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International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society

ISMACS' Sewing Machine Book List

EDUCATIONAL AND SEWING TECHNIQUES
The Butterick sewing machine handbook, book cover.

The Butterick Sewing Machine Handbook

Author:

Gretel Courtney

Publisher:

Butterick Publishing, N.Y.

Format:

Paperback

Date:

1977

Pages:

188

“An illustrated consumer’s guide to buying, using and caring for any sewing machine”. A general introduction; a bit of history, a bit of maintenance advice and a lot on how to sew with machines and those attachments. Basic.

How to teach sewing machine care. book cover.

How to teach Sewing Machine Use and Care

Publisher:

U.S. Department of Agriculture Federal Extension Service PA-701

Format:

10” x 8”, paperback, B&W illustrations

Date:

January 1966

Pages:

50

A clear, adult-education publication to help teach the basics of machine operating and sewing. Thorough instruction on the simpler aspects of machine maintenance – cleaning, oiling, tension etc, with threading diagrams for a variety of machines (but the illustrations are mostly Singer’s).

Machine Sewing, a Treatise on the Care and Use of Family Sewing Machines and Their Attachments

Publisher:

Singer Sewing Machine Co. Form 1876

Format:

8 ½” x 5 ½”. Hardcover. B&W.

Date:

1923 to 1955+ (updated almost annually; at least, in the early years)

Pages:

170 (1938 edition)

“Specially prepared for teachers of Home Economics.” The date of publication will govern the range of machines covered by this book. Considered to be THE manual for attachments and it commands ludicrous prices, yet a lot of the information is available elsewhere; like in most machines’ instruction books. True, a few chapters contain slightly expanded instructions and a list of all the available fashion aids for completists, but …. $200??

A Manual of Family Sewing Machines (and their Attachments)

Publisher:

The Singer Company (U.K.) Ltd., Educational Dept.

Format:

8” x 6”, paperback

Date:

1947. Form 1000 ad. 18 (547)

Pages:

64

Specially prepared for students in schools and colleges”. Unsure which Singer machine students might be using, the company produced this comprehensive booklet to cover the operation of most of their current domestic range - necessarily changing it many times over seventy-or-so years. A lot of the information is in the respective manuals but the instructions – especially for the many attachments - seem a tad more thorough (includes buttonholer and zigzag cams etc.). Bobbin winding, threading, adjusting and all the basics you need to sew with a variety of Singers. Models covered in this edition: 15K/15K80/28K/ 66K/99K/127K/128K/201K.

A Manual of Family Sewing Machines (and their Attachments)

Publisher:

The Singer Sewing Machine Company, Ltd., Educational Dept.

Format:

8” x 6”, paperback

Date:

1950. Form 1000 ad. 18 (150)

Pages:

64

The publication date is reflected in the models covered: 15K/15K26/28K/ 66K/99K/127K/128K/201K

A Manual of Domestic Sewing Machines (and Attachments)

Publisher:

The Singer Company (U.K.) Ltd.

Format:

8” x 6”, paperback, B&W

Date:

1963. Form 1000 ad. 18 (1/63)

Pages:

96

See above. Models covered in this edition:
15K80/15K110/ 66K/99K//185K/201K/250M/
327K/328/329/353/354B/400K/400K with replaceable discs/500K/600G.

Sewing Machines (Mastering the Miracle of the S.M.)

Author:

Angela Thompson

Publisher:

W.I. Books Ltd. (U.K.)

Format:

10½”x 8”, paperback, colour & B&W illustrations

Date:

1980

Pages:

60 approx. (unnumbered)

“A W.I. Home Skills guide to sewing machines, how to use them and care for them.” As might be expected from the Women’s Institute, it’s a clear, no-nonsense and comprehensive guide to the modern machine and sewing with it. All the expected attachments are covered, with plenty of on bolt-ons: buttonholers, etc. How it works, why it works and why it doesn’t. And refreshingly, for once, it’s not yet another rehash of Singer’s instructions (which came in the manuals anyway). The reader is expected to know the basics of dressmaking.

Sewing Skills, reference book

Publisher:

Singer Sewing Machine Company

Format:

11” x 8½”, paperback, B&W, spot colour

Date:

1955

Pages:

56

Dressmaking on a machine with an emphasis on those attachments. A basic tutor with useful instructions for most machine add-ons, embroidery stitching with a hoop, hemming, inserting zips, etc.

Short Cuts to Home Sewing (The Modern Singer Way)

Publisher:

The Singer Sewing Machine Co. Ltd.

Date:

1917

Pages:

48

Besides an introduction (“How easy it is to make one’s own clothes”) by Mary Brooks Patten, author of the epic Singer Sewing Book, most of the text seems to be reprinted straight from a Class 66 (‘Red eye’) instruction manual. The usual Singer advice on care and simple maintenance, with generic instructions for the attachments (side mounting).

Student’s Manual of Machine Sewing

Publisher:

Singer Sewing Machine Company, Educational Dept, Broadway, N.Y.

Format:

8½” x 5½”, paperback, B&W.

Date:

1915 to 1954 (22 editions) and possibly later. Form 1689 – Revised (954)

Pages:

70

Essentially the same information as in “A Manual of Domestic Sewing Machines (and Attachments)” above; I’m guessing the “Student’s Manual …” is the American version and a companion volume to the teacher’s “Machine Sewing – A Treatise… etc.”. Features photographs of all the contemporary parlour cabinets (but for students?) Models covered in this edition: 15-30 to 15-98/66/99/127/201/221/301.