The Seamstress of Salzburg by Anita Lobel

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On my 25th birthday my sister gave me one of the best gifts I have ever received. It came wrapped in a beautiful floral print. As I looked at the wrapping paper, I slowly realized where I knew that pattern from: the end pages of my all-time favorite picture book, The Seamstress of Salzburg by Anita Lobel. My sister had found an old library copy on sale on eBay and photocopied the end papers to make the wrapping. (Nice touch, huh?)

We never owned this book when I was growing up but I remembered constantly checking it out and renewing it from the library and poring over the incredibly lush images. I hadn’t thought about the book in a long time but when I saw it again that day it brought up so many feelings I actually started crying, then sobbing. In a good way. The palette of this book is so beautiful it actually makes my heart ache a bit.

End papers for The Seamstress of Salzburg by Anita Lobel

End papers for The Seamstress of Salzburg by Anita Lobel. Lobel was also a textile designer. It shows!

Title page

Title page for The Seamstress of Salzburg. The story is about an incredible seamstress, Anna, who sews and embroiders the most beautiful clothing. She is discovered by the noble ladies of Salzburg, who each commission her to make increasingly elaborate dresses so they can one up each other.

"Once in the city of Salzburg lived a poor girl Anna who loved to sew and embroider beautiful clothes."

“Once in the city of Salzburg lived a poor girl Anna who loved to sew and embroider beautiful clothes.”

(Click to enlarge.)

“Often she fell asleep over her work…” (Click to enlarge.)

"Everyone could see that the Queen's dress was falling apart at the seams." (Click to enlarge.)

“…Everyone could see that the Queen’s dress was falling apart at the seams.” (Click to enlarge.)

Detail from The Seamstress of Salzburg.anita-lobel-seamstress-detail-1

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“…And Anna and the Prince and everyone in Salzburg lived happily ever after.” (Click to enlarge)


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Anita Lobel’s website.

And more about her remarkable life here. 

3 Comments

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  2. Fiona says

    Oh thank you I’ve been looking for this book for years. it was my favourite book when I was very young I used to check it out of the library too but I couldn’t remember it’s name, just the picture and story. A few years ago I went through every picture book at my old library but couldn’t find it.

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  3. Megan says

    I was lucky enough have a copy of this book when I was a young child. This book had such an impact on me, I believe that this book is what inspired me to learn to sew and I eventually majored in costume design. I’m so sad it is out of print. Over a decade ago I secured a copy from a library as well. How sweet that your sister remembered something so sweet! Thank you for posting the pictures! Unfortunately I have misplaced my copy. I’m hoping it’s in a box somewhere. It’s nice to see the pictures here!

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