In the 20th century, home economics courses taught high school and college students how to be effective home managers. Although often mocked for the ubiquitous gelatin salads and English muffin pizzas, the focus was on nutrition and meal planning, human development and relationships, sewing, design, finance and being an informed consumer, home maintenance, and gardening.

Art of Homemaking

How to Make Housework a Meditation on Love

How to Make Housework a Meditation on Love

Dear Friends, My house is a mess and the pantry is bare. I haven't even put my clothes away since ...
Would you leave your career to chance? Of course not! The same kind of planning you use for your career should be used for your home management. Are You Leaving Your Home Management to Chance ModernRetroWoman.com Blog Image

Are You Leaving Your Home Management to Chance?

Planning is not cooking but it is management. Mother gets her day's work done because she has learned to plan ...
Starch is Our Secret Weapon

Starch is Our Secret Weapon

Starchy foods on our lips goes straight to the hips but that same starch is actually our secret weapon when ...
Ode to Shelf Paper

Ode to Shelf Paper

Am I the only one using shelf paper to line shelves and drawers nowadays? I went to three different general ...
Why I Gave Up Tide Detergent (And All of the Others, Too)

Why I Gave Up Tide Detergent (And All of the Others, Too)

I'm pretty sure I gasped quite loudly. Certainly, the lady standing near me in the laundry aisle turned and looked ...
Dual Career Homemakers

Dual Career Homemakers

Dear Friends, A huge number of our modern retro homemaking sisters (including myself) have dual careers. Contrary to popular belief ...
Donna Reed As Patron Saint of Homemakers

Donna Reed As Patron Saint of Homemakers

When you handle yourself, use your head; when you handle others, use your heart. ~ Donna Reed Dear Friends, My ...
Homekeeping Routines Are a Lifesaver on Low Physical Energy Days

Homekeeping Routines Are a Lifesaver on Low Physical Energy Days

Dear Friends, That was a long title, I know. But I'm having a "low energy" day and that is the ...
How to Eliminate the Need for Spring Cleaning

How to Eliminate the Need for Spring Cleaning

Semiannually: have household appliances checked and reconditioned where necessary. Wash mattress covers. Clean draperies. ~Housewife's Handbook, 1953 Dear Friends, The ...
A Place For Everything--Everything In It's Place

A Place For Everything–Everything In It’s Place

Order is...essential in our homes, if, instead of chaos, we want a neat, smoothly functioning home and peace of mind ...

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Create the Home You Want

What Is Your Christmas Tree Style?

What Is Your Christmas Tree Style?

Let's talk trees. Christmas trees, that is. In many ways, your Christmas tree sets the tone for your holiday decorations ...
Welcome to the Type of Home That's Right For You

Welcome to the Type of Home That’s Right For You

Sarah wins the extra credit points on the pop quiz we took the other day to determine the best type ...
The "Morning Star" house plan.

What Type of Home for Me?

I hate watching those home makeover shows. You know the ones I'm talking about: A family is surprised by a ...
You Have Taste

You Have Taste

Have you ever heard the disparaging phrase, "Her taste is all in her mouth?" It usually refers to someone who ...
I Guess I'm Not A Traditional American Kind of Gal Anymore

I Guess I’m Not A Traditional American Kind of Gal Anymore

Glam Pack member Lisa S. was kind enough to send me a copy the Ladies' Home Journal Book of Interior ...
"Mrs. Leinsdorf's Domain," McCall's Magazine, March 1964.

Is Your Homemaking Work Space Inviting? Your Own?

I had workspaces in the back of my mind when I came across the photo, above, in a McCall's Magazine ...
A Home For My Vintage Cookbook Collection

A Home For My Vintage Cookbook Collection

Sadly, my vintage cookbook collection is only about 1/4 the size it was before The Big Move. The fact of ...
The Contemporary Conventional Home in 1958

The Contemporary Conventional Home in 1958

This type of home is best exemplified by the average real estate dealer's offering in a city or suburban development ...
You Have Taste-Develop Confidence In It

You Have Taste-Develop Confidence In It

Whether you believe it or not--and whether you like it or not--you have taste. You may prefer chocolate ice cream ...
Bear Rug, Optional

Bear Rug, Optional

{The ultimate romantic getaway is right at home...}  Photo credits (all from Flickr.com):Upper left: Better Homes & Gardens, January, 1951; ...

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Elegant Living on a Budget

Is Your Desk A Junk Heap? Glamorous Whole Life Makeover ModernRetroWoman.com

Is Your Desk A Junk Heap?

What does your desk look like? Is it a catch-all for everything? Is your desk a junk heap? Continuing our ...

Theatrical Thursday: American Thrift {Vintage Film}

This rambling 1962 film is supposed to be a tribute to the money management skills of the American Woman. However, ...
You Need an Old Fashioned Money Paper Trail

You Need an Old Fashioned Money Paper Trail

Dear Friends, I have been spending the past few days trying to reconstruct our 2010 finances (husband's business and our ...
An Organized Life and Home

An Organized Life and Home

Dear Friends, In many ways, I taught myself to be a homemaker. Sure I learned some basics from my mother ...
Wise Use of Credit

Wise Use of Credit

My very first credit card was from JC Penney with a credit limit of something like $200. I was either ...

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Entertaining at Home

CHRISTMAS MUSIC

Vintage Christmas LPs for Your Holiday Party

I'll admit it.  I love Christmas music and have been known to turn it on all year round.  But I'm ...
Just Say No to Dinner in a Box

Just Say No to Dinner in a Box

For Thanksgiving dinner no one would wish to other than old-fashioned. There are no short cuts...The more each person in ...
Successful Entertaining: Cocktail Parties ~ The Solution to More Fun than Funds

Successful Entertaining: Cocktail Parties ~ The Solution to More Fun than Funds

The tone of the cocktail hour is one of gaiety and high spirits, conversation and laughter, composing a delightful bridge ...
Successful Entertaining: Smooth Entertainment Requires Planning, Planning, Planning

Successful Entertaining: Smooth Entertainment Requires Planning, Planning, Planning

Being a graceful, relaxed hostess comes naturally to some people, but to most it is achieved through experience...for either the ...
Successful Entertaining: How to be a Terrible Hostess

Successful Entertaining: How to be a Terrible Hostess

I...should talk about several things one simply must not do when inviting guests, being a guest, or when entertaining guests ...
Kikkoman TIKI party vintage advertisement

Successful Entertaining: Four Things to Remember

The successful party is one at which the results in fun and effectiveness greatly outbalance the time required to arrange ...
Successful Entertaining: Hostesses Are Born AND Made

Successful Entertaining: Hostesses Are Born AND Made

In this changing world, elegance, formality and well-staffed homes are no more our way of life than grandfather's surrey with ...
How to be a Safe and Sane Hostess

How to be a Safe and Sane Hostess

Dear Friends, Those of us in The States are getting ready to celebrate the 235th anniversary of the Declaration of ...
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Grandma’s Ice Cream Recipe

As I type this, I have ice cream ripening in my Handy Freeze electric ice cream maker.  The metal on ...
How To Have Guests--and Enjoy Them!

How To Have Guests–and Enjoy Them!

The student association at the community college where The Mister is an adjunct professor holds a flea market every month ...

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Home Cooking and Vintage Recipes

Best Instant Pot Chili con Wiener Recipe {Easy Updated Vintage Recipe}

Best Instant Pot Chili con Wiener Recipe {Easy Updated Vintage Recipe}

Dear Friends, When I was a teenager and began cooking meals for my family, I would make chili using the ...
Are you looking for a vintage Christmas Jell-O salad recipe? Perhaps with a layer of yummy cream cheese? You'll love this easy to make family favorite!

Grandma’s Cream Cheese Jell-O Salad {Vintage Family Recipe}

Dear Dr. Julie-Ann Now that my parents have FINALLY downsized and moved to a retirement community, I FINALLY get to ...
If you've only had bottled salad dressing (or the packets of dressing) from the store, you're going to love the three quick and easy vintage recipes for herb, ranch, and blue cheese dressings. The unpronounceable ingredients in bottle or packet dressings are there to extend the shelf life and make it a bit industrial tasting. These three classic salad dressings are so delicious, they don't need preservatives in them because they'll be used up long before they go bad. #HomemadeSaladDressing #EasySaladDressing ModernRetroWoman.com

Quick & Easy Vintage Salad Dressing Recipes: Herb • Ranch • Blue Cheese

Dear Dr. Julie-Ann, We love eating salads but I'm becoming concerned about all the unpronounceable ingredients in the bottles of ...
Shepherd's Pie {Planned Overs}

Shepherd’s Pie {Planned Overs}

Dear Friends, What do you think of when I ask you to think of a midcentury "meat and potatoes" meal? ...
Crazy Easy to Make Ham and Bean Soup ModernRetroWoman.com

Crazy Easy Ham and Bean Soup {Planned Overs}

Dear Friends, I am a huge fan of the Once-a-Month Cooking concept. But I don't actually do my cooking all ...
World War II Vintage Rationing Recipe Peach Upside Down Cake Vintage Recipe ModernRetroWomancom Blog Image

Peach Upside Down Cake – Vintage Rationing Recipe

Dear Friends, I mentioned the other day that people were healthier during World War II because of sugar rationing. But ...
Sloppy Devils {Updated Vintage Recipe}

Sloppy Devils {Updated Vintage Recipe}

Dear Friends, You know it has been "one of those days" when the thought of forming hamburger patties seems like ...
Creamy Wild Mushroom and Parsnip Soup

Creamy Wild Mushroom and Parsnip Soup

If you follow my Facebook Page, you know that I had my wisdom teeth taken out last month. While I ...
Chicken Lafayette Kennedy Era Recipe ModernRetroWoman.com

Chicken Lafayette {Vintage White House Recipe}

As I was rummaging through a used book store, I came across a cookbook written by Francois Rysavy, the former ...
Ham Chicken Bake Vintage Recipe ModernRetroWoman.com

Luscious Ham-Chicken Bake {Vintage Recipe}

This Better Homes & Gardens Prize Tested Recipe, from the May, 1955, issue, comes to us courtesy of Mrs. Francis ...

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Sewing – Grandma’s Sewing Cabinet

A female dress form with detailed seam lines made using a Bootstrap Fashion pattern is positioned against a beige wall. The image border features a colorful retro pattern, perfect for those looking to craft their own DIY dress form. Additional text on the bottom right reads "ModernRetroWoman.com".

I Made a DIY Dress Form Using Bootstrap Fashion’s Pattern

Growing up in the 1960s, I was fascinated by a lifesize chain link object in my great-grandmother's bedroom: a My ...
Photo of Dr. Julie-Ann modeling the 1940s-style apron that she made for the How to Sew a 1940s-style Apron tutorial.

How to Sew a 1940s Style Apron | Retro DIY Tutorial

Video Notes: Are you tired of constantly ruining your clothes while cooking or cleaning around the house? Do you want ...
Woman holding a miniature pattern and measuring tape

Fearlessly Draft Your Own Patterns {What the Pattern Companies Don’t Want You to Know}

You can find more video tutorials on our Youtube Channel Video Notes: Have you ever tried to sew a garment ...
An Old-School Way to Protect Your Clothes ModernRetroWoman.com

McCall’s 6107: An Old-School Way to Protect Your Clothes

Way back in the mid-1960s, when I was in Kindergarten, we would wear our father's old shirts over our school ...
Caftan Fabulousness Butterick 4406 Pattern Review ModernRetroWoman.com

Caftan Fabulousness {Pattern Review}

Over the weekend, I decided to make some new pajamas out of some navy blue silk I had bought on ...
Drafting Skirt Pattern Sew Along Lesson 5: Waistband and Facing

Drafting Skirt Pattern Sew Along Lesson 5: Waistband and Facing

In this final lesson on drafting a basic skirt pattern, I demonstrate how to draft a waistband pattern and also ...
Are Synthetic Fibers Petroleum Guzzlers?

Are Synthetic Fibers Petroleum Guzzlers?

"Better Things for Better Living...Through Chemistry" ~ DuPont Slogan, 1935-1982 When DuPont introduced nylon in the form of hosiery to ...

Drafting Skirt Pattern Sew Along Lesson 4: Checking the Fit and Fixing Problems

In today’s lesson, I show you how to check your pattern to make sure everything fits correctly using your muslin/practice ...
Acetate: The Top Choice for Bridesmaids and Prom Dresses The World Over

Acetate: The Top Choice for Bridesmaids and Prom Dresses The World Over

I don't know about your local JoAnn's Fabric store but mine has two rows of fabric devoted to "special occasion" ...

Drafting Skirt Pattern Sew Along Lesson 3: Drafting the Pattern (w/video)

Dear Friends, In today's lesson, I show you how to draft a basic skirt sloper and pattern. You will need ...

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