On with book week! Thanks for all the comments, and keep them coming. Dr. S and I will do a drawing later on, and I'm just sorry I don't have more than one book to give away, with so many worthy recipients!
So today's book isn't available for sale anywhere, unless you can find a copy on ebay. I found this one while rummaging the stacks of the library this summer.
Grandma has been asking me about a particular style of slip-on apron. I keep forgetting to ask her for a sketch of it (she sketches beautifully, and remind me to show you her handwriting sometime, too) so I can find her a pattern. There are so many, many apron patterns available right now, have you noticed?
Anway, when I saw this book I wondered if it might include the apron Grandma wants. So I borrowed it and then never had a chance to show Grandma.
But I'll tell you what really interests me about it, beyond Grandma's apron. Sure, it's got a wide variety of apron styles, but look at the patterns themselves; they're not a separate, full-sized, pull-out pattern page in the back of the book, the way so many books are printed now. Instead, each apron has a mini diagram from which the reader drafts her own pattern. In other words, you need to do a little work before you can start the project itself.
Here's how it's explained in the book:
How to Use a Graph Pattern
"To enlarge a pattern to true size, you will need a piece of paper as long and as wide as the number of inches represented by the graph. The paper should have perfectly square corners. If the outline is simple, as the shape of an apron, mark off and number inches along the edges of the paper just as they are on the graph. Then, to find where design lines begin and end, start at upper corner and count down and across the number of inches represented by squares on the graph pattern. Draw in straight lines with a yardstick. Draw curves by locating several points on each and joining them with a connecting line.
"For more intricate graphs, as an embroidery design, rule your paper off in one-inch squares. Then, forgetting the many squares, draw in just one square at a time, exactly what's shown in the corresponding square on the small drawing of the design you wish to use. Keep the relation of your lines to the side lines of the square the same as those in the small drawing. For instance, if the design in the small drawing crosses the top line of the little square at a point one-third of the way from the right, then it should do the same thing in your large drawing."
For some reason, I just love this. It's so industrious! From what I understand, one didn't use patternmaking paper for a project like this in the 1950's: you used newspaper in a truly economical and practical manner. I just can't understand how anyone could stand to do this with just a yardstick. Personally, I couldn't live without my see-through plastic ruler if I were making this. And perhaps some proper pattern paper on which the inches are already marked, too. Knowing me, I'd get distracted by some article in the newspaper about drilling tunnels through the Swiss Alps and forget which pattern I was drafting. Keep me away from the newsprint. (Plus, I don't like how it feels.)
So what do you think; would you follow a graph pattern like this? I'm doubtful the concept could work for something more involved than an apron, but would you have the patience to make your own pattern, or would you rather pay more for a book and have a full-sized pattern in the back? I'm genuinely curious and would love to hear your thoughts.
More books coming!