04 November, 2010

My Creative Space :: Discovering Enid Gilchrist

Quite by accident I have discovered the late Enid Gilchrist - who, quoting wikipedia; was an Australian fashion designer, who became well-known for her numerous self-drafting sewing pattern books which were very popular in the 1950s to 1970s.

 Judging by the three sewing pattern books I discovered last week in a quick-dash op-shopping jaunt, I can see why Enid was so popular. The books are packed full of clear pattern drawings, clear instructions and full of the kind of vintage-style designs I am very drawn to.

Even if I hadn't caught the sewing bug (which I have!), I would have bought this set just for the delightful vintage illustrations and design. Perhaps I would have also bought them simply because they were packaged in a vintage plastic wrapper from a "Ladies Brushed Nylon Nightgown. Long".

So far I haven't actually made anything from the books, but I am oh-so-keen to give them a try - just as soon as I finish a few projects still waiting for my attention in the sewing nook.
I hope you don't mind the excessive number of pictures in this post, but the vintage illustrations and photos are just so good I wanted to share some with you...

A certain Miss of mine would love it if I made one (or 5) of these!

Just. Adorable.

While not inclined to wear a pinnie myself, I reckon these patterns could be used for dresses too...
There were even some pattern pieces left inside from the previous owner...
LOVE this one!

Even the advertisements inside, and on the back covers make me smile. Look at that Home Maker Book font - how full of 70s' goodness is that?
And, because I suspect there might be a few of you out there have long ago discovered Enid, I wonder if I can put out a request to you?

I would love to get my hands on a couple of the Enid Gilchrist pattern books specifically for babies/toddlers/pre-schoolers so I can sew up a storm for the two little bug-a-lugs.

Like these two  titles, for example. If anyone has a copy they'd be willing to part with, or even lend me, I'd be so grateful - and happily pay you for it too! Email me if you can help out.

Ok, that's about all from me today - forget what I said the other day about it being summer up here... Today is cold and rainy, perfect sewing weather, except a little standing-up baby is tugging at me right now and I don't think she will be impressed if I move from the computer straight to the sewing machine! Maybe tonight...


p.s more fabulous creative spaces over at http://www.kootoyoo.com/


  1. What an awesome find! I have just this second returned home from my own op shop win...two ancient sewing/knitting/crocheting encyclopedias! But I'm a bit jealous of your find. If you do find out where to source those books, let me know!

  2. How totally adorable..LOVE the pant suit too and oh my who can pass up a tutu or 5 :)

  3. Mmm. I'll have to keep a lookout at the oppy next month for her. Thanks for the intro. Cherrie

  4. I wonder if you wouldn't find some of these pattern books on ebay if you looked every now and then? I'm afraid I have a stack of vintage knitting pattern books, but nothing like this. They do look very 70's and fun. Good luck!

  5. What a great find. Just this little sneak peek you've given us makes me a bit jealous. You're going to have so much fun!! x

  6. I love those kids' costumes. I'm sure I remember a few of those...

  7. Email the admin here

    Maybe they can help you! I follow Traceys other blog and have seen her refer to Enid numerous times.

  8. Oh fun fun! So many nice things to make - can't wait to see some - will have to go in search of some of those golden oldies myself!!

  9. Megan I have two copies of "Kindergarten Set" so send me your address and I'll post it your way. I have a copy of the Baby Book too but not the same edition pictured in your post - is there any garment in particular your interested in from this text?

    I love Enid Gilchrist so much and have actually started researching her life. Definitely check out the enid inpsired blog - lots of cool stuff there and if you do make something be sure to post it.

    Happy drafting :)

  10. Gees, you people are awesome - thanks for the links and Sally, I've just emailed you! Excited, muchly!!!


  11. I love Enid :) I rang Neil Gilchrist and he told me his mum had written a autobiography it's never been published. I'd love to read it. I've neglected the Enid blog lately the last pregnancy sapped a lot out of me. I finally got back into some Enid sewing yesterday. There's a group blog too just send me your email and I'll send you an invite.