Thursday, April 17, 2014

Use Your Maid's Old Uniform

In 1943 a lot of the sewing books focused on renovating and remaking, using what you already had to make what you needed. For this School Girl's dress it is suggested that you use a flowered cotton house dress and from a plain blue cotton "that was once a part of a maid's uniform."
If you didn't happen to have an old maid's uniform laying around they also say you could check your scrapbag. "Odd scraps of colorful fabric are combined with great success."


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Make Warm Knee Caps for Our Soldier Boys

From 'Plain and Fancy Needlework', November 1917, this pattern shows how to crochet Knee Caps. They only take one half hank Germantown knitting yarn, and a No. 3 1/2 hook. And I'm sure the soldier boys will appreciate them! 

Directions
Chain 41, double crochet, always taking the back loop; 8 rows even.
9th Row - 17 stitches, 2 stitches in next stitch, 4 stitches, 2 in next stitch, 17 stitches.
10th Row - No increasing.
Repeat 9th and 10th rows until there are 27 rows. Then work 12 rows without increasing.
Then decrease in the way you increased until work matches first half. Sew up with yarn.

"If you have no one in particular to give them to, send them to the National Surgical Dressings Committee of America, 845 First National Bank Building, Chicago, Ill."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's 1967 - Let's Wear Paper Dresses!

The Paper Caper - 1967 Paper Dresses

You can't clean them, but you can snip off the dirty parts.

"The Duchess of Windsor has worn it. Joan Kennedy, wife of the senior senator from Massachusetts, worn paper to a fund raising tea she gave last spring and passed out duplicate dresses to her celebrated guests. Pop painter Robert Rauschenberg has a tailored suit of grocery-bag paper. Princess Lee Radziwill owns a gold quilted mini-mini with gold collar and gold side panels to match her newly gold hair. Jolie Gabor lunches in paper after swimming in her pool. A number of brides have worn it to their own weddings. In the south of France a concert pianist beat the heat by wearing a paper dinner jacket designed by Paris couturier Pierre Cardin, after scissoring off the sleeves so they wouldn't get in the way of the keyboard."


If you wanted to get your very own you could check with Scott Paper Co. - two styles at $1.25 each to promote their toilet paper. You could send for paper dresses if you bought Johnston Frozen Pies, or sent two butter wrappers to the American Dairy Association. A Go-Go Light hair lightener box top plus $1.25 could get you two mini-skirted mod-styled paper dresses from the Breck shampoo people..." Air India offered a mail-order sari ("Be the first princess in the palace to own one").
 Lever Brothers offered a fireproofed "Swinging Dress" in three vibrant colors with matching hat for $1.00 plus two Dove, Lux or Lifebuoy soap wrappers. 

No need to worry about that rattling noise when you walk. Fashion expert Eugenia Sheppard thinks it's the most fun since taffeta.

The live paper doll above wears paper bracelets and a metalized paper 'lame' handkerchief evening dress by Elisa Daggs ($12.00) The wig is made of Aluminum foil.
Dressed like a party snapper, tomorrow's hostess may entertain with paper items such as these exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts.
The bikini, made of polycoated Kaycel, costs $4 and is usually a throwaway after four dips.
The slicker of polycoated Lexon ($8) is good for two dozen outings.
Paper haute couture includes a wiggy mini, a key-tag and Green Stamp shift, an 'ermine' cape, informal and glittery evening dress, colorful at-home slippers.









Monday, April 14, 2014

Dance Away A Bermuda Afternoon

"Each spring they flock to Bermuda like birds to a rookery, full of primordial purpose. As a Princeton freshman put it, "You can go to Jamaica for sun. We're here to meet girls." "My friends who came down last year, "said another boy, "told me there were two girls for every guy. That's why I came - simple mathematics."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Your Wig Wardrobe

The Complete Book of Fashion Modeling (1969) also shows what wigs you'll need to have if you are going to be a successful model.
"Yes, you definitely must have hairpieces. You could possibly start out with one or two and eventually work up to a whole wardrobe of spare hair goods. It will be a worthwhile investment, and just wait until you see all wonderful things you can do with them!"
"This is mid-length and is made to look shorter by styling with a lift at the crown."
"A long fall, this one is styled with flipped-up ends that just skim the shoulders."
"Ears are bared for this style."
"If you're very good with your hair, you can use a long fall for this."
"...a light and airy little wig...it can be styled in dozens of delightful ways."
"You can get this effect by tucking styrofoam balls in graduated sizes at intervals in the ponytail and tying each one with ribbon."
"Strictly for gala evening costumes, this do features a hairpiece that's intricately styled in an arrangement of strategically placed loops and curls."





Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sit Pretty On The Washing Machine

The Complete Book of Fashion Modeling (1969) by Bernie Lenz is just the best guide for your future. "The world of modeling is widespread, it's citizens are legion, and it's advantages are enormous. There's glamour, excitement, money, and opportunity." All of which we can see in this example;



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Full Fashioned Silk Hosiery - 1928

These were offered through the Gorcy Embroidery Journal- a monthly catalog from a Montreal based department company. This ad was in the August 1928 edition, so these fetching stockings would have been perfect for the daring flappers out there. They needed that "extra-wear" patch on the toe.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bead Coiffure - 1865

This beautiful woman was in the 1865 Lady's Friend Magazine. She is showing her "Bead Coiffure". Imagine the elaborate work, not only with the beads, but weaving them into her hair. Lovely.

Aprons - Glamorous and Practical

McCall's Needlework & Crafts magazine from 1956 shows apron patterns worthy of your time. The Bavarian style asks for a lot of cross stitching. But the iron-on roses are easier and the pattern makes up for "mature figures". 




Friday, April 4, 2014

Gearest Rain Gear Going - 1966

The Ladies' Home Journal in 1966 gave some groovy advice for your next raincoat! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Restoring, Renewing, Restyling Sweaters in 1942

"Making over the old and discarded into new and useful articles a stimulating, profitable and patriotic experience, growing in interest with each achievement."
This is from the Singer Make-Over Guide published in 1942 and 1943, during World War II. But the ideas and skills work for today too.  Have you upscaled a sweater? Here's how. 






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Household Treasure for every Fashion-wise Woman

In 1954 the Craft House catalog showed you how their new Pearl and Rhinestone Setter "makes studding your garments with exciting sparkle and glamour more enjoyable than ever."
So get out there and stud! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

They Keep Your Trousers Trim From Every Angle

"Trousers are more securely fastened with Lightning zips" and goodness knows we all want that. So check your slider pull for the name "Lightning"! 


Monday, March 31, 2014

Two Cases Of Good Husbandry

So when's the last time you saw an ad that quoted Virgil? 

(Don't miss that the shirts have an "eternal air of correctness", and that the pyjamas add "a lot to the pleasure of sleeping" and "If It Shrinks We Replace"!)

"Good Husbandry (the first of blessings, according to Virgil's Georgics) is to know how to separate wheat from chaff: how to select sound stock: how to choose good things that last well."
 "Like many of the best things of life - claret, wood and leather are examples - Clydella does more than last well: it improves with age: it weathers. This is a good reason for buying shirts, and pyjamas, in Cydellas."


"Clydella Town-and-Country Shirt"
"These are also weekend and everyday, winter and summer shirts. They have no close season. They are smooth, slightly on the lightweight side: hence their eternal air of correctness. They are made in a good range of close checks, dogstooth such as you see here, and plain colours. 49/6


"Cydella Pyjamas"

"These have a softness and lightness - and yet a great warmth - that adds a lot to the pleasures of sleeping. They may be had in both flamboyant and discreet stripes and in good straight colors. 59/6 Your usual store should have their Autumn stocks in now."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Century - Old Fabrics

In the February issue of Theatre Arts Monthly in 1929 we find an ad for Old Arts. G. O. Neddrie offering Century Old Fabrics.

 "Embroideries, velvets, brocades and damasks of the the XV to XVIII Centuries from the looms and cloisters of France, Spain, Italy, Flanders and England in Gothic, Renaissance and the designs of the masters during XVII and XVIII Century. Fabrics that will lend warmth and color to any room in the inimitable shadings that only age can impart."

I thought this might have been aimed at stage set designers or for costumes. But then I read the next part and I think they were advertising to the upscale folks who were around the theatre. 

"These fabrics are also ingeniously adapted to modern utilities: Book Ends, Picture Frames, Paper Baskets, Cigarette Boxes, Humidors, Cushions, Wall Hangings, Table Runners, Boudoir Boxes"


So now I am heart broken to think of how many priceless fabrics were made into Cigarette Boxes.
(I wasn't able to find out more about G. O. Niddrie, but it was a very prestigious address. Any of you know more?)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rests Eyes After Sewing

"When hours spent over a sewing machine or embroidery frame have made your eyes feel weary and strained, simply apply a few drops of time-tried Murine."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sorry, Waists Are Shrinking!

The 'Fashion Staff' at Pictorial Review in 1939 warns us of an up-coming crisis! You could choose from these patterns put out by Pictorial Review, but it looks like you had no choice about the fit...you were going to have to suck it in! 

"The full skirt and broad shoulders of the dress above conspire to make your waist look minuscule. The wide band seizing you through the middle dramatizes the contrast twixt wide hemline and tiny waist." Pictorial Review Pattern 9600
"The neck is high, the bodice draped and full, the skirt slim with a full draped panel. The waist is the focal point of the dress; a belt gathers the fabric to as few inches as your anatomy permits." Pictorial Review Pattern 9597
"A dress with swing pleats for action, extremely wide shoulders. Again the tidy, belted waist contrasts boldly with the more ample curves above and below. Not quite an hour-glass figger, but something like." Pictorial Review Pattern 9594
"The new dress that falls with full abandon from a round yoke, exactly like an old fashion shift! A nubbin of a belt clutches all the width of fabric firmly at the waist, giving you a Victorian middle." Pictorial Review Pattern 9604

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Wardrobe For A Smart Woman - 1936

For a spring wardrobe The Delineator magazine offers these 1936 guidelines. 


"We suggest the following color scheme for the wardrobe shown here: For your coat - a navy basketweave woolen; for your jacket dress - navy heavy sheer with white pique; for your suit - a natural or gray menswear suiting of the soft cashmere type; for the print - silk crepe with an apricot-rust ground and a pale blue figure; for the evening an ice white satin dress with ruby accessories and ruby-colored bengaline wrap."



















Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Is In The Air - Hats and Accessories from 1956

Ruth Mary Packard writing in the Ladies Home Journal in March, 1956 gives important advice for spring hats, purses, shoes, jewelry and gloves...what every well-dressed woman needs to know.

"Your hat has more size...let it enhance but not overwhelm you..it must be scaled to your features as well as your figure. The shape is important...be sure it is becoming. Leghorn is the straw of the season, in natural, black and pastel colors."

 "A shower of yellow flowers on a small pale yellow straw hat by John Frederics for a yellow tweed suit by William Popper, or for neutral costumes."
"Pongee-beige pumps (one in calfskin, one in suede with calfskin tips) matching Nettie Rosenstein's top-handle envelope. Bangle bracelets pick up the color of the calfskin pump at right."
"The leaf hat in blue by John Frederics, with a wearable, medium-sized brim, worn with a linen-weave silk dress by Mollie Parmis."


"A patent-leather slipper edged with white goes with a linen bag with bamboo frame. Sunburst jewel by Frederic Mosell, is a pin for many occasions, for a dress or a suit." 
"The charm of pale beige, gold and light bright red in spectator pumps that are right for all wools and tweedy mixtures, a slim ladyfinger of a bag in bright red strawcloth by Morris Moscowitz, a new shape to carry with suits."
"The hat of the year, the shape that sets a trend - in natural Milan draped with silk polka-dotribbon, by Aldolfo. The bag is strawcloth by Coblentz; the dress is a simple silk shantung by Jerry Parnis, quiet accompaniment for the excitement of the hat."
"Pale yellow combines beautifully with cocoa, browns, coral reds. Here are a shell-trimmed cotton-tweed bag, long slender pigskin gloves, a grained-leather spectator and a calfskin toe-strap slipper - all for town wools and tweeds."