The Complete Book of Sewing: Dressmaking and Sewing for the Home Made Easy by Constance Talbot, 1943

I have two copies of this book, the 1943 edition and the 1949 edition. Today I will be featuring the 1949 edition, because it is pretty much exactly the same as the original from 1943 and I had it close at hand.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love this book. It is completely packed with information on just about anything that you can think of – such as making clothes,  pattern fitting, home decoration, the care and remodeling of clothing, maternity wear, children’s clothing, making accessories and gifts, mending, quilting and dozens of important sewing techniques. It even has pattern diagrams for making lots of small items, including belts, dickies, scarves, aprons, bags, slippers (for women, men and children), sun-bonnets, turbans, pill-box hats, panties, a plain slip-on blouse and a 1940’s bra. There is even a cute chapter called “Teaching Your Daughter to Sew,” which promises to teach you how to make first dresses quickly, how to develop talent and ends with a survey of careers open to “sewers.” Constance Talbot managed to put all this and more in only 303 pages, not including the 16 page “Ready Reference Guide” in the back. This is one of my favourite sewing books.

You can read it for free online here on

As always, I will end this little post with (way too many) photos I took of the 1949 edition. This will be image heavy, and as with all my posts, you can click on the images to see bigger versions. I hope you enjoy them! And please do check this book out, because it really is wonderful for anyone who likes to sew or who has an interest in 1940’s fashion.

3 thoughts on “The Complete Book of Sewing: Dressmaking and Sewing for the Home Made Easy by Constance Talbot, 1943

  1. Pingback: Good Housekeeping Home Dressmaking by Mollie Mordle-Barnes, June McCallum, Anna Harvey, illustrated by Pauline Rosenthal, 1977-1978 | The Pretty and The Kitsch

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