Companion-Butterick “Triad” patterns usually were marked by their versatility: patterns with day and evening versions, or patterns that could be made in several ways to create a larger wardrobe. This is the first I’ve noticed that was versatile because it was equally suited to young, middle-aged, and older women. (There would be no savings in buying this unless all three wore the same size… and were still the same shape….)
“Pattern 7553 is designed for the family — a find for teas, luncheons, and bridge. To see it at its best you will want to make it up in an exciting new fall fabric and color. For you mothers, we suggest a wool-like silk, bound in green grosgrain. It is a perfect foil for kid-trimmed brown suede shoes and a felt toque.” “For you daughters, very sheer wool is new in cranberry, a vibrant fall shade. Add high-cut black suede pumps, a felt calot, and you are dressed for any special occasion. You grandmother will like the heavy drape of satin-back silk in soft blue tinged with lavender — a color flattering to gray hair. With this dull and shiny combination, no shoe could be nicer than one in black suede trimmed with patent leather. And to complete your costume we suggest a felt hat in matching blue.”
The daughter’s calot is a close-fitting cap without a brim. The styling of the bodices is varied, but, except for having shorter sleeves, the daughter’s version is not noticeably youthful. Grandmother’s heavy satin-backed silk is made with the matte side out and the shiny side used only as trim. It also has ruching on the shoulders, perhaps to provide a little more bust fullness, and less puffy sleeve caps. Mother’s wool-like brown silk bound in green grosgrain strikes me as a bit too “Robin Hood.” (To be fair, the Errol Flynn Adventures of Robin Hood wasn’t released until May of 1938.) I’m hoping that’s a gorgeous Art Deco emerald clip on her neckline.
To my eyes, the most youthful-looking shoes are worn by the grandmother, not the granddaughter.
Notice how high and relatively narrow the heels on the “Fay” model are. Mother might also wear the “Stroller” heels, which are equally high, but not as thin. “Fernwood,” with a lower heel, looks more grandmotherly to me, and as recommended, they are suede or gabardine with patent leather trim. Perhaps the daughter is wearing “high-cut black suede pumps” with a zipper front, but these Air Step “Dianne” shoes would also do.
The pattern information and back views of Companion-Butterick #7553:
7 responses to “A Pattern for Mother, Daughter, and Grandmother, 1937”
I love this dress I may need the grandmother or mother version I also love the descriptions often vintage styles for older woman are hard to find
Glad you like it. I love the vintage 1920s photo on your Retro Rover blog. I go to the Silent Film Festival every year and one of my favorites was a Rin Tin Tin movie called Clash of the Wolves. Rin Tin Tin’s character was half wolf, so when he goes into town he has to wear a disguise, which includes a beard. He also wears boots his owner made him after he injured his foot. Maybe they’ll find and restore a Strongheart movie someday.
Grandmother is nice and trim, but I see that the pattern came in a large range of sizes and she is supposedly a size 40. It must be that matte fabric absorbing all the light!
Isn’t it wonderful what the right fabric can do!
How interesting! I’ve seen entries in Vogue Patterns from the seventies and eighties that do mother/daughter interpretations of a pattern, but never three generations. It’s the princess seams that make this possible, don’t you think?
What sharp eyes you have! Those 1930s fashion figures are so unrealistic that I hadn’t considered the importance of having five or six seams in the skirt. The bodice on this one is pretty unforgiving, though.
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