Thursday, December 1, 2016

1930s Frocks with Eye-Catching Gathers at Necklines

These three ladies are wearing such smartly styled frocks, and they know it! On the left, No. 9039 features a fan yoke, one-in-piece with the petite shawl collar, and all in satin. The middle dress, No. 9027, features a V-neckline with a white vestee adding a pop of brightness. The marvelous frock on the right, No.9048, features a square draped neckline. Such yummy fashion!


From McCall's Magazine, December 1936

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Miss Lillian's Postcards: Father Remains in California for the Holidays

Sender: Henry Maguire, Lillian's father
Addressee: Miss Lill Maguire, 1902 G Terry Ave, Seattle, Washington
Postmark: Santa Barbara, Cal
Date: Dec 24, 1909
Image: Santa Barbara Mission, California. Founded 1786.


The Old Mission in Santa Barbara is still there, and looking much the same as it does in this vintage postal. See http://www.santabarbaramission.org/ for more information about this beautiful site.



Message:
12-23-09
Dear Daughter,
Wishing you
a Merry Xmass
And a happy new year.
Your father
Henry Maguire

Still in California, Lillian's father wrote a Christmas greeting on this postcard on December 23rd, and then posted it on December 24th. This postcard means that Lillian's father was in California for Thanksgiving as well. He is far from all his family at a time when being with family is important. 

While I have been assuming Lillian's father went to California for business, another possibility was that he went for his health. Santa Barbara at this time was a world-famous resort town, in the sense of health resorts as well as tourism. While we will never know, I think this latter possibility is the most likely reason. Lillian, after all, went to Seattle for her health. Perhaps her father suffered from health problems in St Louis as well. Staying at a resort for his health would account for the long stay in California.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: A Curly Chrysanthemum Corsage for Thanksgiving

It's not too late! Here is a marvelous tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s for a curly "mum" that you can wear on Thanksgiving Day. All it requires is some picot-edged ribbon, which you may already have in your stash. It's a snap to make! Enjoy this tip as you prepare to celebrate with family and friends. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, from my home to yours. I am very thankful for all my readers!

And if you don't have time to make one today, have a bunch of ribbon on hand at Thanksgiving, and invite all those interested to make one to wear. Sounds like fun!



Monday, November 21, 2016

Scraps from the Past: A 1950s Flannel Nightgown for Christmas

The pattern: Simplicity 4140



The scraps: Tucked into the pattern envelope for timeless nightgowns were two scraps, one a soft yellow flannel, and the other a cute flannel print of umbrellas. Written on the front of the envelope: Joanne Christmas 1952, Mother Easter 1953, Rena Louise Nov 1954. So the sewist made three nightgowns, two for winter and one for summer, and at least two as holiday gifts (Christmas and Easter). On the envelope back is more writing: (in red) Joanne view one yellow flannel white ruffles Christmas 1952. Also on the back, written in pencil: "R. L. Nov 1954" and "Mother Easter 1953". Now that is getting mileage from one pattern, and how handy that all three wear the same size!


It's pretty clear that Joanne got the yellow flannel nightgown. And I think it is safe to assume that Mother got the umbrella print flannel nightgown - umbrellas being a great spring theme. Alas, no scrap for Rena Louise!

Are you inspired to sew a flannel nightgown for Christmas?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Eye Candy: Mid-1960s Evening Dress with Cape

This elegant formal gown with a short cape from 1965 is inspiring fashion to think about when planning for formal occasions this winter. Exquisite!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Father is in San Diego

Sender: HM (Henry Maguire, Lillian's father)
Addressee: Miss Lill Maguire, 1902 G Terry Ave, Seattle, Washington
Postmark: San Diego, Cal.
Date: November 23, 1909
Image: Snowy Range, Near Trinidad, Colo.


On the postcard back is this description: The Snowy Range presents no scenery of the tremendous type, but frequently views wide in scope and full of beauty are seen. It is visible for miles as the train hurries along. It is eternally snow-capped - hence its name.

When I google Snowy Range Mountains, I learn that they are in the northern part of Colorado, while the town of Trinidad is in southern Colorado. I think they meant the southern Colorado Sangres mountains, which ARE near Trinidad. And are pretty snowy, at least, in winter. Plus, the train does go through Trinidad, while there are no trains near the Snowy Range mountains, that I could find.


Message:
Nov 23-09
San Diego Cal
I arrived here the 22nd. 
Oranges and Lemons look
fine.Their [sic] is fruit here
that, I never so [sic] before.
Clothing shoes and everything
else cheap as in St Louis
HM

Happy day, another letter from Lillian's dad! He has arrived at his California destination, San Diego, on November 22nd. We don't know when he left St Louis, but we do know he was in Albuquerque on November 20th. It took two days for the train to get from Albuquerque to San Diego in 1909! 

I love his comments on the citrus fruit, which would be a novelty for him, I'm sure. I wonder what other fruit he might have seen in San Diego that he never saw before. His comment on the price of clothing was also interesting. Prices in San Diego are apparently similar to prices in St Louis.

Of more interest is what took him to California. Since he is writing, I am guessing that Lillian's mother is still back in St Louis. And since things are new to him in San Diego, I feel that I can rule out a family visit. And assume that this is a business trip of some sort. Sigh. I wish I knew!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Sew a Lovely Negligee

You have almost no cutting and only a few seams to sew with this pattern for a graceful negligee from the 1920s , courtesy of Ruth Wyeth Spears. Ruth recommends that you use a soft fabric for this dressing gown. The negligee would make a great and quick gift. If it is intended as a gift, Ruth recommends that you try to harmonize with the colors in the wearer's bedroom. Delightful!