McCall’s New Complete Book of Sewing and Dressmaking, 1957 edition, plus thoughts on sewing and self esteem

I love the illustrations and photographs in this book – so pretty, so 1950’s. The book is filled with good, practical advice and techniques, but also has interesting little asides – for example, the “no one likes herself!” section. Of course, they then go on to tell you that you can make clothes that will fit and flatter you, so you will like yourself more, I suppose. I will admit here that sewing has been a huge boost to my self esteem – yes, the clothes I have made so far make me feel happier about myself when I wear them, but it has a lot more to do with the sense of accomplishment it gives me, as well as the feelings of freedom, independence, self-sufficiency, and creativity. I’m sure that as I get better at dressmaking, that sense of self-pride will only continue to grow. Sewing, learning and creating has helped me like myself better, and for someone with life-long body image issues, wearing clothes that I have made for myself that not only fit, but that I love and enjoy wearing has helped me ease up on myself quite a lot. When I look in the mirror and I see something that I made, it puts a smile on myself, instead of an automatic frown. So, maybe McCall’s has it right.

I also love knowing that all those vintage styles that I have drooled over for decades but could never afford are now within my grasp, because I can sew them for myself! And even if some techniques are beyond my skill level at the moment, one day they won’t be! I will continue learning and growing with this process and that makes me happy.

All that said, I would love to wear just about every outfit in this book! And the women are all so 50’s adorable and chic, the photographs in this book always make me smile. I hope that you like these, I couldn’t help myself and took about 55 photos of this book so there is a lot to look at! Enjoy!



2 thoughts on “McCall’s New Complete Book of Sewing and Dressmaking, 1957 edition, plus thoughts on sewing and self esteem

  1. What a great find! I have a similar book from Singer, plus it also has a chapter on making things for your home, and not just trivial ones. There’s a complete description on making fitted covers for an armchair, including instructions on measuring it up, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a few books that also include sections on home decorating! I especially love the photos of the rooms. 🙂 I’m actually about to post some photos of a book that included a home dec chapter, from 1961. The photographs of the bedrooms are so fun to see!


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