Cover of vintage pattern drafting workbook

My amazing intern, Annabrings fascinating things to show me each time she arrives to the studio. The other day she brought along the most beautiful collection of vintage pattern drafting workbooks that she acquired online. They are exercise books created by a woman who attended a drafting school in Italy in the 1950's. The pages are as delicate as brittle leaves and the care that went into making them is just admirable.I wanted to share a few pages, because they are just gorgeous.

I felt about these books the same way I do when I find a well crafted vintage garment. So much care and time went into each detail, in such a way that time was as afterthought and the outcome of the product was of utmost importance. Each draft in these books is meticulously detailed in quarter scale, and then recreated in a delicate tissue and "constructed" with each design element intact. You'll see that she's drawn in each topstitch, and created tissue corsage's and bows, and folded delicate pleats in tissue.

The daughter of the woman who created these books hoped to pass it on to someone that would cherish it and put it to good use. It's in good hands with Anna, and I thought we could all enjoy a few pages...


Detail shot of aged corner of pattern drafting workbook

Diploma certificate

Detail images from vintage workbook of dress illustrations and a hand drawn ruler

Vintage dress draft

Vintage drafting corsage detail

mini tissue bra draft from vintage workbook

mini tissue drafts of collars from vintage workbook

Mini dress draft from vintage workbook

Tissue muslin of vintage dress draft

Vintage tank top draft

Mini dress draft from vintage drafting workbook

tissue dress draft from vintage drafting book

Vintage apron draft

Vintage shorts draft

bow tissue detail from vintage dress draft

Vintage coat draft

Tissue bra's from darting workbook

Tissue garter belt from vintage drafting book

Detail of tissue slip from vintage drafting workbook

Detail from slip draft from vintage drafting workbook

Tissue baby doll dress from vintage drafting workbook

Comments (12)

  1. Gail:
    Jun 04, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    What an incredible piece! A true treasure!


  2. Ginger:
    Jun 04, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Wow! These are so amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!


  3. Femke Beernaert:
    Jun 04, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    A lot of love went into making those! Makes me want to start doing tissue versions of my patterns. I already did them on scale when I studied pattern drafting, but these tissue versions are really interesting too.


    1. kristiann:
      Jun 05, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      No kidding, so much care put into each one. I wish I had the patience, I'm tempted to try


  4. Alessa Tschaftary:
    Jun 09, 2012 at 04:50 AM

    Oh wow, they look incredible. I love how she made mini versions of the garments in transparent paper, including all the little pleats and ribbons! :)


    1. kristiann:
      Jun 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM

      I know, the little pleats, ribbons and hand drawn lace details are my favourite. She put so much love into it!


  5. jennifer orsini:
    Jun 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Gorgeous! It makes me realize how 'boring' so much of our current apparel can be--just a few uninspired seamlines and that's it. Your patterns certainly add some variety with wonderful seaming. Can we hope to see something inspired by this book in a future pattern?


    1. kristiann:
      Jun 24, 2012 at 01:09 PM

      Thank you! It's always inspiring to see the techniques and details used in vintage patterns and garments. The new patterns that I'm currently working on were designed before this book came along, but I'm very interested in details from those years, and have been looking at old photos of my stylish grandma's dresses from when she was young and they have given my plenty of ideas.


  6. Drafting workbooks | Jimrunsdorf:
    Aug 03, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    [...] Show and Tell : A vintage drafting workbook – Victory PatternsDrafting. Merit Badge Workbook. This workbook can help you but you still need to read the merit badge pamphlet. The work space provided for each requirement … [...]


  7. mrsmole:
    Aug 05, 2012 at 09:34 AM

    Amazing concepts demonstrated in colored tissue paper! How much more interesting and creative to learn pattern drafting this way and to keep them in a book...OH MY! Thank you for sharing this fabulous slice of history!


  8. robyn:
    Oct 02, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Kristiann Boos, I'm so glad i asked for your business card at the Art of Fashion show. After we spoke i was so excited to see what your blog and business was all about. You have such a great voice, a polished website and inspiring posts. thank you i will be following this and recommend it to others.


  9. Kristiann Boos:
    Nov 27, 2012 at 06:01 AM

    Hi Robyn, it was so nice to meet you too! Everyone had such incredible work at that show, I hope you had an amazing time! Thanks for dropping by the site and checking it out. Thanks for the support and kind words!


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