What first got me excited about Sew Retro was the story of sewing and the great pieces of sewing nostalgia pictured throughout the book. From the Sewing Susan needlebook pictured right inside the first few pages,
to the countless little illustrations from vintage sewing books, vintage patterns, and the advertisements for the Singer Slant-o-matic sewing machine, I recognized much of the sewing ephemera and tools that I have in my very own collection. And when writing about sewing history, the author follows the thread of women's stitching through the decades, tracing domestic sewing from the birth of the home machine to modern times.
The book is full of retro sewing eye candy! Even the facts look good, like the timeline of sewing history across the bottom of some of the pages to give the reader a clear idea of what radical changes were taking place through decades.
25 vintage-inspired sewing projects are nested within the nostalgic pictures and history, grouped together and influenced by major time periods. Victorian inspired projects include everything a girl needs to start sewing; a super cute Sweet Sewing Basket, Charming Needlecase and a brightly colored Victorian Pincushion. Other projects include a 1920's fashion inspired Flapper Apron, a 1940's Tea Party Tablecloth and a very swank 1960's Mod Gathered Pillow.
As someone who has collected lots of antique and vintage sewing stuff and studied the history of sewing, this is a book that I could have written myself - except I'm not much good at words (which is why I mostly stick to the sewing). This book is great for beginners and established stitchers alike, not only because the projects cover a wide range of skills but because everyone can learn a thing or two from the women who sewed before us!