Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Steps in Clothing Skills

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I went to North Park to have dinner with another couple. We got there a little early and my husband, much to his regret, pointed out that there was what looked like a thrift/antique store across the street. This led to his sitting gingerly on a rickety chair under a taxidermied deer head for half an hour while I browsed the collections of furniture, knick-knacks, and dustballs. It was all worth it, though, when I emerged triumphant with possibly the most hilarious home-ec book ever: Steps in Clothing Skills, by Lucille Dunn, Annetta Bailey, and Wanda Vansickle, copyright 1970. As I've been reading through this textbook, I have seriously been laughing out loud at some of the things it says. I'm not sure what age this book is intended for (middle school?), but the advice ranges from actually kind of useful (I learned some things from the sewing section) to obvious (you really need to be told to use shampoo to clean your hair?) to laughable. Check out this intriguing table of contents:

Let's look at the first section: "Personality -- Plus!" A lot of it is grooming tips.

Poor maligned Diana.
Yes, that's exactly what I will do. Cut up perfectly good soap with a pirate knife in order to make inferior shampoo.
I actually should practice this. I fidget way too much when I sit.
A bumpy 'sump'n'?! Seriously, who writes like that? But I do love how straightforward this is: "I need to start regular bathing today."

The next few pictures about posture and carriage cracked me up. If I were a student reading this, I don't know if I'd be able to take it seriously.
Yes, I will practice walking with this ridiculous textbook on top of my head.
"When you smile, you help make others feel happy." Or creeped out, depending on which smile you use.
That girl is standing remarkably calmly for having a giant fish so close to her.

They do have some useful tips about behavior and conduct, though. Some of my students could stand to learn a few things.
I wish my students would throw away their lazy ways.

I wonder what the illustrator thought when he/she got assigned to draw several pictures of different dogs on the phone. Click on the picture to see it in all its glorious detail.

And that's just the first chapter! But really, there are actually some useful things in here about various fabric types, how to properly press your clothing, and getting started sewing. They even have directions for making basics like tote bags and skirts. And best of all, these campy drawings to accompany all of it! I'll be posting more hilarity in the upcoming weeks in between sewing projects.

1 comment:

  1. I love books that are unintentionally funny, this is absolutely hilarious! If I ever see a copy of this book I will buy it (and put it on top of my head and practice walking like a girl and not a duck.)


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