Movie Doll Wardrobes and Patterns for Shirley Temple Dolls

Although the face looks like a Shirley Temple Doll, this pattern said it was a for a "Movie doll." McCall pattern 418, from a 1946 catalog.

Although the face looks like a Shirley Temple Doll, this pattern said it was a for a “Movie doll.” McCall pattern 418, from a 1946 catalog, but probably issued years earlier.

McCall "Movie" doll clothes pattern 1015, from a 1946 catalog.

McCall “Little Lady” doll clothes pattern 1015, from a 1946 catalog, but probably earlier.

Singing, dancing Shirley Temple was a big star (and a movie veteran) by the time she was eight.

Shirley Temple ad for film Baby Take a Bow, 1934.

Shirley Temple in an ad for the film Baby Take a Bow, 1934. She was five or six at this time.

Get a 13" Shirley Temple Doll for selling four subscriptions to Ladies' Home Journal. January, 1936, LHJ.

You could get a free 13 inch Shirley Temple Doll by selling four subscriptions to Ladies’ Home Journal. Ad, January 1936, LHJ.

Shirley Temple dolls, made by Ideal, came in many sizes; after their successful debut in 1934, pattern companies wanted to cash in on their popularity by selling patterns for doll clothes that would fit the dolls, and which could be related to little Shirley’s movie roles. However, because of licensing agreements, most companies didn’t have the right to use the Shirley Temple name.

DuBarry doll wardrobe pattern from 1939.

DuBarry doll wardrobe pattern 2144B, from 1939. Vintage doll enthusiasts usually refer to this as a Shirley Temple pattern — for obvious reasons.

This DuBarry pattern, which dates from 1939, shows dolls with the Shirley Temple face and hairstyle, but does not use her name.

Text from DuBarry envelope, pattern 2144B, 1939.

Text from DuBarry envelope, pattern 2144B, 1939.

The pattern was available in 6 sizes, depending on the height of the doll. Simplicity 2243 also said it would fit “popular film star dolls.” McCall 41435 from 1937 is usually described online as a Shirley Temple pattern, but those words aren’t used on the envelope.

McCall "Movie" doll pattern 525 had a nurse's uniform and hooded cape, and well as beach pajamas.

McCall “Movie” doll pattern 525 had a hooded cape, as well as beach pajamas and hats.

Shirley Temple in Heidi, 1937.

Shirley Temple in Heidi, 1937. Her “peasant girl” movie dress laced up the front.

These McCall "Movie" doll patterns seem inspired by Shirley Temple's Heidi costumes.

These McCall “Movie” doll patterns (525) seem inspired by Shirley Temple’s Heidi costumes, which probably influenced dresses for other little girls.

I love this beach pajama outfit; beside it is a photo of a little girl who lived next door to my grandmother.

McCall's Movie doll pattern for beach pajamas; right, unidentified girl wearing a similarly bias trimmed outfit. California, 1930s.

McCall’s Movie doll pattern 525 for beach pajamas was the same design as a 1937 play outfit for girls in the CoPA collection; right, unidentified girl wearing a similarly bias-trimmed outfit. California circa 1930s.

Clothes for these dolls resembled real clothing for children, as seen in the dress, green coat and suit from McCall 418, below.

Part of McCall 418, "Movie" doll wardrobe, from December 1946 catalog

Part of McCall 418, “Movie” doll wardrobe; in December 1946 catalog, but the number sequence puts it earlier.

There’s no mistaking Shirley Temple’s face on this illustration. The detail of the clothes is amazing, considering that it was available for dolls as small as 13 inches (like the one offered by Ladies’ Home Journal.)

McCall "Movie" doll pattern 418.

McCall “Movie” doll pattern 418. The face is Shirley Temple’s.

McCall offered the little Shirley Temple doll suit with plaid skirt in another version in pattern 1015, which does not have Shirley Temple’s face or curls:

Detail, McCall "Movie" doll wardrobe 1015, from 1946.

Detail, McCall “Little Lady” doll wardrobe 1015, from a December 1946 catalog, but probably earlier.

I wore a suit like that, myself, in the late 1940’s.

Little girl in a suit similar to the Movie Doll patterns. Later 1940's.

Little girl in a suit similar to the Movie Doll patterns. Late 1940’s.

I also had to wear curls like Shirley’s, perfected with a curling iron heated on the gas stove; my mother and I fought about those curls every day. She had seen plenty of Shirley Temple movies before I was born and had a clear idea about what her daughter should look like.  (I try not to hold a grudge against Shirley.)

Butterick doll wardrobe pattern 449, from December 1937.

Butterick doll wardrobe pattern 449, from December 1937 Butterick Fashion News flyer.

These wardrobes often included underwear, dresses, a coat or cape, and pajamas or a jumpsuit; the detailed robe in Butterick 449 delights me.

details from Butterick 449.

Details from Butterick 449. Butterick Fashion News, December 1937.

McCall pattern 1015 reflected World War II women’s styles, including a “siren suit” (is that an air raid warden’s insignia?) and a Red Cross Nurse.

Detail from McCall 1015. A "siren suit" for wearing during air raids and a nurse's uniform.

Detail from McCall 1015. A “siren suit” or coverall for wearing during air raids or war work, and a nurse’s uniform. Suitable for “Little Lady” and similar dolls, 13.5 to 22 inches high. 1946 catalog, but probably earlier; Little Lady dolls appeared in 1942.

McCall 918 pattern for "All Movie dolls" and Little Lady dolls.

McCall 918 pattern for “Movie dolls” and “Little Lady” dolls.

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Perhaps the movie inspiration for this one was Gone with the Wind (1939,) rather than Shirley Temple.

Southern Belle dress and cape from McCall Movie doll pattern 918, from 1946 catalog.

Southern Belle ball dress and cape from McCall Movie doll pattern 918;  from 1946 catalog, but probably earlier.

I especially like the doll’s “broomstick skirt,” a fad for women’s skirts that were twisted and tied around a broomstick while wet, so that they were random pleated when dry.

Long housecoat and broomstick skirt with blouse, McCall Movie doll pattern 918.

Long housecoat and broomstick skirt with blouse, McCall Movie doll pattern 918.

Allowing for the child-shape of the dolls, these mimicked women’s clothes. I remember my mother wearing a blue 1940’s housecoat very much like that one!

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Shirley Temple’s heyday as a child star was in the mid 1930’s; although doll-buying parents might have fond memories of her as Dimples, The Little Colonel, Curly Top, and other roles she played before she was eleven, by 1947 she was a married woman, playing opposite Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.

Butterick doll wardrobe patterns, December 1951, Butterick Fashion News.

Butterick doll wardrobe patterns 5969 and 5968. December 1951, Butterick Fashion News. Butterick 5969 was for the new “Toni” doll, which allowed you to wash and set her hair.

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The Toni home permanent company realized (or hoped) that little girls might like to give their dolls a “Toni.” In fact, the setting lotion for the Toni dolls’ hair was sugar and water. I can say from my own childhood experience that my Toni doll’s hair developed a sort of sugar dandruff — luckily you could shampoo her hair, too.

However, Shirley Temple dolls did not disappear; in fact, perhaps because her old movies were appearing on television in the fifties, a new, improved Shirley Temple doll was released in 1958, and new doll wardrobe patterns for her — in fifties’ styles — quickly appeared.

Advance doll pattern 8813, released in 1958. From Blueprints of Fashion 1950s, by Wade Laboissionere.

Advance doll pattern 8813, released in 1958. From Blueprints of Fashion 1950s, by Wade Laboissionere.

The Advance company was licensed to sell Shirley Temple Doll patterns, but I suspect that other companies were able to work around that problem — again.

Click here to see a Simplicity Shirley Temple doll pattern dated 1979.

Unlike many child stars, Shirley Temple Black  led a happy and productive life “after Hollywood,” and served as a United States Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

Many of these movie doll patterns can be seen (or purchased) at Old Doll Patterns.

 

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Formal Frocks for the Holidays, December 1928

Two Formal Frocks from Delineator, December 1928. Butterick patterns 2379 and 2287.

Two “Formal Frocks” from Delineator, December 1928. Butterick patterns 2379 and 2287.

If you love a challenge in sewing chiffon, Butterick 2287 looks like a great opportunity. (I believe those flounces were were curved, which means they’d start stretching the minute you removed them from the pattern paper.) Hems were still short in 1928, but some formal evening gowns were long — in places:

Butterick evening patterns 2347 and 2367, Delineator, December 1928

Butterick evening patterns 2347 and 2367, Delineator, December 1928.

Many late twenties’ hemlines combined long and short looks. (Click here for more examples.) For young women, a fuller skirt was also an option.

Butterick 2366, evening or bridesmaid's gown for young women. Dec. 1928.

Butterick 2366, evening or bridesmaid’s gown for young women. Dec. 1928.

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The shorter, close-to-the-body under layer is visible through the sheer tulle top layer. This dress is also notable for the bareness of its shoulders.

2366 has "lingerie straps;" usually these slip straps were only visible when veiled by a more substantial chiffon or lace dress shoulder, as in Butterick 2287.

Butterick 2366 has “lingerie straps;” usually such thin straps were only visible when veiled by a more substantial chiffon or lace dress shoulder, as in Butterick 2287. December, 1928.

Such thin straps were previously seen on slips and chemises, so using them to hold up a dress was provocative. The girl who wore No. 2366 as shown was presumably not wearing any underwear above the waist, although she could opt for the more conservative, sleeveless version of the dress as shown in the back view. A metallic tulle (see-through) skirt with a metallic tissue lame bodice would have made a less demure gown than the model’s expression suggests. Another lingerie strap evening dress was illustrated in February of 1929.

Butterick 2387 is meant to flutter. Dark fabrics are suggested, which does not rule out red....

Butterick 2387 is meant to flutter. Dark fabrics are suggested, which does not rule out shades of red…. December 1928.

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The ripple of such flounces is achieved by cutting them on a curve.

Butterick 2379 , with a long “bustle” drape in back, supposedly shows the influence of Chanel.

Butterick formal evening gown pattern 2379; Dec. 1928.

Butterick formal evening gown pattern 2379; Dec. 1928. Note the very low back.

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The long end of the bow “gives the one-piece frock an uneven hem and a down-in-back movement…. The low flare of the tiers [is] in the Chanel manner.” Such bustle bows were seen in 1928 and into the early thirties; The Vintage Traveler recently shared a photo of one originally made in 1932.

Also influenced by Chanel was this “minaret” gown (which looks more like a pagoda to me):

Starched lace stands away from the body in Butterick formal evening dress No. 2347. December 1928.

Starched lace stands away from the body in Butterick formal evening dress No. 2347. December 1928.

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Delineator had illustrated a similar tiered lace dress by Chanel in November:

Lace dress by Chanel, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928, p. 114.

Lace dress by Chanel, “stiffened at the edges,” illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1928, p. 114.

It’s interesting to think that some (now) droopy, vintage lace gowns might once have been stiffened like these.

Butterick 2367 is asymmetrical, long in places, shown in a metallic brocade fabric, and graced with two enormous, back-to-back fabric flowers at the hip. (Note the very short, close-to-the-head hairstyles in some of these illustrations.)

Butterick evening gown 2367 from December 1928. Delineator.

Butterick evening gown 2367 from December 1928. Delineator.

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This dress seems to be gathered — or more probably ruched, like its flowers — at the side seam under the bow. (Perhaps an underslip supported the weight of this trim?)

The same December issue of Delineator magazine illustrated many beautiful evening shoes to wear with these gowns. Click here for “Dancing Shoes, December 1928.”  And I never get tired of Designer watches from the late twenties. Click here for diamond evening watches, and here for sporty Art Deco Designer watches in color.

Best wishes to everyone who plans to party like it’s 1928! (Oh, wait…. 1929 wasn’t such a good year…. Let’s just set the time machine to 1928.)

Note: I have shown some of these dresses before, but without the details or accompanying descriptions.

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Simple, Glitzy Tops from the 1940s

A variety of McCall patterns from the 1940's showed glittering trim on simple tops.

A variety of McCall patterns from the 1940’s showed glittering trim on simple tops.

In the forties, McCall offered several patterns for simple tops which could be raised to evening wear status with sequins or beading. “Afternoon-evening” style implied a fashion that could be worn for dates when combined with your daytime business suit; a simple change of blouse and the working woman or traveler was ready for cocktails, dinner, and dancing.

McCall 1192 had an attractive back, too. The cap shoulders are a style that returns periodically.

McCall 1192 had a decorated back, too. The cap shoulders are a style that returns periodically. “Just two pieces to this blouse.”

No. 1192, from 1945, was still featured in the needlework catalog for May, 1950. It included an embroidery transfer and  instructions for applying the sequins one at a time, although you could also purchase strands of sequins by the yard.

How to stitch sequins or do a decorative embroidery stitch. McCall 1192.

How to stitch sequins or do a decorative embroidery stitch. McCall 1192.

You could also work it in bugle beads, or in six-strand cotton embroidery thread “for a  more restrained effect.” A simple chainstitch was also recommended. Most of the ornamentation would be done before before sewing the side seams.

Description of McCall 1192.

Description of McCall 1192. Embroidery transfers came in blue, for visibility on most light colors, or yellow, for use on dark colors.

McCall pattern 1283, from a 1946 catalog. The blouse is simple, but the sequin trim is glamorous.

McCall pattern 1283, from 1946. The blouse is simple, but the sequin trim is glamorous. Making a long skirt in matching fabric would give you an “evening gown” that could be varied with other tops.

The rows of sequins suggest necklaces. The sash seems to be attached in the back, and brought around to tie in front. [If I were making this blouse, I’d add more fabric to keep it tucked in at the waist.]

McCall 1283, circa 1946. A handbag pattern was included.

McCall 1283, circa 1946. A handbag pattern was included. “For daytime wear, trim with fine rickrack and wear under suit jackets. One of the ‘musts’ for that special weekend or vacation and so easy to pack.”

There was a time when a lady did not wear sequins in the daytime. However, late afternoon and the cocktail hour permitted a bit of sparkle.

Witness to Fashion note:  The wearing of metallic fabrics, rhinestone-studded clothing, and sequins during daylight hours was only beginning to be acceptable in the early 1970’s. I remember walking to breakfast with my husband in Hollywood one morning about nine; a woman passed us wearing tight jeans, high wooden platform heels, and a strapless sequinned stretch top, called a tube top. “Was she — or wasn’t she — a prostitute?” I asked to my spouse, figuring a man might pick up signals I was missing.  He looked utterly bewildered when he admitted, “I don’t know!” A few years earlier, we would have had no doubts.

Many forties’ dresses for late afternoon and evening have subtle sequin trim; some are not so subtle.

Vintage black dress with black sequin trim, 1940s. (It photographed navy, but it was black.)

Vintage black dress with black sequin trim, 1940s. (It photographed navy.)

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A short forties’ party dress trimmed with green sequins and cream-colored seed beads. [A black petticoat visible near the hem is not part of the dress.]

Detail: a spray of flowers made from sequins on a vintage dress.

Detail: a spray of flowers made from sequins and beads on a vintage dress.

Black vintage dress with a sunburst of beads.

Black vintage dress with a “necklace” and sunburst of sequins.

Another late forties detail:  This blouse has beading around the neckline, suggesting a necklace.

McCall transfer No. 1408 used beading to transform a very simple blouse into a sparkling one. You wouldn't need to carry jewelry if you packed a blouse like this.

McCall transfer No. 1408 used beading to transform a very simple blouse into a sparkling one. You wouldn’t need to carry  jewelry on vacation if you packed a blouse like this.

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Using an embroidery hoop,  organza, tissue, (or modern tear-away stabilizer) to keep the fabric from stretching makes applying these trims easier.

In 1950 you could choose among several neckline beading designs:  a bow, a pendant, etc.

More neckline beading designs from McCall. Pattern 1491.

More neckline beading designs from McCall. Pattern 1491.

A bow on your shoulder of a "brooch" could also trim your dress or suit jacket. McCall 1491.

A bow on your shoulder or a beaded “brooch” could also trim your dress or suit jacket. McCall 1491.

More beading patterns for blouses, dresses and suits. McCall pattern 1314.

More beading patterns for blouses, dresses and suits. McCall pattern 1314. (From 1947.)

Gold or iridescent beads were available, but many of these patterns were used very subtly, in black on black, bronze on brown, blue on blue, etc. The square pattern below would turn a simple wool crepe suit into an elegant one, if you worked it in beads or shiny thread on the pockets.

A square beading pattern like this would be subtle in black beads on a black suit jacket. Variations could be used on the neckline of a wool dress or the collar of a suit jacket. McCall 1314.

A square beading pattern like this would be subtle in black beads on a black suit jacket. Variations could be used on the neckline of a wool dress or the collar of a suit jacket. McCall 1314.

If you’re tempted to make a dressy forties’ blouse, remember how often sparkle was added to day-into-night clothing. Pick a simple style, and let the ornamentation supply the sophistication.

McCall 1404: simple linger sleeved blouses embellished with rays of sequins at the neck.

McCall 1404: simple longer-sleeved blouses embellished with glittering rays at the neck. Late forties.

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McCall 1293 for a vestee, a timeless halter top, a hat and a bag.

McCall 1293 included a vestee, a timeless halter top, a hat and a bag. Dated 1946.

Picture that 1940’s halter with evening trousers or a short lace skirt; if you found it in a thrift store, would it scream “1946” to you?

McCall 1293.

McCall 1293 included this Juliet cap and evening bag. This cap would not work over high forties’ hairstyles, but was perfect over a close-to-the-head fifties’ cut.

A sequinned monogram on a blouse or dress was also worn by many — although I wonder whether monogrammed gifts are always appreciated by the recipient….

McCall transfer pattern 1339 supplied 5 inch high initials to work in sequins or embroidery thread.

McCall transfer pattern 1339 supplied 5 inch high initials to work in sequins or embroidery thread. (1947) Swing, anyone?

If you like the idea of adding sparkle, but not too much, consider an applique. I used to own several forties’ dresses which had bodice (and sometimes skirt) appliques of flowers — cut from printed material — and outlined or delicately accented with sequins. This dress does not have sequins, but a few on the appliqued tulip — clear or matching the colors — wouldn’t be out of period.

This vintage dress has a solid rayon crepe bodice, a floral printed crepe skirt, and one motif -- a tulip -- from the skirt fabric appliqued to the bodice. A few sequins on that tulip would be fine.

This vintage dress has a solid rayon crepe bodice, a floral printed crepe skirt, and one motif — a tulip — from the skirt fabric appliqued to the bodice. A few sequins on that tulip would be fine.

Obviously, this mannequin was too small for the dress; the flared, bias-cut skirt should hang from the natural waistline. A narrow self-belt probably accompanied this dress, but has been lost.

It’s not too late to make your forties’ style  holiday party blouse or dress!

 

 

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Filed under 1940s-1950s, bags, Dresses, Hairstyles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Purses, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns

What’s Cooking? Holiday Aprons, Mostly from the 1940’s

Holiday party aprons for little girls, McCall pattern 1281, from a needlework catalog for December 1946.

Holiday party aprons for little girls, McCall pattern 1281, from a needlework catalog for December 1946.

Back in the mid-twentieth century, before women wore casual slacks or jeans to do housework, the apron was a useful, and often elaborate, handmade gift. Aprons were not included in the rule that gifts of clothing were too intimate for anyone but family members. Pattern catalogs and women’s magazines usually featured apron patterns in November and December;  in my parents’ home, one sign that Christmas was approaching was the making of pajamas and aprons.

Holiday Aprons" from Woman's Home Companion, December 1937. Companion-Butterick pattern No. 7652.

“Holiday Aprons” from Woman’s Home Companion, December 1937. Companion-Butterick pattern No. 7652.

The elaborate backs of these aprons may be surprising to those of us who are used to modern, store-bought, unisex aprons. These were serious aprons that protected your dress.

Back views and text for Companion-Butterick apron pattern 7652. Dec, 1937.

Back views and text for Companion-Butterick apron pattern 7652. Dec., 1937. “Triad” meant three designs in one envelope.

This unisex apron set from 1950 shows the basic outline of inexpensive, utilitarian aprons like the ones in my kitchen today; in 1950 they were called “barbecue” aprons, and the idea of a man cooking and wearing an apron at home was no longer just a joke — although the gift aprons were often intended to be humorous.

His and Hers barbeque aprons. McCall pattern circa 1950.

His and Hers barbecue aprons. McCall pattern 1515, circa 1950.

This apron set, found in a McCall Needlework catalog from May, 1950, has elaborate appliques, and would probably have been intended as a gift set — made for a friend, or newlyweds, or intended to be sold at a charity bazaar.

Making aprons to sell at fundraisers is an old tradition. The Ladies’ Home Journal suggested making these aprons for a fundraiser during WW I:

Aprons to make for a Charity Bazaar; Ladies' Home Journal, October 1917.

Aprons to make for a Charity Bazaar; Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1917. (In 1917, some skirts also had a ruffle at the waist.) Many women still wore “pinner” aprons, without straps, like those at right.

Of course, when women made aprons for themselves, they might prefer a simple shape, bound in bias tape

Two versions of Butterick apron pattern 6874, from 1926.

Two versions of Butterick apron pattern 6874, from 1926.

… but frilly, sometimes silly, labor-intensive aprons were a staple of holiday gift-making.

McCall called this a "little girl look" apron. Needlework catalog, Dec. 1946.

McCall called this a “little girl look” apron. Pattern 917, McCall Needlework catalog, Dec. 1946, but first issued in 1941. [I can picture June Allyson in this one.]

You can see the pattern piece shapes for No. 917 from a copy in the CoPA collection; click here.

Aprons like the ones below, often decorated half-aprons, were called “cocktail aprons” or “bridge aprons,” [for hosting card parties] and were worn while entertaining, not cooking or washing dishes.

Apron decorated with sequinned hearts. McCall 1278, from a 1946 needlework catalog.

Apron decorated with sequinned hearts. McCall 1278, from a 1946 needlework catalog. I have also seen aprons with sequinned martini glasses on them….

Simplicity aprons No. 1805, dated 1956. Starching and ironing those ruffles would be time consuming.

Simplicity apron No. 1805, dated 1956. Starching and ironing those ruffles would be time consuming.

This dress, McCall 1312, made from sheer fabrics, might be a gift to a bride. It was a fantasy of housework.

This apron, McCall 1312, made from sheer fabrics and delicately appliqued, might be a gift to a bride. It evokes a fantasy of housework, unrelated to reality. 1950 needlework catalog.

I suspect that many fancy aprons were re-gifted and never worn (probably why so many delicate aprons survive in vintage collections.)

This one, decorated with Scottie dogs, is my virtual gift to The Vintage Traveler.

McCall Scottie dog apron, circa 1950.

McCall Scottie dog apron, before 1950. I prefer the version on the right.

Aprons and Sewing Classes

Many girls and women made aprons while learning to sew. A simple half apron was well within the abilities of elementary school students, and many a proud mother must have received an apron — far too pretty to wear — for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.

McCall apron 1096 -- probably a Valentine gift. From a 1946 needle work catalog.

McCall apron 1096 — an appropriate Valentine gift. Photographed from a 1946 needle work catalog, but it dates to 1943.

Simplicity aprons from 1956, pattern No. 1789.

Simplicity aprons from 1956, pattern No. 1789. Even a beginner could make version 4, or apply rickrack, as in version 3.

A Super-Successful Apron Pattern

I found three McCall needlework catalogs (1946 to 1950) at an estate sale; some apron patterns were so successful that they appeared year after year, so a three-digit pattern number is often an indication that the pattern pre-dates 1946. This one first appeared in 1941 and was still in the catalog for November, 1950 — nine years later.

McCall pattern 884, called the "Necktie" apron dates to 1941 and was still being offered in 1950.

McCall pattern 884, called the “Necktie” apron dates to 1941 and was still being offered in 1950 –and, possibly, later.

The Necktie apron — cut in many sections — had to be folded to be ironed correctly:

Necktie apron, McCall 884. It is shown folded for ironing at the left.

Necktie apron, McCall 884. It is shown folded for ironing at the left.

Necktie apron description form 1946 catalog.

Necktie apron description from 1946 catalog. Rickrack trim was applied behind its edges, so that only half the trim was visible. Other designs used rickrack more obviously:

Rickrack was applied to the top sides of these aprons, McCall 987, from 1942.

Rickrack was applied to the outsides of these aprons, McCall 987, from 1942. The tassels would be rather impractical.

Mother-Daughter Aprons

In the post-war period it was generally assumed that little girls wanted to grow up to be housewives, just like their Mommies. You could buy identical apron patterns for children and women, like these:

McCall apron pattern 1532, for women. May 1950 needlework catalog.

McCall apron pattern 1532, for women. May 1950 needlework catalog.

Child's version of McCall 1532 was McCall 1533.

The child’s version of McCall 1532 was McCall 1533.

This Butterflies apron was also available in a child's version. (From 1946)

This Butterflies apron was also available in a child’s version. (From 1946) McCall No. 1257.

A Daughter (or little sister) version of the Butterflies apron was McCall 1258.

A daughter (or little sister) version of the Butterflies apron was McCall 1258.

Once upon a time, little girls wore dresses all day, and protected them with aprons or pinafores. Women also expected a practical apron to protect their dresses from cooking spatters and laundry suds; except for their elaborate embroidery or appliques, these aprons would do the trick:

McCall 1209 covered most of the dress,

McCall apron No. 1209 covered most of the dress. 1940s.

Kitchen pet of the career girl -- this young apron ... completely covers the dress. Pinafore ruffles give the smart broad-shouldered look." McCall 1135.

“Kitchen pet of the career girl — this young apron … completely covers the dress. Pinafore ruffles give the smart broad-shouldered look.” McCall 1135. Circa 1945.

The apron below is really unusual — but I’ll save the other aprons with novelty pockets for another day!

A tulip forms a novelty pocket on this unusual, fasten-in-front apron. McCall 1403, from 1948.

A tulip forms a novelty pocket on this unusual, fasten-in-front apron. McCall 1403, from 1948.

Although it looks complex, this apron would lie completely flat for ironing — more practical than it looks.

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Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re inspired to cook up something delightful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, 1940s-1950s, Accessory Patterns, Children's Vintage styles, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Menswear, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Vintage patterns, World War I

Fashions for November, 1917

November fashions from Butterick, Delineator magazine, Nov. 1917, p. 84.

November fashions from Butterick, Delineator magazine, Nov. 1917, p. 84.

November fashions from Butterick, Delineator, Nov. 1917, p. 83.

November fashions from Butterick, Delineator, Nov. 1917, p. 83.

As usual, I’ll show individual pattern illustrations, then give full descriptions at the end of the post. I’ll give details of the coats in a later post.

And, before I forget, these illustrations are always interesting for their hats and hairstyles:

Women's hats with feathers, Delineator, Nov. 1917.

Women’s hats with feathers, Delineator, Nov. 1917.

Women's hats and hairstyles from Delineator, Nov. 1917.

Women’s hats and hairstyles from Delineator, Nov. 1917. These hats also have feather trim.

By 1917, many women were cutting their hair shorter in front, leaving the back long; bangs and poufs of short curls over the ears softened their look and framed the face under closely fitting hats, which foreshadow the cloche hats of the 1920’s.

Butterick patterns from the top of page 84, Nov. 1917.

Butterick patterns from the top of page 84, Delineator, Nov. 1917. Top row: left, 9422; center, waist 9435 with skirt 9468; right, blouse 9472 with skirt 9444.

Butterick dress pattern 9422. Delineator, Nov. 1917 .

Butterick dress pattern 9422. Delineator, Nov. 1917 .

No. 9422 is described as a serge frock with a surplice closing, a slightly raised waist, and chamois colored satin shawl collar and trim. The belt is separate, and a sash could be used instead. Other recommended dress colors were navy blue, tobacco brown, mustard, sand, dark red, plum, etc.

Butterick 9435 with skirt 9468. Delineator, Nov. 1917.

Butterick 9435 with skirt 9468. Delineator, Nov. 1917.

Butterick No. 9435 is a pleated tunic style trimmed with “self-colored beading at the throat, sleeves and sash.” It is shown in “cadet blue” with self-covered ball button trim. Various silk fabrics are suggested, and  “black is very smart for the silk dress and makes a very useful dress for many different occasions.”

Butterick bodice (waist) 9472 comes to below the hip and is trimmed with embroidery; skirt pattern 9444 was shown with many tops. Nov. 1917.

Butterick blouse 9472 comes to below the hip and is trimmed with embroidery; skirt pattern 9444 was shown with many tops. Nov. 1917.

Here are two views of the blouse:

Blouse pattern 9472 could have a high collar; either a straight or pointed hemline, and three different belts.

Blouse pattern 9472 could have a high collar; long or  3/4 sleeves, either a straight or pointed hemline, and three different belts. The version on the left appears to be trimmed with many ball buttons.

More Butterick patterns from page 84, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

More Butterick patterns from page 84, Nov. 1917. Delineator. From left, 9470, 9476, and 9479.

Butterick dress pattern 9470 from Nov. 1917.

Butterick dress pattern 9470 from Nov. 1917.

No. 9470 has dozens of satin-bound buttonholes and covered buttons. It is shown with a brown velvet collar and brown braid (applied at hem and neckline.)

Butterick pattern 9476, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick pattern 9476, Nov. 1917. Delineator. It has a dropped waist, which dominated in the 1920’s.

Novelty silk voile was used for the sleeves and collar; the dress was made of brown velvet, or velveteen. Wool serge was also recommended for this dress; “made in satin or velvet it is suitable for any afternoon occasion.” “For the woolen materials like chiffon broadcloth, serge, gabardine, checks, stripes and plaids could have the sleeves of satin, taffeta, charmeuse, silk crepe or chiffon.”

Butterick patterns 9479 and 9509, Nov. 1917.

Butterick patterns 9479 and 9509, Nov. 1917.

“Sand color-gabardine for the smart little jumper and new tunic skirt makes a delightful combination with blue satin for the side body and full-length sleeves. (Designs 9479 and 9509.)” Although called a jumper, the bodice (including the sleeves and collar) is separate from the skirt. [In American usage, a “jumper” is usually a sleeveless bodice attached to a skirt and worn over a separate blouse.]

Butterick patterns from Delineator, November 1917, page 83.

Butterick patterns from Delineator, November 1917, page 83. Patterns 9480 (tan), 9517 (navy), waist 9477 with skirt 9502 (gray), and a red suit which uses coat pattern 9490 with skirt 9444.

Butterick dress pattern 9480 with muff pattern 9511, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick dress pattern 9480 with muff pattern 9511, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Frock 9480 was illustrated in gold colored velvet, but could also be made in serge or silk for an autumn wardrobe. A higher necked “chemisette” was recommended for wear under a winter coat. “The draped front extends down to form a wide panel, and there are sash ends that tie loosely in the back.” “The dress could be trimmed with beading or embroidery.” However, “This Autumn the embroidery is smartest worked in soft colors that harmonize with the dress itself; the sharper contrasting and striking effects of the past season are not being used for the new dresses.”

Butterick dress pattern 9489, Nov. 1917.

Butterick dress pattern 9489, Nov. 1917.

9489-text-1917-nov-p-83

Butterick pattern 9477 wit skirt 9502 and stole pattern 9517. Nov. 1917.

Butterick blouse-waist pattern 9477 with skirt 9502 and stole pattern 9517. Nov. 1917.

This “blouse-waist,” No. 9477, was also described as a jumper, with a tunic skirt.

9477-blouse-9502-skirt-9517-stole-1917-nov-p-82-text-p-83

Butterick coat pattern 9490 with skirt 9444, Nov. 1917.

Butterick coat pattern 9490 with skirt 9444, Nov. 1917. The trim, including the belt buckle, is gray squirrel fur.

suit-coat-9490-skirt-9444-1917-nov-p-82-costume-every-hour-9510-and-text-p-83

Skirt No. 9444, shown with several different tops,  has an optional belt with pockets attached:

Butterick skirt pattern 9444 was shown with many tops; the belt with attached pockets could be omitted.

Butterick skirt pattern 9444 was shown with many tops; the belt with attached pockets could be omitted to make a simple under skirt. 1917.

The corsets of this period created a very high waist in the back, as shown in this skirt illustration.

Other views and details of patterns shown at the top of the post:

500-comp-9422

Details, Butterick blouse 9435 and skirt 9468. 1917.

Details, Butterick blouse 9435 and skirt 9468. 1917.

Butterick 9470, from 1917.

Details of Butterick 9470, from 1917.

Details, Butterick 9476, from 1917.

Details, Butterick 9476, from 1917.

Details of Butterick 9479 and 9509, November 1917.

Details of Butterick 9479 and 9509, November 1917.

Details of Butterick dress 9480. From 1917.

Details of Butterick dress 9480. From 1917.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Hairstyles, Hats, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns, World War I

Fashion Plates (for Men and Women) from the Met Costume Institute

1921 fashion plate from the Metropolitan Museum collection. Click here to see it in larger versions.

1921 fashion plate from the Metropolitan Museum collection. Click here to see it in larger versions.

The Metropolitan Museum continues its generous policy of sharing images online; “Fashion plates from the collections of the Costume Institute and the Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art” are now available (and searchable) at http://libmma.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15324coll12

Click here, and scroll down for a lengthy list of sub-collections of fashion plates: menswear, children, wedding, women, headgear, etc., organized by date or range of dates.

What really excited me is the large number of men’s fashion plates, many dated very precisely, like these tennis outfits from 1905-06.

Men's tennis outfits, 1905 1906; Metropolitan Museum Fashion Plates collection. Plate 029.

Men’s tennis outfits, 1905-1906; Metropolitan Museum Fashion Plates Collection. Plate 029. For full image, click here.

If you need to skim through a year or a decade of men’s fashion, this is a great place! It’s also going to be very helpful to collectors who are trying to date specific items of men’s clothing. Sometimes the date range given is very narrow (e.g., 1905-06) and sometimes it’s rather broad (e.g., 1896 to 1913) but menswear is neglected by many costume collections, so this is a terrific resource.

Vintage vests for men. Undated. Details like the lapels, the shape of the waist, the depth of the opening, the buttons, etc., will help to date them from reference materials

Vintage evening vests for men. Undated. Details like the lapels, the shape of the waist, the depth of the opening, the buttons, etc., will help the collector to date them from reference materials.

In addition to full outfits, like these evening clothes …

Evening dress for men, 1909-1910. Met Museum Costume Plate.

Evening dress for men, 1909-1910. Met Museum Costume Plate.

… individual items like vests can also be found:

Men's vests; fashion plate from the Met Museum fashion plate collection category "1900-1919 men"

Men’s vests; fashion plate from the Met Museum fashion plate collection category “1900-1919 men.” The vests on the left have five buttons.

Undated vintage vests. Both have high necklines, but one has seven buttons instead of six.

Undated vintage vests. Both have high necklines, but one has seven buttons and one has six. You could probably date them from the Met’s Fashion Plate Collection.

Men's vests 1896 to 1899. The red one reminds us that vests (aka weskits) sometimes had sleeves.

From “Men 1896 to 1899.” The red one reminds us that vests (aka weskits) sometimes had sleeves. The red one with vertical stripes may be a footman’s or other servant’s vest. This plate is dated February 1898.

Of course, fashion plates that have been separated from their descriptions in text are less useful than a complete magazine or catalog. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for the chance to see these rare collections, especially because the men are not forgotten.

This delightful plate reminds me of an Edward Gorey vamp — like the ones dancing through the credits on Mystery on Public Television.

A long evening gown from the House of Worth, 1921. Met Museum Costume Collection Fashion Plate.

A long evening gown from the House of Worth, 1921. Met Museum Costume Institute Fashion Plate.

I’ll add a link to the collection to my “Sites with Great Information” sidebar. (There are other treasures to explore there….)

 

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Filed under 1700s, 1800s-1830s, 1830s -1860s fashions, 1860s -1870s fashions, 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1930s, Children's Vintage styles, Costumes for the 18th Century, Costumes for the 19th century, Early Victorian fashions, Exhibitions & Museums, Late Victorian fashions, Men's Formalwear & Evening, Men's Sportswear, Menswear, Mid-Victorian fashions, Resources for Costumers, Suits for Men, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Wedding Clothes

Persuasive Ads for Spencer Corsets, 1930’s

A persuasive ad for Spencer corsets shows a woman wearing the same dress, with and without the corset. Woman's Home Companion, November 1936.

A persuasive ad for Spencer corsets shows a woman wearing the same dress, with and without the corset. Woman’s Home Companion, November 1936. [Of course, photos could be altered with a retouching brush.]

Corset advertisements used to be a mainstay of women’s fashion magazines. Usually they simply showed a picture of the product. However, I found a series of ads for Spencer Corsets that seem especially persuasive, since they show “before and after” photographs of the models, and also show how much the corset could improve the look of a woman’s clothing.

Ads for Spencer custom corsets showed "before," "after," and "under" photos; the Spencer corset (center) under a fashionable dress. Woman's Home Companion, Dec. 1936.

Ads for Spencer custom corsets showed “before,” “after,” and “under” photos; the Spencer corset (center) under a fashionable dress (right). Woman’s Home Companion, Dec. 1936.

The fashions of 1936 and 1937 were designed for very narrow hips.

Left, illustrations of Butterick patterns 6668 and 6605, from February, 1936. Right, holiday party gowns illustrated in Ladies' Home Journal, January 1936.

Left, illustrations of Butterick patterns 6668 and 6605, from February, 1936. Right, holiday party gowns illustrated in Ladies’ Home Journal, January 1936.

This Spencer corset ad emphasized hip control. January, 1936. The sleek model in this ad for Simonize car polish shows why women were worried about their hip size.

This Spencer corset ad emphasized hip control. January, 1936. The sleek model in the ad for Simonize car polish shows why women were worried about their hip size.

Spencer corsets were made to order, so they were presumably more expensive than ready-made foundation garments.

Another custom corset company, called Spirella, also stressed hip control.

Two ads for Spirella corsets, August and July 1936. Ladies' Home Journal.

Two ads for Spirella corsets, August and July 1936. Ladies’ Home Journal. “Have the Spirella Corsetiere mold your figure to its ideal lines with the patented Spirella Modeling Garment.” “At no cost to you… in your own home. See your figure idealized before your very eyes.”

Like Spirella, Spencer offered corset fittings in your own house: “Have you ever had a Spencer Corsetiere make a study of your figure? …An intelligent woman, trained in the Spencer designer’s methods of figure analysis will call at your home.”

An ad for Spencer corsets, Woman's Home Companion, September 1937.

Top image from an ad for Spencer corsets, Woman’s Home Companion, September 1937.

Ad for Spencer corset, Woman's Home Companion, September 1936.

Ad for Spencer corset, Woman’s Home Companion, September 1936.

Just as Listerine warned against “halitosis” to sell mouthwash, this corset ad used “lordosis” — a word which describes the normal curvature of the spine as well as excessive curvature — to sell corsets.

Figure faults included "bulging hips, bulging abdomen, and lordosis."

“Figure faults” included “bulging hips,” “bulging abdomen,” and “lordosis.”

Top of an ad for Spencer corsets, Woman's Home Companion, September 1936.

Top of an ad for Spencer corsets, Woman’s Home Companion, September 1936. “Check your figure fault on the coupon below.”

Women were encouraged to identify their “figure fault.”

Spencer Corsets were "individually designed" to correc such "faults" as a normal. curvy derriere.

Spencer Corsets were “individually designed” to correct such “faults” as a normal. curvy derriere.

Notice that the same ad recruited saleswomen who would be trained to become “Spencer Corsetieres.”

Spencer corset ad, April 1937.

Spencer corset ad, April 1937. Notice her flat backside.

Of course, photos can lie; a subtle change of posture — shoulders back, chest up — is noticeable here; but the flattening power of the Spencer foundation garment is also evident.

Corset laces can be seen at the waist of the stretched-out girdle on the left. Spencer ad, WHC, Sepot. 1936.

Corset laces can be seen at the waist of the stretched-out girdle on the left. Spencer ad, WHC, Sept. 1936.

(A flat rear was also important in the 1920’s. Click here.)

The ill-fitting bra and really unattractive girdle on the left would not enhance any dress. Spencer ad, Jan 1936.

The ill-fitting bra and gaping girdle on the left would not enhance the fit of any dress. Spencer ad, Jan 1936.

"her mirror warned her that her figure was slumping...." Spencer ad, Nov. 1936. WHC.

“Her mirror warned her that her figure was slumping….” Spencer ad, Nov. 1936. WHC.

"But her mirro told a different story when she donned a SPENCER." Corset ad in Woman's Home Companion, Nov. 1936.

“But her mirror told a different story when she donned a SPENCER.” Corset ad in Woman’s Home Companion, Nov. 1936.

Pretty persuasive — and the personal fitting was free. A price range was not given; finding out the price from a saleswoman who had already spent time locating your “figure faults” in the privacy of your own home put the buyer in a vulnerable position.  But “Your Spencer corset and bandeau will effectively correct any figure fault, because every section, every line is designed, cut and made to solve your figure problem and yours only…. Prices depend on material selected. A wide range to suit every purse.”

Text opf a Spencer Corset ad, Woman's Home Companion, Sept. 1937.

Text of a Spencer Corset ad, Woman’s Home Companion, Sept. 1937.

If you’re curious about the Corsetiere’s fitting kit, The Vintage Post has pictures of a Spirella one from the 1940’s. Click here.

These custom corsets were intended for women whose figures were imperfect (or who thought they were.) Women who only needed a little support, or a firmer silhouette, could wear the relatively new elastic foundations like this one from  Flexees.

A one-piece foundation from Flexees smoothed the figure without boning or tightly woven traditional corset materials.

Thanks to Lastex, a one-piece step-in foundation from Flexees smoothed the figure without boning, zippers, hooks and eyes, or lacing. Ad from December, 1936.

 

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Filed under 1930s, Corsets, Corsets, Foundation Garments, Girdles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc