Butterick patterns chosen for the Woman’s Home Companion were almost always cost-conscious. These “Gay Blouses” featured in November of 1936 are illustrated in evening materials, to be worn with a long velveteen skirt. They require very little material — as little as one yard and a quarter.
“How would you like to wear something glamorous and different to your next theater party or concert? If so, here is a practical suggestion. Make one of these formal blouses. You can do it in short order for the patterns are easy. And what is more, they require very little material. A remnant as short as one and one quarter or no longer than two yards is all you need for any one of them in size thirty-six.
“Here is a chance to indulge your taste for the most luxurious metal cloth, the softest satin, the richest velvet or the newest cloque. Any material shows to advantage in these simple designs.”
“Smart women are wearing them with short sleeves to afternoon parties and even to dinner dances with their long-skirted suits. However, long sleeves are also included in the patterns.”
“There may be an extra skirt already hanging in your closet. If not, plain black, brown, or wine-colored velveteen would complete a rich-looking costume, deceptively rich-looking when you consider the small quantity of fabric and the simplicity.” — Woman’s H0me Companion, November 1936, p. 80.
Elsa Schiaparelli had begun experimenting with textured fabrics in 1933, like this “boldly crinkled rayon crepe fabric called ‘treebark.’ ” (From Shocking: The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli, by Dilys Blum.)
An evening blouse made of a textured fabric — especially if it had metallic threads — would be quite chic.
The models’ close-to-the-head hairstyles are also interesting. Two of them appear to have long hair that has been rolled up at sides and back.
Their flat crowns would be compatible with the brimless hats of 1936.