Winding Down, Moving Homes

Hi, everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment to report on preparations going on here in the library. There’s a lot going on here in the Periodicals universe. And in the FIT universe. I have also been working on a ton of new articles, but I keep getting interrupted by events here. So:

The Periodicals and Electronic Resources Department, currently on the 6th floor of the Gladys Marcus Library, will be moving to the 4th floor of the library this coming summer. We hope that a new space will provide brighter and easier access to our collections, and make available some great new workspaces on the 6th floor.

The bad news is, in order to make this happen, the PERS department will be closed from May 30 until August 20. This also means that the Periodicalistas will be moving offices so we can be near our regular work with the collection. We’ll post more contact details once we have them worked out. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this might pose to you or your students.

I’ve been working on a review of the Red Carpet from the Met Gala last week, and that will be up shortly, complete with my Red Carpet Bingo card choices and a bunch of links to other reviews and commentary.




I’ve also been working hard on a Magazine of the Week for both this week and last. Since this title, Vogue Patterns, is related to our popular Needles in the Stacks series, I wanted to do some meaty research on the review. That should be out tomorrow or the next day.






I put up some of my pics of FIT Fashion Design students’ work from Choosing Day, just in time for the actual Future of Fashion Show last night. You can still watch it (or watch it again) if you like.

And I’ve continued my work on the promised articles on new lingerie designers and some rethought lingerie styles. There’s just so many wonderful things going on here that it’s hard to keep up.¬† But watch this space!




The sweaters and sportswear on the left are by FIT Fashion Design students. The babydoll nightie on the right is from Nubian Skin, a company I will be talking about in my next Word-Worthy Women post in a week or two.

On top of all that, we continue to subscribe to cool new titles to inspire and inform your design choices. Stop up and take a look (before June 1)!




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FIT: Future of Fashion

On April 25, I posted about the brief open house where students and members of the public alike can look at the final projects of the 2017 graduating class of Fashion Design students. I went over there to take a look, and I wanted to share the pictures I took. Tonight FIT streams the final, edited Future of Fashion 2017 show at 7:00pm, east coast time.

For those of you reading who are not in the FIT world daily, students at FIT go through a base curriculum that lasts one year (intensive) or two years, and provides the base for a range of related programs. In their second year, students can apply for Upper Division, which offers more in depth courses and a bachelor degree upon completion.



Students choose from an art specialization, or¬†Children’s Wear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Special Occasion, Sportswear tracks within the overall apparel specialization.












Choosing Day, when I took these pictures, is the only time that the public and other students and faculty get to see the projects these students have worked on. It’s a treat to see the different ways students’ minds work.







I regret that my viewing time was rushed, so I didn’t get the names of the individual students who produced these works. Please feel free to identify and tag your work in the comments.







I loved the felted texture of the sweater on the right and the creativity of using plastic spoons to create the flowers below.







FIT Fashion Design students finish out another stellar year! Congratulations to all!



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Magazine of the Week

Hi, everyone! The magazine of the last two weeks (sorry about that!) is:

This week’s (and last week’s) magazine of the week is Vogue Patterns. This is something we have subscribed to for quite a long time.

Both the title and its parent companies have changed several times, and it’s difficult to figure out which was when. The earliest title we have is Vogue Pattern Book, which we have going back into the 1930s. Our holdings are sporadic until the 1940s, and from then on our run is complete with only small gaps. These are in Special Collections & College Archives (SPARC).


With the Dec 1968/Jan 1969 issue the title changed to Vogue Pattern Book International. These are in the Periodicals and Electronic Resource Services area, soon to be on the 4th floor. The title changed to the current Vogue Patterns beginning with theJune/July 1972 issue.






American Vogue magazine published a pattern with each issue from early in its history. These developed into a home sewing patterns department by 1899. When Conde Nast bought the magazine in 1909, the number of patterns sold had reached item #334. The Vogue Pattern Company was set up in 1914* and by 1916 the patterns were being sold in department stores. Nast promoted Vogue Patterns ernestly, aiming them “not merely to women of great wealth, but fundamentally, to women of taste.”





In 1961, Vogue’s parent company, Conde Nast, sold both Vogue Magazine publication and the pattern company to Butterick Publications company, which licenses the Vogue name. As the home sewing market shrank in the late-twentieth century, the company was sold several times, and reorganized into the Butterick Fashion Marketing Company. In 2001, McCall Pattern Company, a less-expensive competitor, bought the Butterick and Vogue Pattern divisions and the Vogue Patterns magazine.





The company has changed it’s pattern lines repeatedly to keep in touch with the sewing market. The patterns to the right show relationships built with contemporary designers. Other partnerships include pattern lines with sewing mavens such as Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch or blogger Gertie Hirsch. The magazine itself has changed to keep up with trends in home sewing interest as well. I love this image advertising fresh spring prints from an NYC fabric company (Feb/March 1969 issue).






In more recent years, the title has responded to competition from both sewing blogs and other DIY sites and picked up it’s How-To game somewhat. While it has always included instructional details to help the reader refine his or her work, the current issue combines excellent photography and sharp writing to present such instruction especially well.







I love that this is showing fitting using the paper pattern instead of with a muslin. Because I’m always sewing in a hurry, I rarely take time for the muslin step, and this is a helpful layout.







Another interesting detail I came across is this lovely image featuring Beverly Johnson, who was the first African-American model to ever get a Vogue magazine cover. That cover was in 1974. Here, Johnson models a Calvin Klein dress in the July/August 1977 issue of Vogue Patterns.







Joy Emery of the Rhode Island School of Design recently wrote a history of sewing pattern companies which we have.

The PERS department will be closing May 30th, but please come see us in our new home on the 4th floor in the fall!

*Conde Nast bought Vogue Magazine in 1909. Interestingly, he had begun the Home Pattern Company, whose patterns were distributed by the Ladies’ Home Journal (a popular middle class magazine at the time) as early as 1905, so he was obviously interested in the commercial patterns industry.

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