Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gaylyn's Cute Cat Shorts! And a Happy Thanksgiving to All!

If you were a growing girl, wouldn't you love these shorts with a cat face for the bib? Mail order pattern 120 for suspender shorts is certainly a charmer.

This pattern from the 1940s includes three different cat faces, rendered in applique and embroidery to create the bib. Note the string of daisies that accent two of the three faces. Those must be for the girls. ;) So sweet!

Also included with the pattern were Gaylyn's "measuremints" written on the back of half of a card. A good sewist will always measure before sewing!

When you turn the card over, there is a note to Bertha (our sewist?). Ella Mae McPherson from "the chapter"  (of the local DAR or a similar organization?) has written a very kind and thoughtful get well note to Bertha, sent along with a plant. It appears that this was written before "the holidays" - would that be Christmas? 

The translation for those who are not skilled in cursive handwriting:
"Dear Bertha - 

You may not be able to 
place me but I certainly 
do miss you in the
I'm so sorry you are 
ill and hope you will
soon be well again.
I hope this plant will
make your holidays a
little merrier. Sincerely
Ella Mae McPherson"

I love these fragments from people's lives in those days long gone. It is such a personal way to connect with the sewists of other eras.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Dress Up Your Frocks with Lace Medallions

It's "blond on blond" in this inspiring tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s. The tip is perfect for making a special holiday frock. The insertion of medallions of filet lace adds an elegant touch. The thin bands that trim the front bodice and dropped waistline are of filet lace as well. All the trimmings are placed on the fabric itself, rather than being see-through. Don't forget to add the satin ribbon bow & streamers of "deep strawberry tone"!

Dreamy fashion for the 1920s home sewist!

Friday, November 6, 2015

In Search of Style: A Natty "Mad Men" Blazer

A rare event: this "In Search of Style" is for a man's pattern!

The clipping: In a 1961 men's jacket pattern was tucked this clipping of a sharp blazer from a Sears catalog. Straight from the Mad Men era, this crisp jacket has slim lapels and a fine fit. So manly! And I love that little reference to "Neatniks" at the bottom of the page - haha!

The pattern: And here it is, Advance 9954, with the men looking very Don Draper-esque in pose and in fashion. :) This handsome sport jacket has the same lapels as the clipping, and the same cut-away hemline in front, though the pattern goes with patch pockets while the clipping features inset pockets. This pattern has very tailored details, including two-piece long sleeves for a perfect fit, and interfacing with both muslin and hair canvas. Shaping in the shoulders is well-detailed, and the back has contoured seams at the sides of the center. First rate!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Smart Neck Finish for a School Frock

I rather like the finishing touch that Ruth Wyeth Spears describes in this tip for her 1920s home sewists. Look how the bands incorporate the facings, which become part of the revers collar. And then those cunning little snaps on an underlay to close it all. This would be fun to try!

Another helpful tip for adding smart style to your sewing projects!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

1940s Raincoat Is the BEST EVER

Full of fabulous details, this very geeky-nerdy raincoat from Woman's Day magazine and the 1940s absolutely has enchanted me. It appears to be designed for someone who needs all manner of  writing implementss while outdoors in inclement weather. It includes:

  • a pocket for a retractable key holder
  • a pocket holder for pens and pencils (with a chain for one of those!)
  • a holder for 3x5 cards (yes, 3x5 cards!)
  • an invisible pocket for tissues
Pockets are located at the hips, at the waist, and on the arm - isn't that rather remarkable? I also love the attachable hood with visor.

I have marked up this illustration to point out the spiffy details:

On top of all these neato pocket details, the raincoat is lined, the hood attaches to buttons under the coat collar, and the hip and diagonal front pockets are bound. First class!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: A Ruffled Summer Frock with Picoted Edges

While Ruth Wyeth Spears feels that this style is for the "sub-deb" (that is, sub-debutante, so pre-teen girl), I think this very feminine summer frock would be lovely fashion for almost any age. Aside from sewing this frock from soft georgette, Ruth describes a technique for creating a picoted edge - very clever, our Ruth!

To learn more about hemstitching (which in the 1920s was evidently something the home sewists paid for, rather than created themselves) that you can create yourself, check out this very informative Youtube video from Professor Pincushion.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In Search of Style & Scraps from the Past: A Dress Sewn from a Sears Catalog Pattern

It's the early 1940s, and where would you shop for a "Superior" pattern for an afternoon dress & bolero, as well as the fabric? Why, the Sears Roebuck catalog, of course! Today's finds were in a pattern from the early 1940s, and included both the catalog page that illustrates the pattern, and scraps of fabric from the resulting sewing project!

First, here is the pattern:

"Shop at Sears for Fashion-Right Fabrics and Patterns"

In Search of Style 

And here is the page from the Sears, Roebuck & Co catalog that was tucked in the pattern:

Note that the ensemble on the model is the very same pattern! And fabric at only 49 cents a yard! Which fabric swatch do you like? I actually like blue print that is on the model, though all the patterns are pretty. :)

Here is a close-up from the pattern instructions. Note the "peek-a-boo" breast pockets on the bolero:

Scraps from the Past

Also inserted in the pattern were these lovely rayon scraps (yes, rayon!). I can so visualize this ensemble in this wonderful floral pattern on a soft taupe-brown.

I'd say it is inspiring fashion from the 1940s and Sears!