Monday, October 7, 2013

Adventures in Sewing... Part 5

Some of you might remember that I have a rather large collection of vintage sewing pattern flyers from companies like Butterick, Simplicity, McCall's and Vogue. They are great sources of information, good for researching patterns and styles from all sorts of eras.
Among my collection are several McCall Style News Booklets, some of which I have digitized in my Etsy shop. My favorite part about these is that in the late 1940's, many of them included little snippet articles with great sewing tips.

These little articles were usually a one page feature called "Adventures in Sewing" by Marian Corey, author of the 1951 "McCall's Complete Book of Dressmaking".

When I first started A Few Threads Loose, I shared a few of these in a series of posts and today I have finally found another to share!

 Today's Adventures in Dressmaking lesson comes from McCall Style News from June, 1948.

The lesson in question shows you how to face and stabilize scallops. This is a handy thing to know how to do and can be used for scallop hems, scallop trim closures, and other uniquely shaped facings.
Here is a close-up:

The dress being mentioned is McCall 7294, worn by the lovely lady in the middle of the picture below. Should you ever be lucky enough to find this pattern, you'll have a hand tutorial for the hardest part!

For those of you who want to add some decorative scallops to your current sewing projects, I have a  a most indispensable tool digitized to help you create your own, should you want one. This scallop ruler is so handy for adding scalloped edges to your sewing projects, and for re-drafting the scallops on a pattern that you've re-sized.

To make your own, you can just print it out on thick paper and cut, or print it on regular paper and paste it to thick construction paper.
Get the free Scallop Ruler PDF.

Check out these other great Adventures in Sewing posts:


  1. Yay! Love this and the scallop ruler is fantastic!

  2. Vintage dresses are garments of art. I love the tucked bodice and skirt on the one dress and how can anyone resist a scalloped edge. Thanks for sharing the ruler, I will definitely put it to good use.

  3. Wow - thank you so much for sharing the tips and the scallop ruler - with my love of 1930's fashion (you've seen my faves list on Etsy *lol*) this may come in very handy...and if the men don't find ya pretty, they should at least find ya handy! :D
    Paraphrased from "Red Green" (aka Steve Smith, Canadian comedian and TV program genius)

  4. I love the scalloper, and these fabulous instructions. They've come at the perfect time, because I'm feeling inspired to make a scalloped hem skirt. Information is Power!

    But I couldn't work out for the life of me how to download that pdf for free. At every step scribd was asking me to sign up for a pay account, or provide my card details, even for a free account. Which wasn't gonna happen! So I've got the image, and that's going to have to do me for now, and I thank you heartily for that.