For Hila: Vintage Sewing Techniques for making a coat

Hey there!  Hila, here are the tips from the vintage booklet “Tailoring” published 1945 by The Spool Cotton Company.

I’ve never seen instructions like the ones given here.  I think these are more labor intensive since the interlining is considered a separate layer from the fashion fabric.  “Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing” has a simpler process:  the interlining and fashion fabric are basted together and then cut and treated as one layer.  The only thing these instructions have in common is that the back interlining piece will not have the pleat the way the lining does and has the back seam abutted. This is how I learned to do it and it works very well.

Still, it’s very educational to see how clothing was constructed in the past.  It helps understand how techniques are always evolving.


2 thoughts on “For Hila: Vintage Sewing Techniques for making a coat

  1. I had the booklet at one time but think I recycled it to the thrift store thinking I would never get this far along in sewing. I was recently gifted with a copy of Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. Tailored Garments: Tailored Suits, Coats, And Capes. Garments for Men And Boys. Scranton, Pa.: Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, 1931. It describes a similar custom made method as you mention. The first section is devoted to a very detailed account of how to tailor a woman’s suit coat, the length a couple of inches below the low hip, complete with illustrations. The foundation is pre-padded and attached at the seams only, then the interlining if desired is attached in the same manner, and then the taping (articles 67, 68, and 69, pages 37 and 38) is done.
    Best of all it can be viewed for free at the address below and pages can even be printed out!;view=1up;seq=9
    I learn so much from you. You give me the confidence to think about sewing in more depth.


    • Thanks, Carol! I wish I had more time. There’s more to come, including instructions for making the same dress Gertie did. Vintage Vogue Pattern no. 7231. That’s the chemise with band collar, short kimono sleeves and a beauty of a waist-cinching belt. That will come when the Secretary Blouse and Sheath Skirt is finished. I will check out this link you provide. Personally this method seems too much work for me and also a little awkward with the layers all being separate.


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