Free 1949 flat patternmaking book available!

Thanks to the Internet Archive, vintage sewing and fashion enthusiasts can download a PDF version of How to design beautiful clothes, by Esther Pivnick. The book was published in 1949.

The patternmaking system used is the same as what was taught at the Traphagen School of Design in New York City. This book offers a complete guide to taking measurements, creating basic patterns and then transforming them.

Even if you do not use the pattern drafting system, there are details and pattern transformations that can be experimented with using your own sloper. It is well worth it to download a PDF version as the original book sells for over $100 when in good condition.

Here are screen shots from the book. I was surprised to see that the skirt is similar to the result I obtained when using the Precision Draping technique from the 1947 book by Nellie Weymouth Link. There is a slight flare to the skirt. It is not the straight, tubular shape of the 1950s basic skirt.

Here are screen shots from How to design beautiful clothes which show the resulting basic front and back bodices; back and front skirt patterns; and a diagram showing the measurements needed.

Published by EmilyAnn Frances

I was born and raised in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, New York. I attended Hunter College where I graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English Language Arts. After graduation I worked in various industries such as publishing, fashion, financial services, investment banking, and for government. My passion for fashion was nurtured at the French Fashion Academy where I learned dressmaking, patternmaking, sketching and draping. My enjoyment of dressmaking and family history find a wonderful home here at WordPress. I hope you enjoy both of my blogs.