In an unpleasant thread that many of us hope to forget, the discussion turned to the proper place for dated materials. I'd like to continue that discussion here.
I agree that the old ways are not going to be of much benefit to the beginner with little to no experience beyond sewing from unaltered commercial patterns. They lack the big bag of tricks that comes from years of sewing, pattern truing, and so on. On the other end of the spectrum, I'm sure the highly experienced pro tailors, the ones that have made sartorialism their life's work, will find use of the dated books as reference for one thing or other.
Then there's the rest of us, the ones that remember playing with grandma's treadle machine when we were barely old enough to reach the treadle, but have never tried any drafting.
If this retired lady has been formally sewing, making alterations, and manipulating patterns since JrHS, is she ready to finally learn draft-from-scratch? And if she wants to draft a few basic pattern blocks without any flavor, where is a good place to start? Before you answer that, I'll say that my initial skirt draft from Whife's DaCLG (1969) fits me better than any commercial pattern I've been able to find. With truer measurements (for the initial I only took 5 self-measurements and guessed the rest) it will probably satisfy me greater than anything I've ever made aside from the possible exception of my bridal gown (although with the emotions tied to it I may be a bit biased). And if the skirt from a dated textbook works for me, might also the bodice and sleeve drafts? And if they work, what's to say I can't splice the bodice pattern to the skirt pattern to make a dress block?
Regardless of the draft textbook I use, my plans are to start with those basic clean vanilla blocks for skirt, bodice, dress, and long and short sleeves, then manipulate them to incorporate different details such as fullness (straight, full, pleated, gathered), zip-back, button front, collars of various styles including no collar, necklines of varying styles, sleeve terminations (hemmed, elastic, band, cuff) etc. But each STYLED pattern begins with a CLASSIC pattern. EDIT: By classic, I mean that it may not be IN, but it isn't OUT. Big armscye and shoulder pads are out. High necklines may not be in, but they are not out. If I'm not mistaken, pleat-front pants are not the latest trend in menswear, but pleat-fronts are not out the way sewn-in creases are out. (am I making sense, or rambling like an idiot?)
My biggest question: Some of us prefer classic over trendy. Is Rundschau classic or trendy? Or a mix of both?
Edited by Faith, 21 August 2014 - 10:41 PM.