side-backs, removing a triangle shaped piece at the hems.

Lining :
I didn’t line the sleeves at all, only the bodice. I attached the lining at the armholes by stitching it to the seam allowance (not all the way around though because of the gussets).

Sleeves :
I wanted to make view D for the pretty sleeves but, this dress being for a LARP event, I also wanted to be able to use it as a blank canvas and the sleeves make it too distinctive.
So instead of sewing the lower large sleeves to the upper sleeves I finished the dress as per view C and then cut the lower sleeves and added an elastic casing on the upper edge. This way I can remove them if needed.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes to both !


I needed a white medieval style dress for a LARP event and this pattern fits the bill perfectly. It’s has great shape and could be adapted to any type of character by changing fabrics, adding trims, etc…
The dress is pretty easy to construct, no major difficulties and I just loveee the dramatic effect of the sleeves !
Just because LARP events give you the opportunity to wear such dresses, you’ve got to love them !

Oh and you don’t need to unlace the back when putting on or taking off the dress. I can squeeze in it while it’s laced, without sweating too much or having to break my ribs.

white medieval dress

McCall’s 4491 back

McCall's 4491

McCall’s 4491 front


Priestress of Shallya dress #1

My first ever sewing project...

So this is the dress that started it all.
When I look at it now I only see all the defaults (and there really are many) but I remember the pride I felt when I finished it. And I must say that it did fulfil its function during the Warhammer LARP event.

All I had at the beginning of my sewing adventure, was a white sheet, a spool of thread, a needle and a pair of scissors.
After some research, I decided on a medieval bliaut style dress. It seemed like the easiest one to make with a sewing experience = 0.

I used two main resources to guide me through the construction of the dress. Two French sites :

  • Easy faerie costumes, This site has the great merit of helping you relieve stress when it comes to sewing for the first time. The author is funny and her method of construction is rather clear (thank you, great drawings!) And her sewing approach style “but if it’s so easy, you can do it too” frees you quickly from any fear of cutting you fabric.
  • Perline, full of information, clear explanations and tutorials on medieval costumes. A reference to keep… If you read French !

In the end I used a mix of: the XIVe “chainse” by Perline and “bliaut” by easy faerie costume for the dress.

I added a hood (roughly two fabric squares with one corner rounded) and a small heart stitched on the left breast (symbol of  Shallya). A cheap metal belt, with hearts, found on ebay, cape (see there) and a bag (see there) in linen made from a sheet found in grandpa’s closet and tada here is a priestess of  Shallya costume for less than 7 euros.
hum, yes, except that in the middle of the construction I bought a sewing machine (Toyota low-end …) So it was a tad over 7 euros … But it doesn’t count, it already paid for itself ;).

Edited 06/2010:
Here’s Priestress of Shallya dress #2 … way better !