Book Giveaway - The Lost Art of Dress • Amy Barickman

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Book Giveaway – The Lost Art of Dress

As you may know, Mary Brooks Picken is my muse and I was inspired by her work in educating the women on fashion, sewing techniques, and the home arts through her work with The Woman’s Institute to write my book Vintage Notions. I have recently written a new book inspired by Mary, The Magic Pattern book, which takes Mary’s original concept of Magic Patterns – simple patterns that can be transformed into multiple styles – and brings it to the modern world. For The Magic Pattern Book, we created 6 patterns that can be transformed into 36 fashions! There is also sewing tips, a fabric dictionary and Mary’s style and sewing wisdom sprinkled throughout through her own words, as exemplified below.

mbp

Fashion historian and professor Linda Przybyszewski was also inspired by Mary and her contemporaries in the world of Home Economics. She believes that not only did this group of women, known as the Dress Doctors, teach women how to sew but also how to have style and dress beautifully and appropriately for all occasions. This notion propelled her to write the wonderful book The Lost Art of Dress.

 

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These days it’s common to see yoga pants and flip flops on women as they go to work, do their shopping and go out to dinner. (That includes ME much of the time!) A far cry from the post WWII years when American women were known for their good taste in fashion. So what happened?  Przybyszewski believes that the Dress Doctors, through their work in Home Economics departments, were able to guide women to wear flattering and appropriate styles from their days in rompers through their golden years. When Home Economics started being cut from grade schools and college in the 60’s and 70’s we lost that guidance and fell into the routine of comfort is king – with often unflattering results.

 

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You can definitely see the change in styles of everyday dresses as exemplified in the pattern covers above. I love collecting fashion images from the old patterns. This group is all available to purchase through my image collection AB Vintage Studio.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Although I have done a lot of research into the work of the ladies known as the Dress Doctors, it was fascinating to read about their work from this point of view. At the heart of the book is the effect these women had on the style of America, but Przybyszweski also touches on how their work also affected societal norms, economics and women’s liberation. This book is perfect for those interested in fashion, history, and the changing role of women in society. It will inspire you to rethink your wardrobe and aspire to a more elegant (but still comfortable!) you. At least, it did for me!

I want to share with you this wonderful book and am having a giveaway! Not only will the winner receive a copy of The Lost Art of Dress, but they will also receive a copy of my book Vintage Notions: An Inspirational guide to needlework, cooking, sewing, fashion & fun, which is filled with wisdom from Mary Brooks Picken, my favorite Dress Doctor.

yourturn1This contest is closed. Thanks to all who entered!

184 Comments

  1. Susie Chapple

    I loved Home Ec. Took it all the way through high school. I loved being able to make my own clothes. These days I use my skills for making clothes, home decorating and mixed media art. It’s a great skill to have.

    Reply
  2. Cindy Lanahan

    I took Home Ec in high school. I enjoyed the cooking part because I was taught to sew by my grandmother and mother when I was very young (about 5).

    Reply
  3. Judy B

    I remember making a wool A-line skirt in Home Ec in Junior High. Loved the feel of the fabric, manipulating it under the needle, struggling with the lining, learning zipper installation. It was a beautiful blue skirt that I never wore because I had gained weight and miscalculated the size. Rats! LOL

    Reply
  4. carol m. lamon

    my school did not have an home economics class, but my grandmother was a talented seamstess. I didn’t take the time to learn from her, but must have received some talent through genetics. I am mostly self taught & have been sewing clothing & quilts now for some 40+ yrs. I love to sit down at thr machine & create.

    Reply
  5. Bette P

    Always liked helping others in sewing class. I started sewing at five years old and had a great neighbor as my teacher.

    Reply
  6. Gail McKay

    I took 1 semester of Home Economics in
    high school.
    I was a tomboy, and I really did not like it.
    There was a section on sewing, and I did
    terrible. I preferred the metal/woods Shop classes.
    I am now in my mid 40’s. I started quilting 12 years
    ago when my boys were little. Now I like everything
    crafty. I quilt, crochet, knit, and make cards.
    Once I started sewing, I felt I found womanhood.
    Even if you do not like sewing when you are young, one
    can always change and grow to love it.

    Reply
  7. Melissa Brown

    My favorite moment in a sewing class came when I was taking a class in couture handsewing techniques and my teacher, a professional seamstress who had high standards and an annoying superior attitude, looked at my handsewn buttonhole sample and said “You’ve done this before, ” and I honestly answered “No. I learned how to embroider from my grandmothers before I was allowed to sew and I just treated this as an embroidery project.” After examing all my samples made for the class, the teacher complimented the handsewing skills I learned from my grandmothers. I knew they both had exacting standards, but it turns out my grandmothers were both even more skilled as seamstresses than I had thought!

    Reply
  8. Deborah

    My favorite experience in Home Economics class was definitely the sewing project! I could hardly wait to get my hands on the sewing machine. I made a puffed sleeve dress in brown with paisley sleeves, brown yoke and paisley body. I was so proud of myself and wore the dress to shreds.
    Big hug,
    Deborah

    Reply
  9. Carolyn Solomon

    Making a turquoise spring coat with bound buttonholes and a coordinating A-Line dress. I got the “Betty Crocker Homakes scholarship that year. It was for $250.00 so that tells you how long ago it was.

    Reply
  10. Debra Braz

    My favorite was being chosen to do a facial ( I can still remember how wonderful my face felt afterwards), and sewing my first garment ever (a knee length skirt).

    Reply
  11. Kendra B

    I sewed a stuffed Beaker (from the Muppets) pillow that my niece carried with her everywhere until she lost it at a garage sale. Three years ago when she had her daughter, she was gifted with a Beaker pillow (which I scoured eBay to find) just like the original. I ‘m not sure my great-niece every got a crack at Getting it; I believe her momma has held on to this one. Little did I know in 8th grade sewing that pillow that sewing would become my passion after college.

    Reply
  12. Barbara McDowell

    After getting 100% on a test in my 7th grade home economy class I got to chose which sewing machine to use exclusively, and explain why I chose it. I chose a White model, rather than the so called top of the line Singer model. The White model sewed a much better than the Singer model.

    Reply
  13. Georgia Anderson

    Discovering that I could be a Home Economics Teacher thanks to all the encouragement I received along the way.

    Reply
  14. Jenniffer

    Favourite experience. I spent more time in cooking class then anything. So much fun

    Reply
  15. sherri s.

    Why, sewing, of course. I think I still have the apron I made, somewhere. It was the seventies, so the pockets are a wild psychedelic print. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Reply
  16. Tina B.

    I loved Home Ec! I feel it’s a disservice to todays young people not to have it in schools anymore.

    Reply
  17. Kathleen Lee

    Hmmm…favorite project? Don’t know about a favorite, but I remember making fudge (which turned out like a hockey puck), trying sewing (unwearable), and cross stitch (eh). It’s amazing I still love to craft!

    Reply
  18. Ellen M.

    I enjoyed Home Ec. – both the cooking and sewing parts of it. It was my first experience in sewing, something that has continued to bring me pleasure throughout my life. Thanks for sharing these great books with us!

    Reply
  19. Marcia Dohner

    My mother was a Home Economics teacher in the 1940’s before she had to resign to have her children…my brother, my sister and me. She was my first Home Economics teacher. My favorite thing was finally being able to sit at her Singer model 201 and sew away! The knee “accelerator” was the best. She is 94 and last week she was making curtains for my sister and her Singer suddenly began sewing at the slowest speed possible. We will be taking it to the “doctor” for treatment.

    Reply
  20. Jessica Sheldon

    I am envious of the many people who were taught to sew or knit or even some of the more obscure sewing arts such as tating by mothers, grandmothers, aunts or even in a home ec class. My mother grew up in the depression, as did my father, and they had a distinct distain for anything “homemade”. It was Wonder white bread, forzen fishsticks and store bought clothes. My mother had a sewing machine for emergancy clothing repairs, but politely refused to teach me how to sew. In high school there wasn’t even a discussion of taking a home ec class; it was German or Latin. My father was determined we all went to college and that required taking a foreign language.
    So when I got married I got a second hand Singer sewing maching in a cabinet that only went back and forth for $15 dollars. I was sewing! And baking bread! And as alternate generations do, learning as much as I could to be selfsufficant with what I could create with my hands.
    Self taught, I make aprons, totes, purses and an ever expanding aray of fabric creations to help support myself on disability. Sewing is therapeutic for mind and body, for passing on the craft of the handmade, and for expressing one’s individuality. May sewing always be with us!

    Reply
  21. Audrey R

    I love sewing and everything vintage. I learned to sew in home ec in high school. Now I make more quilts than clothes, except for aprons. I would love to get back into sewing clothes.

    Reply
  22. Charlyn Trussell

    Because I was too busy taking science and math courses, I never had a home ec class. But I did have something almost as good–a grandmother and a mother who sewed and who allowed me to use a sewing machine early in life. I did take one Singer clothing construction course in junior high, but most of my skills came from home or from self-education later in life. By the time I was in high school, I was sewing part of my school wardrobe.

    Reply
  23. AZ Barbara

    The thing I remember most about home ec class is being asked to help others in the class. I had been sewing by that time for about ten years.

    Reply
  24. M J Harvey

    I remember the fashion show we put on! Oh my gosh I can still see it! Was a good class I made a blouse. And we made broiled bologna and it was good! Ah the good ole days!! Would love to win this wonderful book.
    M J

    Reply
  25. Tracy Fitzwater

    I’ve been sewing since my first home ec class in junior high, and I, too, wish home ec was still taught in school. Kids are missing out on the opportunity to create something unique, and to appreciate beautiful fabrics. My mom was a great seamstress, but my sister can barely sew on buttons! This book looks fantastic!

    Reply
  26. Barbara

    Home Ec classes are remembered fondly. They were the beginnings of a study that culminated in a masters degree in clothing and textiles.

    Reply
  27. Debi Waldron

    My home economics teacher the first year made us do the project she picked. However the second year she left it up to us and we could be as creative as we wanted even if she did not think it would work. It was that they got me into sewing. My mom made a lot of my clothes but I did not want to do it her way. Just like any child. the teacher was willing to let us make our mistake and learn from it. LOL

    Reply
  28. Sally

    I never took Home Economics because I was in the band and took foreign language during that time slot. I did however purchase a sewing machine after getting married over 30 years ago and love doing any and every type of sewing, quilting, embroidery, knitting and crafting. The cooking portion has been trial by fire!

    Reply
  29. Judi

    I think I had one of the best Home Ec teachers ever. This was after I had one of the worst! Being a clothing manufacturers’ (yes, both parents) daughter, I had been sewing in their factory since I was 5. therefore, I hated that this first teacher thought I should only sew at the speed she wanted everyone to sew and only construct as she willed us. The 2nd teacher gave me free rein. I learned couture techniques and after this, I had no fear to try anything–even designer Vogue patterns.

    I think the day I finished my 8th project in class for the semester was close to the best, but when she asked if I could be her aide the next year topped it all. Not only could I teach and sew, but I got to leave school to to shop for the cooking classes!

    Reply
  30. Donna

    I enjoyed home economics classes in the 70s although the pace of instruction seemed a bit slow to me. My mother began my HOME EC education very early, teaching me to sew on tiny doll clothes. I was baking and washing dishes when I could barely reach the sink in our tiny kitchen. My mother’s home economics teacher probably had the most influence on us as Anna became mother’s sister-in-law and my Aunt.
    Anna’s skills taught all of us indirectly through my mother to cook, bake and sew. Today I have some of her vintage creations such as her red crocheted coat – picture 1968. I took home economics in jr high and high school as my dad would say, “Anna will be disappointed” if I didn’t. So along with college prep courses and five courses of math in four years, the home ec dept. knew me as well. The dept. prepared the punch and snacks for the junior/senior proms in the 1970’s. The teachers probably did all the work, but they chose a few students, including me, to be “sophomore representatives” to set up and serve the food. My mother and I made a “formal” in the informal style of the day and my dad bought me a gardenia corsage, the first I had ever seen. This was a momentous occasion for me. Our three home ec teachers were women who were dedicated to educating their students. Today they are retired from teaching and very active in community and church events.
    We were very blessed to have these women teach us, care about us. Now as I reminisce about their involvement in our education, I believe this should be an editorial for our local paper.
    TEACHERS ARE NOT APPRECIATED or ACKNOWLEDGED PUBLICLY OFFEN ENOUGH FOR THEIR WORK!

    Reply
  31. Peg G

    I teach sewing at an enrichment summer camp to kids from 8 to 14 years old. It’s funny for me to think of sewing as ‘enrichment’ when my Home Ec teacher considered it a necessity when I was their age. I cannot tell you how often I heard her say, “Does anyone in this class eat? (Hands raise) Good, then you should know your way around a kitchen. Does anyone in this class wear clothes? (Hands raise) Good, then you should know how to use a needle and thread! These are simple life skills that you will always be able to use to improve your life and the lives of others.” I’d love to share some of the wisdom in the books with my students.

    Reply
  32. Kathie L

    Home Ec was OK, but 4H was the best for teaching sewing. I’d love to read this book.

    Reply
  33. Terry G.

    I had home ec in junior high school. I remember learning how to put a zipper in a skirt and discovered that I had a knack for it. Love putting in zippers to this day. I also fondly remember learning to make biscuits and a white sauce with chicken and canned peas in it–which I still make today–some 50 years later! That white sauce spooned over a biscuit is my comfort food! Now, though, I use frozen peas to add to the white sauce. This is such a lovely give away–I’d love to win!

    Reply
  34. Hazel Dickinson

    although I loved learning to sew and making my first tailored suit, perhaps the most memorable moment was when my teacher walked in wearing a new dress she had made. The dress was a shirtwaist style in blue chambray with the detail stitching in red. I can still see that dress in my mind 51 years later, it was casual but absolutely stunning in its perfection.

    Reply
  35. Karen A

    I loved my Home Ec classes and I learned many important sewing skills that I still use. Like making sure to follow the “with nap” layout with corduroy. My local high school still offers cooking and sewing classes and because of those classes my daughter is majoring in consumer science in college. I’m hoping there will still be some teaching jobs available when she graduates, because she really wants to teach.

    Reply
  36. Tina Robinson

    Oh, I just loved everything about Home Ec! But I made a maxi skirt in a plaid, red, green, black and white and most of my friends thought I was crazy picking that fabric but I loved it and when I got it home, my mom told me how beautiful it was and wanted to borrow it, just made my heart sing! I gave it to her (I did wear it to an event first) and she kept it long after she quit wearing it! She really did love the skirt!

    Reply
  37. Donna Tarver

    I would love this book. I think I was born at the wrong time. I miss seeing people take the time to “dress”. It is becoming a lost art.

    Reply
  38. Jane Luxenberg

    Because I was a textile major, my sewing courses in public school and college went on for 10 years. I designed and produced costumes for our high schools fine drama dept. I was allowed a period of independent sewing class for that purpose. In high school I had not yet learned drafting but I converted a cheerleader pattern to create Romeo costumes. At the end of high school, I was given a school letter for my costume work.I was the first in my school.Sewing has been the joy of my life.

    Reply
  39. Janet

    I have loved sewing since my first little hand crank Singer at age 10. Then I started with doll clothes, then went on to my clothes in 4H. Home Ec was in 7th & 8th grade, but the poor high school teacher did not have a good reputation, so I sewed with Mom and won many ribbons at the country & state fair. I have now expanded to wearable art, quilting, doll clothes (still) and art dolls.

    Reply
  40. Susan Dugat

    I have so many cherished and amusing memories of Home Economics classes in high school. First of all, when we learned about breakfast foods as Freshmen, my mother had to go out of town to help her sister who was just home from the hospital. I thought it would be a good idea to practice my cooking skills on my daddy and served him breakfast food for supper every day that week. The poor man ate it all without one complaint: everything from oatmeal and toast to Eggs a la Goldenrod!
    Another memory is just as remarkable seeing how I felt like I was all thumbs back then. Our teacher was most patient and kind and as Seniors we tried our hand at tailoring. Many of us turned out truly outstanding garments considering our youth. It was because of her interest in our successes. My effort won first place in the county fair that year. I had designed a classic velveteen dress with a white lace jacket which I could still wear today to church or dinner. She always reminded us that classic styles were the ones that would last forever.
    Recently because of her fine tutelage I made drapes for our travel trailer. With the memories of her comments like “measure twice, cut once,” I sailed through that project in one week! And the drapes look great!
    Home Ec was one of the most important classes I had in high school and it was made all the better by my extraordinary teacher, Mrs. Faye Braughton.
    I am forever grateful to her for preparing me for the tasks of homemaker and mother.

    Reply
  41. Jillian Grant

    It was the early 70s and mini skirts were the rage but we still had a dress code at school that said skirts could not be shorter than 1″ above the knee. I made a beautiful tailored tunic and skirt in Home Ec but it still needed a hem and we had one day to complete our projects. My instructor marked my hem so I could finish but I spent my time talking so I had to take it home to do the hand sewing. I took the skirt home and cut it off where it had been marked to be turned. This made it a full 2″ shorter than my instructor deemed appropriate. I had a mini skirt, like I wanted, but took a B instead of an A because of my willfulness. I still laugh at what I did. It was a beautiful suit and I had great legs for a mini skirt.

    Reply
  42. Leanne Gifford

    I didn’t take Home Ec and was glad it wasn’t a requirement. I learned to sew before I was 7. The first dress that I made with minimal help from my mother had a Y seam and a back zipper.
    I would love to have both books!

    Reply
  43. Connie Bartell

    My favorite memory was the weekend I made a dress at home and wore to school on Monday. The teacher had me take it off and she went over it with a fine tooth comb and with me in my slip turned to the class and said this is the best work she had ever seen. I was so proud. She started letting me help with others in my class. I would like to Thank that teacher for giving confidence in what ever I wanted to do. I would be so proud to receive the books and share them with my students in my little home teaching classes.

    Reply
  44. Michelle Smith

    My mom taught me how to sew when I was 5 years old. In 8th grade, I had home ec. I loved the sewing portion of it. Everyone started out making pillows and a simple bag, but very few of us(I was one of them) progressed to making skirts and shorts. I have had a love of sewing since I was very young and I try to sew every opportunity that I can. I would be love to add these wonderful books to my collection.

    Reply
  45. Jeanette Friscia

    I loved home ec in school because of all I learned. With raising 4 kids and one with a dissability, my mother didn’t have time to teach many of the skills I learned there. My favorite thing above all about it, was the bonding it created with fellow students and the teacher because it was an interaction like no other subject. I sew today for no other reason than home ec class and for that I am eternally grateful.

    Reply
  46. Evelyn

    After a so-so experience in a 7th grade sewing class and a high school sewing class, I took a college sewing class. Mr. B taught industrial techniques. Finally I was in the right class with the right teacher. The best thing I learned was sewing without pinning. Previous teachers made sewing seem like a drudgery. Mr. B freed me to truly enjoy sewing!

    Reply
  47. Gay Gremmel

    I remember being so excited when I was finally able to take Home-Ec and it was only because I got to sew – I couldn’t wait for us to be done with the cooking half so that we could finally use those beautiful sewing machines!

    Reply
  48. PAMELA THOMASON

    I was at the tail end of Home Ec classes in school. At my time in the 70’s I was in college prep but did take one half year of Home ec. My mother AND father had been teaching me how to cook and repair things since childhood. But my mother did come from the time when you always made yourself presentable when going out in public and you wore stockings, of course they were pantyhose by then. In my late 50’s now, I am still appalled at some of the things people wear on airplanes and to restaurants.

    Reply
  49. Christina Gonzalez

    Homemade pizza from scratch. I still have the recipe after 18 years.

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  50. Hope Seesock

    I had a family heirloom ring on and removed it before starting. My apron had a pocket so I placed the ring in it. We ran late and we were rushing to get to the next class. During the next class I realized I didn’t have the ring. I went back to search for it but couldn’t find the ring. I was afraid to go home.
    The next day I begged the principal to announce the lost ring on the morning announcements. Fortunately a young woman found it and turned it in. Gees was I lucky! Needless to say but I made a new friend that day.

    Reply
  51. Pamela Rienstra

    My 7th grade sewing class was really fun. Since I liked details, sewing was an easy fit for me. We made an A-line skirt with a zipper and darts. I wore it and then when my youngest daughter was in high school, she liked wearing it too. Seeing her wear it brought back a lot of good memories.

    Reply
  52. Teri

    I learned how to line a wool dress and fit it. Also I was the only one who knew how to fold a fitted sheet! Not enough girls these days have the know how to run a home or dress properly for certain occasions!

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  53. Cindy

    Alas – I went to a small school that didn’t offer a home economics class. I learned all of those skills normally taught in home economics from my mother and my grandmother.

    Reply
  54. Ashley

    I really loved Home Ec class. I sewed my first clothes while taking this class, and they both turned out pretty well! I made a chambray button up shirt and white shorts. I was so proud of myself!

    Reply
  55. Gail

    I wouldn’t call it a favourite moment but the only thing I remember about home economics class was that I was not good at sewing. I remember we had to make a flag and my work was not displayed. I started sewing in my mid twenties and loved it. I was not great at it but I kept trying and I got better. I loved showing off my projects even when they weren’t the best and I was proud. Now I love to sew for my daughters and I am teaching them to sew and to be proud of what they made. Practice and perseverance has been my process.

    Reply
  56. Debe

    I was glad that I learned to knit & sew. I made some favorite outfits in H Ec that I wore a lot. Thanks to my mom who instilled my love of sewing & for a good teacher who I learned the fine details from.

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  57. Lydia

    I always enjoyed Home Economics class….and majored in Home Economics in college…as my Mother had before me! I learned to sew as a 4-Her and still love sewing and creating…including heirloom sewing, quilting, and crafting. Also, I’m helping my young granddaughters learn this fantastic skill!

    Reply
  58. Kathy

    I loved Home Ec.- the one class I got an A in to help my GPA !!! My mom taught me to sew in 4th grade and I learned to knit and embroider from my grandma and great grandma. I still sew,smock and do crewel . I wish I had access to better fabric stores – I like to feel the fabrics before I buy !!

    Reply
  59. Jan Haptonstall

    I never took home economics, but was a 4-H member – the “city” version – sewing & baking, not cow & sheep raising. 🙂 My after school fun would be sewing Barbie clothes with my best friend. I still remember my sense of accomplishment in sewing a dress in 5th grade for the talent fair at my school.

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  60. Sharon

    I learned to sew long before home ec and so was bored by the patterns we were allowed to choose for the sewing half of the year — the cooking part was mostly fun though I look back at them and laugh — it was the late 60s and we used a lot of instant foods (like pillsbury crescent roll dough) I DID learn how to make a decent pizza and I failed completely at cream puffs. (Definitely a necessary culinary basic)

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  61. Aprile Wicker

    I loved Home Economics class. I had the same teacher all through high school. She was the best teacher. Always dressed to the nines. My junior year I made a blue wool trench coat, that was fully lined and had bound button holes. I loved that coat and everything I made in home ec. My teacher also had a summer sewing program. We had to make 12 garments to wear for the following school year.(This was for extra credit) We all had such a good time. On top of learning to sew, she taught us how to cook. I still have my recipe file from class. Still use some of the recipes. I wish they still home ec. in school. My grand-daughters would love it as much as I did. I would love to win your books. I would pass them on to my grand-daughters. So they could see how it used to be!!!

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  62. Judith Martinez

    My favorite part of Home EC was the sewing portion! I especially loved when I was able to choose my own project.

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  63. Karen Yagerhofer

    My favorite home ec memory was my teacher Mrs. Arola who would shop for the greatest little bargains on the remnant table and then fashion something and explain the wonderful value-she always looked like a million bucks!

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  64. Melissa

    We didn’t have home ec at my little high school. If only we did! I would have loved to have learned to sew and cook. I’ve learned both over the years through trial and error … Lots of errors!

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  65. Carla

    My most memorable experience from Home Economics was when I was allowed to choose a pattern as my project to complete. I had chosen a stuff lion which at the time thought boy would this be an easy project that I would be able to complete and enjoy. Well did I find out quickly that the sewing rules given by the teacher had to be followed for a stuffed animal and not just clothes. I learned how to do the basics like straight and zig zag stitches, seam allowances, turning of curves and handsewing all in one fell swoop. It was a lot of fun and a learning I keep with me today. .

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  66. Elaine Orgill

    Wow, what a fascinating book…of a unique time when women wore hats and gloves! I love vintage. I have a collection of vintage clothing patterns, a collection of 1940’s hats. I also have a few dresses from the 1940’s. I just love getting dressed up in my vintage clothes and hats. I had the pleasure of attending a tea recently where I got to wear a vintage outfit. It was so much fun and it makes a woman feel so feminine and special. I would be thrilled to win your book!!!

    Reply
  67. Pat

    Mostly taught myself to sew, using an old treadle Singer machine that belonged to my grandmother!

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  68. Susan Wearsch

    Home ec. and art were my favorite classes in high school. Cooking, sewing, and household management trained me for the best job in the world; wife and mother. I won the “Betty Crocker Housekeeper of America” award for my school when I was a Senior. Now that I’m a ” Senior” in life, I love sewing best! Thanks for the chance to win your books.

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  69. Nancy Goldstein

    My favorite thing was the cooking!!!!!

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  70. Shelley Lee

    The uneven skirt…. let’s say things have improved a bit since then!

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  71. Anne Beier

    I loved home economics. My step-sons had to take it in Middle School, but it was called Home Skills. They learned how to cook and sew. They made a stuffed animal, and had to hand sew it. Buttons included. As grown men now, they remember it all, cook quite well, and can sew in a pinch. I would love that book. I made a skirt in home economics, and I loved it.

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  72. P. Kay King

    We did not have home economics at the HS I attended, so I had to learn to sew on my own. Fortunately, there was Singer store just two blocks from my house and at age 13 I convinced my Mom (a non-sewer) to let me take classes. That was in 1961!. Fast forward 53 years and I’m still sewing up a storm and love it. I’m trying to instill that love of creating in my granddaughters now.

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  73. Laura Horwitz

    Home Ec. was one of my most favorite classes in high school. I made matching red striped nightshirts, and nightcaps, one for me and one for my father who was 6 ft. 4″ tall. I was quite proud of this and especially loved seeing my dad wear it! I would love to win a copy of your book Vintage Notions: An Inspirational guide to needlework, cooking, sewing, fashion & fun, and The Lost Art of Dress.

    Reply
  74. Ann B

    These books remind me of the stylish clothes worn by my mom, and grandmothers. I thought when I “grew up” that i would be dressing similarly, but styles and fashion became more relaxed. Thanks for sharing in your blog.

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  75. Lee

    What a lovely giveaway! I loved watching and learning from my grandmother how to sew! thank you!

    Reply
  76. Kelly Aubert

    We adopted my sister when I was in middle school. My home ec teacher let me have her in class one day as kind of a show and tell. It was so cool to share that experience with my classmates. 🙂

    Reply
  77. Shellia

    Home Economics was one of my favorite classes. I learned so many things but my favorite part of home economics was learning to sew. I remember that navy and white polka dot dress today!

    Reply
  78. Judy

    This looks like such a great book. I too have a collection of old dress and accessory patterns and I find all of the special details on these patterns amazing. My Home Ec sewing projects in the early ’70’s didn’t turn out that great, but it was fun to experiment. (I already have a copy of Vintage Notions, which I really enjoy!)

    Reply
  79. Marilyn S

    I had a positive experiences in home ec. I finished my top before most of my class mates, so my teacher let me bring in fabric to make a second one.

    Reply
  80. Cindy Metcalf

    Entering Home Ec class was a pleasant break from the books and papers of a days works. What a refreshment to dig in for a real hands on and creative experience! The notion that I could actually make clothes or bake something to share was and always will be a joy. You can’t get better than that!

    Reply
  81. Michele Van Epps

    In my advanced sewing home economics class (my senior year in High School), I made a pair of lined, wool plaid slacks. It was a challenge, but so rewarding to have them fit perfectly, and all. I did a lot of ripping out to get the plaids to line up just right, but when I was done, I was very proud of my efforts!

    Reply
  82. Dee

    I LOVED home ec and took every possibly class I could both in Jr and Sr High school. My mom sewed and so did my grandmother. I knew Home Ec was one class I would get an “A” in. I still love to sew – even though it has shifted to things other than clothes. But I usually design all my own purses I make and come up with other projects too. I still love to sew after all these years – it is a stress reliever.

    Reply
  83. Samantha Plotkin

    I really enjoyed learning to use a sewing machine to make a bag and shorts — I still have both!

    Reply
  84. Carol Rosheck

    I learned to sew as a child and had a German mother who was very much into looking good, so fashion sewing has always been part of my repertoire. I love vintage patterns and recently acquired a 1956 Vogue dress pattern that will become my wedding dress out of cream colored silk and satin with beige lace accenting the neckline and sleeves. I even have the crinoline which will make this dress look totally authentic to the period. I love the fashions from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Not so much the 1960’s unless it was tailored. Being a child of the late 50’s, the 60’s and early 70’s, I always had the best wardrobe in school and went off to college with my sewing machine and sewed there. I love vintage wear and reading about it. We need to bring back style!! What I see today on most women is terrible and unflattering. I will always have my sewing machine handy to make stylish and flattering clothes that reflect my personality and make me feel good about myself, which is something we all desperately need to do…feel good about ourselves!

    Reply
  85. susan smoaks

    i actually never had a home economics class, but it would have been my favorite class if they had it.

    Reply
  86. Edma

    My favorite moment was when the other girls didn’t know anything about sewing and I did.

    Reply
  87. Connie Martin

    I loved Home Ec Class too. I had great teachers and now I wish I had become one. I would love to have The Lost Art of Dress book. I LOVE those dress patterns even though we are in 2014. Great style. Thanks Amy for the giveaway. I can’t wait to see your new book!

    Reply
  88. Lonna Whiteaker

    I learned how to sew from my Mother at home, I learned and love all kinds of sewing projects. Plus, I love early American history and especially history about women, so the book sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Reply
  89. Susan Hebert

    I took 2 years of Home Ec in high school. The second years was exclusively sewing. I was required to take an existing pattern and create another style. The idea of changing a pattern, to not only fit better, but to be something I desgned was thrilling. It inspired me to gather different patterns and combine parts into garments as I see them, not what the pattern company thinks I want!
    I love the history of clothing and how it was manufactured. So many methods have changed through the years. I’m always looking to learn more!

    Reply
  90. Kim Campbell

    I loved Home Economics! My favorite was sewing a full wrap skirt and matching vest in red, white, and blue. It was 1976 after all!

    Reply
  91. Sivje Parish

    Oh I loved my home ec. teacher so much! While I had already been sewing for a few years, my teacher really encouraged me to expand my skills. She also found my first jobs at fabric stores!

    Reply
  92. sally

    I had been sewing for many years prior to my freshman home-ec class so instead of making me sew a gathered skirt, our teacher let me make choir uniforms with soutache braid. I actually got paid!

    Reply
  93. BJ Marley

    I made a dress in home ec. I had been sewing for some time so the teacher let me make something more complicated.

    We were also supposed to hand embroider some napkins. They are still a work in progress after all these years.

    Reply
  94. Patricia

    My school did not offer Home Ec, but I enjoyed every single moment I spent with my grandma when she was teaching me to sew. I am 58 now and back to sewing after 30 years(I was raising children and I owned a wholesale bakery), and every time I sew I feel her presence.

    Reply
  95. Amanda

    I only had 6 weeks of sewing (and another 6 weeks of cooking) that comprised any sort of home ec in school. Luckily I had an older sister that sewed and showed me how. In that brief class when everyone else was having a difficult time sewing a small square pillow I was sewing a stuffed dog and helping classmates. This books looks like a wonderful read and would be great to win.

    Reply
  96. Amanda

    I was not allowed to take Home Ec classes until I got to college and was able to choose my own. I minored in fashion design and merchandising and have inherited a love of sewing and design that was passed down to me from my grandmother. I would love to add this book to my collection.

    Reply
  97. Susan M.

    My favorite part of Home Ec was the free recipes we would receive from suppliers. I was an abysmal failure in both cooking and sewing, but I really enjoyed collecting those recipes.

    Reply
  98. Dawn Grondin

    Home Economics was my favorite class. I had a wonderful teacher that did an amazing job teaching us about fabrics and the art of sewing. I still sew today because of that class. She taught cooking but my mother also did a great job of that but my mother wasn’t able to teach me to sew. Thank you for giving me a chance to win this book.

    Reply
  99. Carol Ann

    I remember sitting in Sister Peregrines class, selecting my first pattern, then the fabric and then the fun began. Wish I could go back and go thru that class again! Thanks for your contribution to “a lost art.”

    Reply
  100. Kim Leavens

    I had been embroidering for quite awhile before I took home ec. I only took one year but realized I loved making my own clothing,,,,and adding embroidery to my designs made them that much more unique. Thank you for the chance to win these books, I have always enjoyed fashion history and hopefully will inspire me to “dress up” again.

    Reply
  101. Connie

    I couldn’t wait to get to seventh grade to have Home Economics – Sewing. I began sewing doll clothes when I was seven. Of course, I was only allowed to use Grandma’s treadle machine, but it was pure joy! I made my own patterns with varied success! I still love to sew 60 years later.

    Reply
  102. Karen Cejka

    Home Economics class—why did they ever get rid of this class in school? I loved it…so much that I majored in Home Economics in college! When I was in high school, I loved the sewing portion but not really the cooking. Still don’t like cooking but love to sew!

    Reply
  103. Lori Nicholas

    What a great book! I would love to curl up with it on a rainy day and lose myself in it. It triggers so many memories of home ec classes, learning to sew om the old White sewing machine my grandmother won as a girl and she had “electrified” for my parents when they married in 1945, and late night sewing with my best friend in high school. .

    Reply
  104. Marina Guard Whigham

    What a wonderful book! My parents gave me a sewing machine for a wedding present. Unfortunately the marriage didn’t last but the machine has.

    Reply
  105. Linda in Maryville

    Ohhhh…Home Ec. I made an adorable “tent dress” thinking it would be one of a kind. I the first day I wore it to school, I bumped into another student who made the same pattern out of the same fabric! Unbelievable and funny too. Loved all parts of my Home Economics class.

    Reply
  106. karyn fellion

    I loved Home Economics class. I loved cooking and sewing and I still do today. I would love to win this book.

    Reply
  107. Sarah Lee Norman

    My Grandmother and Mother were professional dressmakers. Grandma died long before I was born but Mother was a wonderful teacher even giving me hints when she was 98 and blind.

    My first garment was a shirred waist skirt made as a 4H project. What a thrill to see it displayed at the county fair!!

    Garments are no longer my sewing interest. Wardrobes for dolls and quilting are my usual projects.

    These books would stand out in my collection of research. Thanks for the chance to reflect back and the possibility to win such inspiring books. I’ve loved any thing connected to Amy since my first discovery some years ago.

    Reply
  108. Barbara

    Home Ec was the best, I remember sewing a navy blue dress with white lace over it. I remember making boiled eggs in cooking class. That would be wonderful to win your book!

    Reply
  109. Janet Spaid

    I did terrible in my first home ec class, around 8th grade, although I still have the apron I made. My mother, a wonderful seamstress, was silently saddened that her oldest daughter would not follow in her footsteps. I’m not sure what happened in between but I ended up majoring in Home Ec in college and am now quite good at crafting in general and sewing in particular. Thanks for the opportunity to win what looks like a fascinating book.

    Reply
  110. Becki

    I loved learning how to finish the seams in my Home-Ec classes for each sewing project. I loved feeling that my clothing was truly completed well. Thank you for the opportunity at the giveaway of the lovely book.

    Reply
  111. Deb

    I LOVED home ec classes. I made a skirt with ruffles. My friend and I made all kinds of muffins. We learned how to make covered buttons, and handmade button holes. It was my favorite class! Also at the time boys weren’t allowed to take Home Ec classes.

    Deb

    Reply
  112. Karen Walker

    Forgot to include that as an adult I had the priviledge to teach home economics for a couple years at a Christian School. I loved this experience.

    Reply
  113. Karen Walker

    By the time I got to study sewing in home economics, I had already been sewing my own clothes for a couple years. When I finished the assignment (a gathered skirt with side zipper and sewn on waistband0 in one night, the teacher gave me a “C” for the project. My mother went to see the teacher to explain that I had made the entire skirt, by myself, without help. The teacher changed my grade to “A” and let me help my classmates with their projects.

    Reply
  114. Mary Sue

    I remember Home Ec class being fun. We learned basic sewing with and had wonderful teachers both in middle/junior high school and high school. In H.S. I made a tailored blazer of wool that really took a lot of work. I was really proud of it.

    Reply
  115. Betty

    I would enjoy learning more from this book. I have to alter some of my cloths and am sometimes in a quizzey for the right way to do it. Thank goodness for the internet and sites like yours.

    Reply
  116. Kristin Freeman

    My most favorite time in a home ec class was when the teacher allowed me to experiment with making my own reversible tartan skirt. I learned so much about fitting, the importance of accurate measurements and how to manipulate a plaid material to bring out the color wanted as most prominent. It was totally successful and I made one for my cousin as well.
    Wow, a book giveaway…I would love to be the lucky winner

    Reply
  117. Lynn Clark

    My mother was the first generation to attend home economics classes & I followed her example with enthusiasm & her encouragement. I loved the breadmaking lessons (although I haven’t made bread since), the sewing .. I made a beautiful suit, but the buttonholes terrorized me. The home decorating lessons were great fun. In later years, I did wonder why they never included little details like Big Wheels and the assorted toys that overtook our lives. It saddens me that all kids don’t have these experiences in schools.

    Reply
  118. MS Barb

    I was surprised by the not from scratch way of cooking-teacher’s idea of a pizza was using the refrigerator biscuits, a little bit of pizza sauce & some shredded cheese–NOT they way my Mom cooked! (My Mom was “old school” & baked things from scratch!)

    Reply
  119. Karen

    I think I was very lucky to have Home Economic classes (1/2 yr. sewing and 1/2 yr. cooking) required in Jr. High and Freshman year of high school. I loved every minute of both classes, but sewing really was and is my passion. I sew ALL THE TIME and work part time in a fabric shop – can it get any better? Well, off to sew today – all day – started a new project and can’t wait to get to my sewing room!

    Reply
  120. LadyD

    My favorite part of Home Economics class was the sewing. My school also taught cooking in that class, but I far preferred creating something that would last, as we did in sewing. Alas, many other useful skills around the area of home economics were not taught…

    The Lost Art of Dress looks like a very interesting book.

    Reply
  121. Julie Robertson

    I enjoyed learning how to sew a simple pair of bermuda shorts. My mom took me to the fabric store and I chose a bright and fun print. I made a great pair of shorts and found shirt to match it and wore them until I grew out of them. I also remember making Croque Monsieur, a French open faced sandwich. I loved making it as I was also taking French. 🙂

    Reply
  122. Jeanne

    I remember sewing a favorite brown striped dress with a yoke and my home ec. teacher saying, “It should look as good on the inside as it does on the outside”. I took every home ec. class I could because of my 4-H experience.
    I went on the become a home economist / Family/Consumer Educator and believe in the importance of what we teach!

    Reply
  123. Patty

    I loved Home Ec class, my love of sewing really came much earlier as a child of 10 I started 4-H club and took a sewing project. I had three older sisters who I watched sew their 4-H sewing projects and couldn’t wait to sew. I did love the cooking projects too.

    Reply
  124. Bea

    I loved home ec class. That is when I learned that I could make anything if I just put my mind to it and stuck to it. I was lucky enough that my instructors saw I was more interested in the process of making, more than any of the other students. I’m still going. Now I make historic textile reproductions for Museums and collectors. A job that is way too fun.

    Reply
  125. Theresa

    I went to school in the late 60’s and didn’t take Home Ec. I can remember being told ” you don’t
    want to take that class – it’s only for girls who want to be housewives” Needless to say, i gravitated to needle and thread anyway, bought my first sewing machine at 17, took classes at the YMCA and have been sewing ever since. I never tire of fashion or quilt history as the garments and techniques are timeless. Now if i could only garden!

    Reply
  126. Brenda

    I only took 1 year of Home Ec classes (required) as my mom taught me how to sew, cook, and many other things at an early age. Also, I learned most of my ‘domestic’ knowledge through 4-H. My mom was one of my 4-H leaders and we had a very active club. I loved being in 4-H and all that it taught me. I also learned Robert’s Rules of Meeting management, public speaking skills, patience in working with and showing farm animals and many, many other skills. I have thanked my mom many times over for supporting me in 4-H. Sewing (quilting, especially) is my favorite pastime.

    Reply
  127. Margaret

    I always looked forward to Home Economics classes. We had a wonderful teacher, and she was a perfectionist with everything that she taught us. I loved making a notebook of sewing samples–ie, pages showing how to make all types of seams, special stitches such as those used for crazy quilting and adding decorative ribbons over seams, plackets, zippers, buttonholes, etc. She felt we all needed to learn to do fine hand construction and sewing, because the power could go out and an electric machine would not work if we needed to sew!!! That is as true today as it was then. I would love to have a copy of the new book Lost Art of Dress. I already have Vintage Notions–great book.

    Reply
  128. Ruchama

    Actually my “favorite” wasn’t pleasant at the time. I actually failed making “hospital corners” on the mock up bed. Every time I pull on a fitted sheet, I thank the genius (probably a woman) who invented them. I can still hear my teacher saying, “we haven’t any more time for you to keep trying.”

    Reply
  129. Cheryl Gunderson

    I believe had it not been for cooking and sewing in school, I might never have learned to truly enjoy these things. I will be forever grateful to those teachers. Not only did they provide us with skills necessary to our adult lives, but to have some pride in our deportment and appearance.

    Reply
  130. Tina

    I learned an enchilada casserole recipe I still use nearly 40 years later. I really enjoyed hanging out in the home ec.

    Reply
  131. Jennifer

    Oh, how I wish I would have had home ec. classes! I suppose I learned some in some costume construction classes in college, but the focus was on historical costuming, and not really on fit to flatter. I’m just now starting to look at that for myself, and wish I had more time to draft patterns, sew and experiment.

    Reply
  132. Shelley Lammers

    I loved Home Economics Class. I wish schools still taught that class. I have always loved to sew. I made a wool pantsuit in navy and cream. I remember modeling it as well. I know I made other things but I don’t remember them. I do remember making tomato soup from scratch in class. I was very impressed by that and how good it tasted. I would be honored to win your books.

    Reply
  133. Cindy

    We did a complete Thanksgiving meal, breaking down the parts for small groups. We were the first class at our school to allow boys to take Home Ec and the one boy we had in our class was a fantastic cook! Much better than the girls. Anyway, the meal was great and we had a good time.

    Reply
  134. Anne Hill

    At school in the 1960s I took the British CSE course in dressmaking for 2 years before I left school. I will never forget the pride with which I produced my first skirt (a miniskirt of course) and paraded around like a model in front of my family……..wonderful feeling and memories of that course and the fantastic teacher!!!

    Reply
  135. Jamie

    My favorite memory from Home Economics class was my wonderful teacher, Mrs. Stout. She inspired my love of sewing.

    Reply
  136. Janna Wood

    I didn’t take Home Ec. in high school, but by a strange twist in life I majored in it in college…I loved it!

    Reply
  137. Brenda Melahn

    I remember 7th grade Home Ec — sewing (8th grade was cooking) … and I knew I would NEVER be able to sew as well as the girls in my class. Things have changed!! Favorite memory learning to “unsew” after my upteenth mistake.

    Reply
  138. Laurie

    We had a half year of home ex and a half year of shop. I remember sewing on paper first. By then end of class, I had made a pair of gauchos, a split skirt for those who aren’t that old. Even though they weren’t the best made. I wore them

    Reply
  139. Margaret

    I still remember Mrs. Dyson, she was my Home Ec. teacher in my four years of Home Ec. She inspired my love of homemaking and sewing. She even taught us to knit. We lost so much when Home Ec. was removed from schools.

    Reply
  140. Jean

    My high school home economics class gave me a sense of independence. While my mother was my first teacher; my home economics class opened the creative door wider. I remember being thrilled to learn that you could do more than cook a hot dog in a microwave oven, and that everyone made mistakes when they sewed. I loved it.

    Reply
  141. Gail

    My very first sewing experience in a class was making an apron in class. Haven’t stopped sewing since.

    Reply
  142. Sally Bauer

    I never had classes in Home Economics – our school didn’t have it. I did envy friends in the neighborhood who did though. I first learned sewing at a Singer Sewing Machine store in the summer of 4th grade. Your book reminds me of my Mother’s love of dresses. She wore dresses daily.

    Reply
  143. Mary Ann

    My teacher taught me to use a hemming technic that is so much neater than the hemming I was used to doing. I use it on everything,including my quilts.

    Reply
  144. Mary Ann

    One of my favorite memories in home ec was my first sewing project…a robe made from green terry cloth! By the time I finished, it resembled a green shaggy dog instead of a robe from using the seam ripper!!! But, that experience has made me love sewing ever since….I never sewed terry cloth again, however!!!

    Reply
  145. Heather Hickman-Davis

    My favorite memory of Home Economics is when my home ec teacher (who was wonderful) remarked that my knife pleats were the most professional she had ever seen in a high school home ec class.

    Reply
  146. Cathy

    I remember making a pink stripe patchwork pillow–the first of making many pillows in my life! I also have fond memories of making “nutritional” meals that we ate before lunch and could therefore avoid cafeteria food for the day. Thanks for a great giveaway chance!

    Reply
  147. marie hannagan

    I remember Home Economics well. Have been sewing all my life. I cringe when I see how people dress today. I feel if you look good, you feel good. I still dress every day even though I am retired and may not leave the house. Would love to read this book.

    Another lost art is manners.

    Reply
  148. Anastasia

    Wurzburg Germany Highschool- Finals We had to pick an outfit.
    Model it front of the school at an assembly we would have a segment where home-ec class would be introduced………..
    I did a tennis outfit Vogue Pattern…….
    Could not believe how many pieces were in that pattern……
    Day of show outfit incomplete…………
    But by gosh thse sshow must go on………
    I modeled mine and prayed the whole time it would not fall apart……./
    The other girls made prom dresses…….
    To this day that incomplete tennis outfit is by far my favorite…….
    Lesson learned: I do not step away from sewing machine with incomplete projects……

    Reply
  149. Juanita Vega DeJoseph

    To this day what I remember most clearly was the fabric of the bolero style jacket I made. Looking back it was the wrong fabric for the job, lol! A dark purple and black wool fabric. I know for sure I did not wear it. I remember it being too stiff but I got a B on the project! Wow, the things we remember so long ago!

    Reply
  150. Bethany Vangrin

    I was luck enough to have a mother who was a Home Economics teacher and taught me everything see knew about sewing, cooking and especially baking. As a child, my Mother created every Halloween costume, many outfits and formal dresses for Christmas and Easter. One of my favorite memories as a child was visiting fabric stores to touch and feel the many bolts of fabrics and flip through the pattern books. One year in particular, my Mom created a beautiful black velvet and checkered dress for a music concert in elementary school. I was the envy of many, including my teacher!

    Reply
  151. Kathy Anderson

    I was a hopeless seamstress. Our first project was making pajamas. I sewed the sleeve of my top to the hem!!! My Home Ec teacher was a patient woman! She did suggest that cooking (I made a delicious peanut brittle) was my stronger skill!!! I did manage to make a wrap around skirt and a maxi skirt that semester. I continue to sew today but mostly pillows, curtains, things for my home.

    Reply
  152. Debbie

    I LOVED my Home Economics classes. Started taking them
    in 7th grade and continued through college. There are to many good memories to pick just one! Sewing was and is my favorite thing to do. I am lucky enough to be able to teach willing students how to sew.

    Reply
  153. Joan Lamoureux

    Economics class for me was so structured, whether it be cooking or sewing. I remember it took all semester to make a “white” apron. I also remember one cooking class, it was tapioca pudding and mine burnt! Oh well!
    My mother was a sewer. She made all our clothes for my sister and me (I am an identical twin). She had to make two of everything! She even made her own patterns and winter coats with full linings. I guess I’m taking after her. My mother was a perfectionist with her work and she taught me that way! That was a disadvantage for me, too strict. I’m learning to relax more and enjoy sewing more.

    Reply
  154. Shelia Hofmeister

    My Aunt Joyce was my home ec teacher. She was my first seamstress, making me a dress when i was one. She also made a coat and hat to match. I still have the dress and only pictures of the coat and hat. She was exacting and the inside of garments were to be as neat as the outside.

    Reply
  155. Paula Head

    I refused to take home ec in high school, feeling it was too sexist at the time. I had been sewing since the age of 12 and wasn’t interested in the other aspects of the class.

    Reply
  156. Laurene

    1960 – Our Economics Class Fashion Show – where we modeled our newly constructed garments. I made a button down, aqua blouse with an aqua print, full and pleated skirt (with a zipper). I also used some of the print to make a Peter Pan collar for the blouse, making the 2 pieces look like a real “outfit.” I was so thrilled that I could now use my babysitting money to buy fabric and make my own clothes, which was a lot more affordable than buying them. At that time, clothing could only be purchased at fashionable “Department Stores” as discount stores had yet to be invented.

    Reply
  157. Cristina Salmon

    I remember we had to make an outfit for a fashion show. I was photographed for the local newspaper. That was very encouraging to keep sewing .

    Reply
  158. Lynne

    Amen!

    Reply
  159. lmk

    I actually am a Home Economics (Family and Consumer Science) teacher and know from personal experience how incredibly valuable the topics I teach are to students – both for their lives now and in the future.

    Reply
  160. MJ Moore

    I was actually homeschooled through high school, and we didn’t have a separate home economics class. Instead I grew up with my mom sewing, cooking and baking all the time, and I learned with her as she taught herself spinning, knitting, and crocheting. I’ll never forget the day the fleece of wool arrived- she had ordered it through a catalog. She spread out a sheet on the floor, and dumped out a freshly shorn, unwashed fleece, full of plant and other biological matter! We divided that fleece and washed it in sections, learned the proper method for processing the now white and fluffy locks, and eventually spun it into yarn. We had so much fun, we went on to join a local guild, and demonstrated some of these techniques in schools and museums. I loved the connection I felt to the people of the past who lived this way, and the connections I made with others with similar interests. Truly an enriching experience!

    Reply
  161. Keri

    I took 5 years of Home Ec in total. We learned everything from home management and budgeting to the best way to clean cookware.The very best part was learning how to actually fit a pattern to me. I even won a prize in the wool contest with my dress one year.

    Reply
  162. Angela B

    I can’t really remember too much about Home Economics class. My love of sewing and all things home related can definitely be contributed to my Mom!
    She was and is a wonderful example to me!

    Reply
  163. Anne in NC

    I never took a Home Economics course — I’m not sure they even offered it in my high school. When I was 10 and 11 I took summer sewing classes at a Singer store in the mall. I guess it was a week or two long and we had a fashion show at the end.

    I still sew sometimes, but I could really use some guidance — like this book! Thanks for the generous giveaway!

    Reply
  164. Eileen Holmes

    I am honored and so very grateful to say that I am a family & consumer TEACHER. I teach textiles and clothing construction and my students love what they do. At the end of the course we put on a fabulous fashion show; it’s so much fun to see these young women and men get all dressed up and coordinated for their moment in the spotlight. But their skills last them a lifetime and they have learned the importance of dress.

    Reply
  165. Charity

    My high school home ec class consisted of my mother teaching me everything she knows. 🙂 My favorite times were when she got stuck on fitting, and we would take a dress over to our friend Mrs. Peggy for some expert advice. Mrs. Peggy is a lady of impeccable style and legendary sewing skills, and she was always able to fix things that baffled us.

    Reply
  166. Lisa Jowise

    My favorite experience in Home Ec class was learning to make a pleated kilt style skirt in plaid cotton. We also made A-Line skirts with no waist band and ribbon facing at the waist. Too bad we didn’t have the fabrics back then (sixties) that we have now. I love couture sewing techniques although I make more quilts than garments. I love that properly tailored garments can make you look like you have a better figure than you actually do!

    Reply
  167. Linda Grote

    I can even remember the classroom with the little kitchen. We first made an apron with a plastic ring for the waistband. I had forgotten where I happily started so long ago.

    Reply
  168. Emileigh

    Sadly, I’m a 90s kid and home ec wasn’t taught at all by the time I got around to school. However, in the old books I read all the girls sewed, so I figured it would be a handy thing to learn. I would sewing “samplers” (very sad ones, haha) and attempt to make clothing by tracing my sister on cloth as a kid. Luckily, I’ve learned and now I can actually sew wearable clothing! I would reference this book a lot!

    Reply
  169. Marjorie Werkowski

    My favorite memory was sewing on a treadle machine. My mother had already taught me to sew, and of course in a completely different manner. I did learn to iron my patterns but I refuse to cut them out along the cutting line before pinning. Sorry Miss B.!

    Reply
  170. Mary Ellen

    Where I went to school, there was no home economics class, and I was jealous of all my friends who got to take sewing in school. My mom taught me to sew instead, and my favorite memory was going shopping with her to pick out the pattern and fabric. Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

    Reply
  171. Vwren

    My favorite experience was getting to learn huck weaving as a “bonus”. Because of a conflict with band, my 7th grade home ec class only had two students, so we got to try all kinds of extra things once we finished our obligatory apron. (47 years later, I still have both the “finished” apron AND the ufo huck weaving dishtowel , lol)

    Reply
  172. Katina Chapman

    I must admit that I love dressing up. Downton Abbey is were I should be. My English birth and grandmother and being given a middle name after a Queen has made me a girly girl. Yet, my Ukrainian father gave me a love of outdoors. If I could, I would chose to wear a dress and a big hat every day. My quilting takes me to embroidery, hand work, but it enjoy my sewing machine too. What fun I could have if I am a winner of your give away.

    Reply
  173. Amy Caldwell

    I only had one semester of Home Economics in school, because we had to rotate to another extra curriculum. But for the short time I was in there, The bonding and working together was my favorite part.

    Reply
  174. Janet Frank

    My favorite experience from Home Ec. are really 2 experiences….one was making a reversible poncho and 2 pencil skirts to match & learning how to make potato soup. The poncho & skirts are long, long gone, but, I have been using the soup recipe ( with some modifications) for over 50 yrs! I’d love these books! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Reply
  175. Debra Bopp

    We had a segment where we learned basic crochet, embroidery, and knitting stitches. I’ve used this information and expanded it my whole life!

    Reply
  176. Audrey Hollatz

    I LOVED Home Ec classes! I used to say that I “majored” n Home Economics in high school. My favorite classes were about sewing, homemaking, and personal hygiene. I think it dreadfully sad and irresponsible that Home Economics/FACS is not required in school any more. Nutrition, budgeting, childcare, are as ESSENTIAL as the “Three R’s”. I am SO encouraged to see the renewed interest in domestic arts, as well as turning women’s hearts towards homemaking as a valuable career.

    I LOVE your very special book, “Vintage Notions” and would also LOVE to read this very interesting book!

    Blessings,
    Audrey

    Reply
  177. Jackie

    Unfortunately Home Economics had already been cut from the curriculum by the time I got to middle/high school. My grandmothers taught me what they could and I’ve tried to just muddle through with the rest. I love to sew and still fondly recall my first skirt I made the summer of 9th grade in electric blue. “Vintage Notions” is on my birthday list and “The Lost Art of Dress” looks like a fascinating companion to it. Either one would be a pleasure to have but both would be the icing on the cake!

    Reply
  178. Fran

    I had a wonderful Home Ec. teacher. She was patient and kind and instilled in me a love of learning. I can still see my fellow students and me making our first project…an apron. We were all so proud of ourselves.

    Reply
  179. Debbie chrisftin

    My favorite experience I home economics was sewing. We made culotte shorts and an apron. I still have the apron!

    Reply
  180. Debbie chrisftin

    Looking at family pictures from the 50’s back is so nice to look at as all seemed to care about appearance!

    Reply
  181. Ginger

    Unfortunately by the time I took Home Economics sewing was not taught. Thank goodness my Aunt taught me. The only thing we learned in HE was how to make rice krispy treats (which I already knew).

    Reply
  182. diana

    would love to read this!

    Reply

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