The power of advertising! :P It was a really enlightening blog post for me, actually, even though it was just supposed to be funny. After all, the original story wasn't an article - it was a (long, illustrated, possibly instructive) ad for Vogue patterns! Naturally, they wanted to present sewing a Vogue dress as an easy weekend project. I can see a '50s wife laughing her head off at the ad, just like we are today. But the advertising was what survived and became a common ideal...even though it wasn't necessarily the norm. That's my theory, anyway.
(The techniques she's using are fine...it's just that the techniques don't always go *smoothly* for most of us. :D)
I'm in the "religiously straighten the grain" camp too, because I think cutting pieces on the proper grain is essential. Tearing is easier, but I've been known to pull threads when that doesn't work. And I press everything like crazy - it *does* make a big difference!