Do you ever wonder where your vintage belongings come from? I do. Last night I was pondering my favorite vintage patternmaking book, and wondering who it belonged to before me. It was then that I noticed--for the first time--that there is a name, address, and phone number inscribed in the endpapers of my 1971 copy of Design Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis.
And I was shocked that I recognized the name. My very own copy of the book previously belonged to Margaret E. Islander. Sound familiar? She was the founder of Islander Sewing Systems, which continues today. I've redacted her street address and phone number for etiquette's sake, but here is her lovely handwriting:
And indeed, my research shows that her Islander School of Fashion Arts was founded in Grants Pass, Orgeon. The Islander Sewing System is all about incorporating industrial methods into your home sewing (no pins!) just like we discussed in Jonathan's guest post a couple week's ago.
I feel quite honored that Margaret's copy of this book ended up with me. It was purely by chance, as I ordered the copy from a used book website, by the merit that it had the lowest price of any available copy. I've read it front to back several times and it's taught me more than any other book on pattern design. I'm not sure if Margaret loved it like I do, but I am grateful to have something of hers. From what I can tell, she passed away last year.
There is something very special about the sharing of knowledge from one generation to another in sewing. My teacher James recommended this very book to me, and he was a huge influence in my sewing career. It's a good reminder that I am still quite a young idiot when it comes to sewing, but that I have a responsibility to learn what I can well and share it. Many thanks to the likes to Margaret, Adele, and James!
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