Monday, 29 October 2012

Haslam System of Dresscutting: Two Books of Draftings

These two treasures are my recent covetous eBay win. As much as I am meant to be saving for Christmas buys, these come up so rarely I just couldn't hold back. There were a good twenty plus books listed as separate lots, something for which I am very grateful, and I allowed myself two. I bid on a few of them, but these were the two I came away with: books number 9 and 21. Though they have no dates they will most likely be late '40s.

If you haven't come across the Haslam systems before, it was designed as a three part drafting system, requiring a chart of your measurements, a special drafting curve/template, and a set of draftings like these. Having finally got to see the draftings for myself, however, you could easily draft these pattern up without the chart or the template, as they are very thorough with the measurements on the diagrams. The original curve templates do come up on eBay occasionally, though they can be hard to find amongst listings as people so rarely know what they are if they are found out of context. Alternatively, I came across this blog post, where you can download a PDF version to print at home! I love the generosity of the blogging community.

Book number 9 is for "Lingerie: with blouses, skirts, overalls and maternity wear".

There are several dressing gowns and house robes



And lots of lingerie, including slips, bras and different styles of knickers.

I love the pockets of this skirt, and the blouse is a classic 1940s style:

There are also some maternity styles including dresses and smock tops. This lovely swing jacket would be beautiful for non-maternity wear too- it looks so comfy!

Book number 21 is for "Spring and Summer" wear, and has pages of full colour illustrations in addition to the black and white sketches.

The ruffled peasant dress is so feminine and sweet.

Beautiful scalloped details. I'm also in love with the simple shawl collar and clean silhouette of the pink dress below: I'll be on the hunt for some winter fabric to make this one up soon I think.

Suits and coats. My favourite is the ruffled peplum design on the pink jacket.


  1. These are all so lovely, thank you for sharing them. I agree RE: the maternity jacket. It almost looks Art Deco, but regardless, it's so stylish, maternity wear or not.

  2. I love these, thank you for sharing. I had a 40s style jacket similar to the maternity jacket back in 1979, I get quite scared when I realise so many years have gone by and I'm still into vintage ....

  3. thanks for shareing,they look great,want that pink coat(not in pink)

  4. Oh wow! The final four colored images are simply stunning. Thank you so much for sharing these images!

    Happy sewing,


  5. thank you for sharing these - designs like these would have inspired my Mums flair for dressmaking.

  6. I quick worrying about liking vintage pictures hen I realized I am vintage.