Monday, January 30, 2012

Things you find in Patterns

In selling vintage patterns I come across lots of things, usually fabric swatches or ads that show that pattern, but this is a first.

(If you like found things you should look at one of my favorite blogs Forgotten Bookmarks.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

So You're Going To Knit A Sweater! - 1940

So here's a batch of fashionable forties looks for you to knit. Each one has a fetching name, Best Girl, Take Off (!), Cafe Society, Tea Time, Campus Belle, Surprise Package, Saratoga, Honey Chile, Heart Stealer, and Prophecy.

Don't miss the details, hairdos, hats, jewels, and very supportive undergarments!

(And doesn't our cover girl look like Casey?)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How A Dress Should Fit - 1947

If you want a vintage pattern to fit well you need to go by your measurements, since sizing changes over time and even between the different pattern companies. So you need to know how to measure correctly for the era you are trying to re-create. This mid forties Simplicity Sewing Book gives you some guidelines.
Be sure to wear all the right supportive undergarments and shoes. You're on your own for the hair-do!

"If you check your pattern with your measurements and make adjustments before cutting your fabric, fitting your dress will be easy.
Try your dress on right side out and stand before a long mirror. You should have a basting thread from top to bottom in the center back and front (unless there is a center opening serve as well to check the perpendicular line).
Keep the picture of the garment before you while you fit. It can be tacked to the corner of your mirror. You need pins and a tape measure also.
Pin the shoulder pads in place before you begin your fitting.
These diagrams show how your garment should hang. If seams or darts must be taken up or let out to gain the desired effect, pin the corrections and transfer the change with chalk on the wrong side after you take the garment off.
Lengthwise threads of the material down center front and center back should be perfectly straight and perpendicular to the floor. (Except in a bias cut dress).
Crosswise threads Should be straight across figure and parallel to floor at bust and hip.
Underarm seam should fall in a straight vertical line from the center of the arm pit to the floor.
Regulation shoulder seams should be directly on top of shoulder, sloping neither to the front nor the back.
Garment should be loose but without wrinkles at the bust line to give ease, and allow arm to move freely. About 4 inches larger than bust measurement is usual allowance.
At a point about six and a half inches below the top of the sleeve the crosswise grain should run parallel with the floor and the lengthwise grain parallel to the underarm seam. It should allow for movement of upper arm It should be without wrinkles. Darts or gathers in long sleeve should come at the elbow.
Skirt should fall straight down from hips allowing ease to sit and not pull or cup up under when standing."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

These are not the Barbies you are looking for.

OK, these outfits are weird enough...but look at the dolls! I think these were all Barbie knockoffs and I'm sure that first guy is NOT Ken.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Some Indoor and Outdoor Smartness for Him and Her - 1934

McCall Magazine hasn't forgotten the kids in 1934. They ask "Little man, what now?"and "Doesn't she look sweet?".
Please note "The leggings are especially nice. They buckle on just above the bottom of the coat."
The Princess Elizabeth coat is "equally attractive coming or going." Don't miss "A tiny tot fashion with amusing touches of childish chic."
Just remember "Pink for a brunette, blue for a blond.."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fabulous Colors For Fabulous Knits- 70's Fantasy Flowers

We are getting ready for a snow storm which we don't really do here in Seattle, but it put me in mind of sweaters. Then I found these hippy chick knits for you to make.
(If anybody really wants instructions I'll try to accomodate you, but I'm not sure this sort of thing should be encouraged.)

Knitted patchworks play a visual game on a color-sliced cardigan that rides atop a pair of matching pants. Garter stitch strips knit in varying colors are joined with strips of crochet. Pants, knit in the round, have a drawstring waist, crocheted trim at bottom. Coats & Clark's Red Heart Knitting Worsted.

Multipatterned vest is knit in one piece. Patterns are traditional Scandinavian designs-hearts, flowers, roosters, and little people. Coats & Clark's Knitting Worsted.

Yoked pullover, a mosaic delight, is worked in the round to underarms. The sleeves, worked separately, are then joined to complete the yoke. Coats & Clark's Knitting Worsted.

Stripes and patches pattern a wrap skirt that may be made in any length, any width. "Patched" strips are knit, then joined with bright crochet. Coats & Clark's Knitting Worsted.

At-home warmth is reflected in an elongated knit that will go anywhere. Same motif, worked in different colors, gives a multipattern effect. Drawstring waist lets you nip it in as much as you like. Of Bucilla Superwash Knitting Worsted.

A long, long column of single crochet-the perfect field for the blossoming of super-sized flowers! Quick to work up, dress has a back zipper for a trim fit. Simple-stitch embroidery is done in the same yarn. Bernat Knitting Worsted.

Curl up under a shower of flowers! Giant blooms splash over a four-paneled afghan that is easy-and quick-to make. Each panel is worked in single crochet; then all are joined with a crocheted fagoting stitch. Of Bernat Knitting Worsted.

Two little maids in a row wear pinafores that are just as pretty coming or going! Flower sprays-each slightly different-continue around the back of each for a posied hemline. Work both the same in single crochet with a picot edging; then embroider the flowers she likes the best. Of ColumbiaMinerva Knitting Worsted.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It Snowed!

I'm home in Seattle and while it doesn't snow much here, the 2 year old granddaughter has talked about it for weeks. And finally we have snow! This Good Housekeeping cover by Vernon Thomas just looks like her and her little brother.
I hope you are all snug and warm!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Make A Dress That Pays Your Figure Compliments - 1956

"If everyone had a perfect figure, choosing clothes would be a snap--but most of us have a fault or two that we would like to minimize. It's especially important to know your figure type when buying patterns because you can't try on the dress. Here are new silhouettes - choose the right one for you and walk into spring."

"If your shoulders are quite narrow-
Advance Printed Pattern 7917 (sketched left below). The large collar gives width, balances your- bosom and hips (scoop necks are also good). This dress is particularly becoming to the older, fuller figure because of its easy lines. To wear under it we show Warner's side-zippered girdle with lace-edged front panel and a bra with underbust wiring, nylon lace cups by Exquisite Form."

"If you are slim and short-waisted-
Advance Printed Pattern 7918. Empire-waisted dress with back-buttoning bolero. Under it we suggest one of the all-in-ones that are sized for the short-waisted figure."

"If you have a young figure-
Advance Printed Pattern 7916 (sketched at top). An afternoon dress, sleek and slim through the torso with the fullness swept to the back (wonderful camouflage for a more than ample derriere). To wear beneath it (shown left) are the lightest possible foundation garments Simone's one-way-stretch girdle in cotton lace, Hollywood-Maxwell's satin and lace bra with new strap treatment."

"If you have large hip-
Advance Printed Pattern 7887. Two-piece tunic dress in a dark color. Under it we suggest a girdle with two-controlling panels."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How To Choose The Right Foundation For You - More 1956 Underwear!

"Build Your Own Best Silhouette"

"Today foundation garments are designed for individual figure types and fitted as never before-all the way from lightweights for juniors to garments with built-in corrective features. They take account of high, waists, low waists, wide hips and narrow, bust sizes from AA to D. It's all done to make sure that you can find the garments that are exactly right for your figure."

"Three-way bra of white opaque nylon taffeta, with a frosting of lace at the bosom. About $6. Pretty and light, a step-in girdle of nylon power net with shaped center panel of lace over satin. About $11. Jantzen."


Choosing the right foundation can be a pretty perplexing job. You can save some of the salesgirl's time and your own if you go into the store knowing whether you are short- or long-waisted and what your bust, waist and hip measures are. This is the way to take your measurements: 1. Bust size. Hold a tape measure directly below the bust, then add 5 inches for your true size. Cup sizes for your bra may best be determined by the fitter. 2. Hip size. Make sure that you measure the fullest part of the hip. This is usually about 8 inches below the waist. 3. Waist size. Take a loose measure for accuracy. 4. Short waist? Long waist? Measure from directly below the bust to the waist to find out if you're short (3-4 inches), medium (5-6 inches) or long (6 1/2-7 inches). 5. Girdle length. A measure from waist to directly below the fullest part of the thigh will give you the right length. (This is important - a too-short girdle will ride up, a too-long girdle bind.) This measurement has nothing to do with your height.


1. Move about in the garment and sit down-your flesh expands when you move or are seated. 2. Do not buy a size too small - this creates new bulges. 3. If your flesh is firm, you'll need less control than you will if it tends toward flabbiness. You'll find this out as the middle years come on. 4. A well-fitted girdle should control without causing a bulge or roll and without riding up.


Each type of foundation has a definite purpose. The all-in-one smooths away the bulges and gives a clean unbroken line that's especially good under slim dresses. High-waisted girdles paired off with long-line bras also give a smooth line and solve a special problem for women with full hips and small bust or large bust and average hip size (separates that suit your specific needs). For really firm control in the hip area there are lightweight garments with elastic panels at front, back and both sides. This eliminates the discomfort of heavy boning."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Build Your Own Best Silhouette 1956 Underwear!

"The way your dress fits depends on the foundation you wear and different types of clothes require different styles of underpinning. The all-in-one, for instance, gives the unbroken line you need under sheaths; a lightweight girdle and bra may he enough for fuller dresses. When you buy a dress, fit it over the right foundation, wear it that way for your best silhouette."

"The slim sheath - most important fashion of the year. This one, by Luis Estivez for Grenelle, has an intricate strapped neckline, is evening dress or sun dress, depending on its fabric. Perfection under it, a strapless long-line Warner corselette with waistline less indented than it would have been last year. And a nylon tricot sheath petticoat from Gracette.

The wide skirt-seen this year mostly in after-five dresses. Under this geranium-printed silk by Anne Klein for Junior Sophisticates, You wear one of the new petticoats that have body without stiffness, in nylon marquisette and lace, from Gracette; scalloped three-way bra, worn strapless, and two-way stretch panties, both from Gossard, are all the support needed."

"Middle-of-the-road fashion - the slender dress with moderately full skirt, in lightweight worsted, smart for a woman of any age. Leonard Arkin. Comfortable for anyone but especially useful to the woman whose flesh is beginning to soften, this all-in-one from Flexees, made of one-way-stretch leno elastic, with elastic satin panels at front, back and side for special hip control. The nylon tricot slip is cut on modified princess lines. Van Raalte."

"The high waistline-an incoming fashion, shown here in Adele Simpson's high-rising skirt with matching bolero and tiny blouse. This costume's long lines are good for the short-waisted young figure; underneath, it needs a light girdle like like one above with crisscross elastic sections to firm the hip, an embroidered bra, both from Peter Pan. Sleek, slit nylon tricot petticoat from Trillium."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The richness and splendor of the East - 1956 Fashions

This 1956 article from Woman's Home Companion is titled "A New Simplicity touches our lives today". They show the new influences in room decor and what you should be wearing in these rooms.
"This new simplicity all around us comes from many sources-one of the most important is our new awareness of the restraint and beauty in Eastern design. Each generation since Marco Polo has rediscovered the Orient in its own way, drawing from it the ideas and qualities which suited its needs and which cave sparkle to its life. Our own generation is no exception. For us, the discovery has been vibrant colors on the one hand, serene monotones on the other. We reach out for the restraint, the simplicity of line, the lightness of scale-for everything, in fact, that brings a sense of space or that seems uncluttered to our extremely cluttered lives.

The richness and splendor of the East, which have always appealed to earlier generations, are for us only implicit in the materials we choose. For instance, you may see an evening dress this season made of beautiful brocade but its effect usually depends entirely on its line-the material its only ornament.

How does all this affect you and me-in our homes, in our lives? Consciously or unconsciously, we find ourselves desiring certain things that stem from the East - light sliding screens to separate two rooms or throw them together, low light furniture, simple lighting fixtures, simple uninsistent backgrounds. In clothes, we admire the slim column-like line of a dress translated from the Chinese; in hairdos and makeup we try out an Oriental effect..."

"In the Eastern fashion, B. H. Wragge's beautiful interpretation of the slit Chinese robe, The tunic shirt of printed silk Honan shown here over a beige skirt of spun rayon, could also be worn over shorts."

"Claire McCardell's modest jersey suit in the pencil-slim but graceful Chinese silhouette. The suit jacket is lined to match the turquoise pull-over blouse, fastened along Chinese lines with small buttons and fabric loops."

"A Chinese dress of Pink Poppy silk damask, imported by Dynasty of Hong Kong. In the classical tradition it is sleeveless, with the standing collar and side-slit skirt. Its functional lines focus attention on the elegant woven pattern of the fabric."

"Another striking example of this year's Chinese trend is this dress and jacket ensemble of orange silk linen. Note the jacket's stand-away collar and sloping shoulders. This illustrates how the Chinese influence can be adapted in an essentially Western fashion. From Talmack."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Protect your most Precious Treasure - Vanta Baby Garments - 1935

So much here. A baby in a bubble, the mysterious Silva Lining, charming illustrations, 500 baby names and a career offer!

"Vanta Baby Garments - No Pins, No Buttons - made by specialists - in layette sizes they are steam sterilized and Cellophane-sealed - resist wash, wear, stretch and tear. The Silva Lining, obtainable in all layette sizes, is a smooth, super-absorbent fabric in cotton, wool with cotton, and silk and wool with cotton."
We also get "The Vanta Style Review" of sweet babes wearing these amazing garments. Then there is the pretty, but odd baby under glass illustration by Annie Benson Muller (she was a prolific illustrator, but I couldn't find out much about her life).
This picture and much of the text stresses how sanitary everything is. Which may have been a response to the Polio epidemics that frightened everyone (the most memorable was in 1916, but outbreaks continued through the 1950's).

You also have an offer to write for a booklet -"Write EARNSHAW KNITTING CO.,NEWTON, MASS., DEPT. G-2, for free booklets - "Baby's Outfit", 80 pages of information and 500 suggestions for names; or ask for "The Toddler" for babies 2 to 6 years."

You can even become a Mothercraft graduate;
"When Buying Layettes - Ask your store to have a graduate of the Mothercraft course of study wait upon you. Look for the Mothercraft emblem. Write us if your store has no Mothercraft graduates. It means a year of hard study which makes a girl a professional saleswoman on Infant's wear."

"Next to your Baby...there's nothing like Vanta"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Space Flower Swim Suit Coordinates - DeWeese Designs

And now for something completely different..."Space Flowers" Swim Suit Coordinates by DeWeese Designs.
This photo is undated but it screams 60's...Twiggy would have worn this I'm sure.
I hope this brings you Island Magic and Happiness!

DEWEESE DESIGNS brings Island Magic and Happiness for leisure hours in "SPACE FLOWERS" swim suit coordinates. Lusternit 'Bibkini' for petite young figures and the skirted Polyester jersey suit for any age or size. Patio Pants repeat the 'one-leg' matching floral embroidery to be worn with either suit in Brown/Yellow or Royal Blue/Azure. Brief Swim Suit #2309 - $30.00 Skirt Swim Suit #1327 - $32.00 Pant #6247 - $24.00

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Make your own Lilly Dache Circle Hat! 1953

Here's a little gift to start your New Year off right. A full size pattern for a Lilly Dache Circle Hat! There are tons of styles and ways to wear this, you'll have so much fun picking out fabrics and're welcome!
(Oh, and if you scroll all the way down there's an extra treat)

And as an extra bonus, here's how to make Lilly Dache Scarves.