Category Archives: Children’s Vintage styles

Coats, Suits, and Print dresses, March 1926

Some of the colors used here are now associated with an autumn palette, but these Spring clothes for women from March, 1926, have their own charm.

A page of patterns for young women, Delineator, March 1926, page 27.

Skirts were still below the knee, except for young girls, but the Art Deco fabrics and geometric touches I love about the twenties are definitely present.

Women’s coats could be sleek or sporty:

Butterick coat pattern 6668, in black, and coat 6639 over dress 6653. March 1926. Fashions for women.

Capes were also popular, sometimes being attached to dresses or coats.

Butterick dresses 6662 (in Vermilion red) and 6659, shown with cape 6618. March, 1926. These are for young women.

Dresses with a fitted basque (i.e., bodice) and a gathered skirt, like No. 6662,  were often worn by young heroines in the movies. No. 6659, in olive and black with a vaguely Asian print, looks like a skirt and blouse, but is really a dress.

Butterick suit 6641, caped coat No. 6622, and coat 6674. A tiny view of the dresses under this coat and Coat 6655, below, appeared in a circle between them.

Butterick coat 6685, coat-dress 6652, and another dress posing as separates, No. 6643. March 1926, Delineator. No. 6643 is made from a border print which increases in scale. The burnt orange band is printed on the dress fabric.

Butterick dresses 6648 and 6587, March 1926.

Women’s clothes included a double-breasted “box coat” (Butterick 6603) worn with a matching skirt (no. 6601) and blouse (6649); coat 6613 is shown over a coordinating green dress which matches its lining (6602); coat 6666 (right) is flared at the hem and made in a warm rust color. Delineator, March 1926.

Coats for young teens and even for little girls are as chic as adult versions:

Butterick coats for girls up to 15 (left) and for little girls, right, echo adult styles. 1926. Butterick 6609 with hat 6327; coat 6671 with hat 5952; girls’ coat patterns have collars, flare, and a capelet, just like their elders’.

Five different Butterick cloche hat patterns were illustrated — plus the turban shown with this matching cape and dress:

Butterick cape 6618 with dress 6642 and matching turban (Butterick pattern 6634.) March, 1926. Delineator, p.28.

“Ensemble coats and frocks are no longer dependent upon each other for color — they may match or they may not; but, if not, the contrast must be studied and chic.”

Text, page 29; Delineator, March 1926.

Dresses were often made of colorful printed fabrics.

Six dresses for women, Delineator page 29, March 1926.

Butterick patterns 6640, shown in a geometric pink border print; Butterick 6610, with sheer embroidered sleeves, and Butterick 6623, illustrated in a print inspired by Chinese cloud designs.

A very “twenties” abstract print in blue and white (Butterick pattern 6655;) a floral print on black (6647,) and a dark green dress with geometric accents (6658,) 1926.

More print dresses were illustrated in black and white:

Print dresses for young women, 1926. Butterick patterns 6648, 6679, 6687, and 6659. Delineator, p. 26, March 1926. The diamond-patterned dress is another border print; the dress at far left [correction: far right] plays with stripes and angles; a green and black print version appeared at the top of this post.

Of course, young women need party dresses for spring dances and graduation parties; these are made special by hand embroidery in beads or silk floss. (Butterick sold embroidery transfers, and featured lots of embroidery on 1920’s dresses.)

Party or evening frocks for young women, Delineator, page 26, March 1926. Dresses 6645 and 6676; embroidery transfers 10357 and 10425. 1926. Both dresses have scalloped hemlines, perhaps trimmed with beads. [It’s hard to believe that dress 6645 would flare like that when weighted down with beads, however.]

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Filed under 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Hats, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns

Doll-Sized Girdles, 1954

Doll-Sized Girdles, Sears catalog for Spring 1954, page.

Doll-Sized Girdles, Sears catalog for Spring 1954, page 314.

This idea seemed so strange to me that I have to share it: “Doll-Sized Girdles” from the Sears catalog for Spring 1954.

At first, I wondered why dolls would need girdles — was it just some grown-up’s nutty idea of a “doll wardrobe?” I was never very interested in realistic dolls, or Barbie, but I was a child in 1954.

Witness2fashion around 1952. I was not thinking about doll sized girdles.

Witness2fashion around 1953. I was definitely not thinking about doll-sized girdles.  I was too old to play with these dolls, and I hated posing for pictures. I still do.

By 1959 I was old enough to wear a girdle and stockings, but it never for a moment occurred to me to associate girdles with dolls.

And, in fact, these are not girdles for dolls.

They are made to fit women with waist sizes from 23 to 30 inches. The “hi-waist”one at top “stretches to 17 in. long on figure.”

Here are some other women’s girdles from the same page:

"Puckerette" girdles for women, Sears catalog for Spring, 1954, page

“Puckerette” girdles for women, Sears catalog for Spring, 1954, page 314. “Big size range… all the way up to 32-inch waist.”

Sally Edelstein, at Envisioning the American Dream, has shown many vintage fifties and sixties girdle ads — they sure bring back memories for me! This one seems to show a woman holding a very small girdle which would stretch to the size of a normal body.

But it’s not quite “doll” size.

True Story: I remember shopping for a long-legged panty girdle around 1963. I tried one that seemed to fit with relative comfort, but the saleslady insisted that I try one in a smaller size. I struggled into it; I couldn’t even pull it up all the way. The saleswoman said, “I’ll hold the waist, and you jump!”

No sale.

Part 2 of Sally’s “A Girl and Her Girdle” can be found here.

 

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Filed under 1950s-1960s, Children's Vintage styles, Girdles, Musings, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, vintage photographs

Red, White, and Black Ink Fashion Illustrations, May 1927

These illustrations by L. Frerrier [2/23/17 Edit: or Ferrier] were first published in May, 1927, but they seem appropriate for Valentine’s week. Dresses for girls were included, although the grown-ups are using the swing! (Larger views and details are at bottom of post.)

Butterick patterns 1435, 1431, and 1429, illustrated in May, 1926, Delineator magazine. Page 34.

Butterick patterns 1435, 1431, and 1429, illustrated in May, 1927, Delineator magazine. Page 34. For teens or women.

Butterick patterns 1425, 1425, 1401, 1421,and 1428. Delineator, May 1927, p. 31.

Butterick patterns 1425, 1424, 1401, 1421, and 1428. Delineator, May 1927, p. 31.

Butterick patterns 1346, 1392, 1381, 1420, and 1405. Delineator, May 1927, p. 29.

Butterick patterns 1346 (coat), 1392 (frock),  1381, 1420, and coat 1405. Delineator, May 1927, p. 29.

Butterick patterns 1389, 1206, 1403, 1414, 1447. Delineator, May 1927, p. 28.

Butterick patterns 1389 (suit), 1206 (blouse), 1403, 1414, and (redingote with costume slip) 1447. Delineator, May 1927, p. 28.

Closer looks at 1927 dresses for girls:

Dress with matching bloomers for a little girl. Butterick 1927.

Dress with matching bloomers for a little girl. Butterick 1438, 1927. “This dress would be very festive in cherry red taffeta and very practical in pin checked gingham….” In sizes 2, 4, 6.

Left, Butterick 1381, with bloomers, for ages. Right, Butterick 1428. Both from 1927.

Left, Butterick 1381, with panties to match the collar, for ages 2, 4, and 6. Right, Butterick 1428. Both from 1927. Left, No. 1381 has an inverted pleat and straight panties that “show an important inch below the hemline.”  Right, No. 1428 is for girls 6 to 10 years.

1428-text-girl1927-may-p-31-1425-1424-girl-1401-girl-1421-large-1428-l-farrier-illus

For school aged girls, panties did not extend below the skirt hem. “Compose” dresses — which use two or more fabrics — were chic in 1927.

Left, Butterick 1403, Right, Butterick 1414. 1927.

Left, Butterick 1403, for girls 6 to 10 years old.  Right, Butterick 1414, for girls 8, 10, 12 & 14 years. It has an inverted pleat in front. The bib front, modeled on mens’ dress shirts, is called a gilet. 1927.

Left, Butterick 1424, Right, Butterick 1421. 1927.

Left, Butterick 1424,  for girls 6 to 10 years. It was suggested as a party dress. Right, Butterick 14o1, for girls 2 to 7.  Both from 1927. Many patterns offer the option of hand-smocked or machine-shirred hip bands.

1401-girl

Butterick 1420 for a girl . 1927.

Butterick 1420 for a girl 8 to 15 years old. Notice that the hem is above her knee.  1927 dresses for adults cover the kneecap. 1927.

1420-girl

I still have trouble reading “flannel” and thinking “wool,” rather than cotton nightgown fabric.

Left, Butterick 1425, a smocked or shirred dress for a teen 15 to 18 or women bust 36 to 40. Right, Butterick 1428, a compose dress for women.

Left, Butterick 1425, a smocked or shirred dress for a teen 15 to 18 or for women bust 36 to 40. Right, Butterick 1421, a compose dress for women, made from two fabrics, or two shades of the same fabric, or using the matte and shiny sides of crepe satin. This pattern was available up to size 52!

1425-dress-smocked-or-ruched

 

1421-dress-image10

Left, Butterick 1390 has a "Chinese" style monogram. and graded color bands. Right, Butterick 1407. Both 1927.

Left, Butterick 1390 has a stylized monogram, and graded color bands. Right, Butterick 1407.  1920’s illustrations often show a bar pin worn diagonally, not at the throat or on a lapel. Both 1927.

Butterick 1390 could be sleeveless, but bare arms were to be covered for city wear. 1927.

Butterick 1390 could be sleeveless, but bare arms were to be covered for city wear. 1927. The skirt was mounted on a sleeveless bodice top, so it hung from the shoulders rather than the waist.

Butterick suit 1389 with blouse 1206, and a sheer redingote over a print costume slip, Butterick 1447. Both 1927.

Butterick suit 1389 with blouse 1206, and a sheer redingote over a print costume slip, Butterick 1447. Both 1927.

1389-suit

In the illustration below, the woman on the swing is wearing a dress with shirring at the front.

1429-text1927-may-p-34-1435-1431-1429-dresses-swing

Butterick 1435, 1431,and 1429. May 1927.

Butterick 1435, 1431,and 1429. May 1927. Dresses for teens 15 or older, and for adult women.

Butterick 1431, in the center, which looks like a two piece, is not:

1431-text1927-may-p-34-1435-1431-1429-dresses-swing

Last, a “suit” that consists of  a two piece silk dress with a  7/8 length coat which is lined with the dress material, and a n evening coat with tiers:

Butterick frock 1392 with matching coat (pattern 1346), and Butterick coat pattern 1405, a "tioered" coat for formal occasions, available in teens or women's' sizes. 1927.

Butterick frock 1392 with matching coat (pattern 1346), and Butterick coat pattern 1405, a “tiered” coat for formal occasions, available in teens or women’s’ sizes. 1927.1405-coat

 

About the illustrator: I’ve been referring to “L. Frerrier” because that is the way the signature looked the first time I found it (in January 1928). But sometimes it looks like “L. Ferrier.”

Is it Frerrier or Ferrier? Frerrier seems most likely.

Is it Frerrier or Ferrier? Frerrier seems most likely.

[Edit 2/22/17: The comments favor Ferrier. I could not find an artist named Ferrier working in America, and the painter L. Ferrier-Jourdain appears to have lived and died in France.] I did find an “L. Ferrier” in the New York City directory, but no occupation.]

L. Frerrier often illustrated fashions for Butterick's Delineator. These stylized "one color plus black and white" drawings are very different from the same illustrator's more realistic work.

L. Frerrier [or Ferrier] often illustrated fashions for Butterick’s Delineator. These stylized “one color plus black and white” drawings are very different from the same illustrator’s more realistic work.

Whoever he or she was, this was a versatile artist.

In January 1928, L. Frerrier painted these models as passengers aboard the luxurious S. S. Ile de France. Delineator, p. 31.

In January 1928, L. Frerrier [or Ferrier] painted these models as passengers aboard the luxurious S. S. Ile de France. Delineator, p. 31. I darkened the signature to make it more visible.

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Filed under 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Hats, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Pajamas and Sleepwear from 1917

Pajamas for girls and women, Butterick pattern 9433, Delineator, October 1917, p. 89.

Pajamas for girls and teen women, Butterick pattern 9433, Delineator, October 1917, p. 89.

Some pajamas from 1917 were really “onesies,” since the part below the waist was attached to the top. I inherited a pair of these-all-in one pajamas, made of peach-pink cotton and embroidered with a few little flowers, but donated them to a university collection without taking a photo.  As I remember, the crotch from waist in front to back was open, and closed with little snaps.

Pattern description of Butterick 9433, Oct. 1917.

Pattern description of Butterick 9433, Oct. 1917. Made in sizes from 4 to 18 years.

How you get into and out of these pjs, Butterick 9433, is hard to say; the girls’ version obviously unbuttons down the front, but whether the “bloomers” are attached at the waist isn’t clear. I think they were attached, just like pajama pattern number 9400, which is pictured and described next.

In fact, pattern 9433, for girls and teens,  looks identical to 9400, except that 9400 came in women’s sizes. Butterick pajama pattern 9400 is explained more thoroughly:

Butterick negligee 9279, boudoir cap 9523, and pajama 9400. September, 1917. Delineator.

Left, Butterick negligee 9279, boudoir cap 9523; Right, Pajamas or Lounging-robe 9400. September, 1917. Delineator.

Pattern description, Butterick 9400, from 1917.

Pattern description, Butterick 9400, from 1917. The bloomers are “sewed to the belt.” Recommended for lounging or sleeping.

The word “houri” is used here in the sense of  “beautiful woman” in vaguely Arabic dress.

Baby, It’s Cold Inside….

One reason for wearing a sleeping cap — or boudoir cap — was added warmth. These advertisements for Brighton Carlsbad Sleepingwear are from winter months.

Ad for Brighton Carlsbad Sleepingwear, Ladies' Home Journal, October, 1917, p. 141.

Ad for Brighton Carlsbad Sleepingwear, Ladies’ Home Journal, October, 1917, p. 141.

These pajamas for both women and men are called “pajunions” — a combination of “pajama” and “union suit.” (“Union suit” was the proper name for long, neck-to-ankle undergarments, familiarly called “long johns.” They were worn by both  men and women.)

A teen-aged daughter wears warm flannel "pajunions.' YOu can see the stitching at the waist which attaches the bottoms to the top. LHJ, Oct. 1917.

“When the dance-card is read/ then to Brightons and bed.” The teen-aged daughter wears warm flannel “pajunions.’ You can see the stitching at the waist which attaches the bottoms to the top. LHJ, Oct. 1917.

Buttoned ankles of Brighton Carlsbad Pajunions. 1917 ad.

Buttoned ankles of Brighton Carlsbad Pajunions. 1917 ad.

Ad for Brighton Carlsbad Sleepingwear, Ladies' Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

Ad for Brighton Carlsbad Sleepingwear, Ladies’ Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

Text of Brighton Carlsbad ad, October 1917.

Text of Brighton Carlsbad ad, October 1917. The pajunion, “a pajama in one piece,” had “no binding draw-string” because the trousers hung from the shoulders.

The child’s sleepers show the “trap door” in back which was necessary for using a chamber pot, or visits to the outhouse.

The posterior could be unbuttoned.

The posterior could be unbuttoned.

This child’s sleeping garment is not unlike Butterick’s pattern 1330, here called a “nightgown.”

Butterick child's "nightgown-with feet" number 1300, from December 1918.

Right, a Butterick child’s “nightgown” with feet, number 1330, from December 1918. Delineator.

The footed sleeping suit includes a hood. So did the Sleepers from Brighton Carlsbad — they had a “detachable helmet.”

From A Brighton Carlsbad ad, Ladies' Home Journal, October 1917.

From a Brighton Carlsbad ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1917.

So did this sleeping suit for adults:

Brighton Carlsbad Union Sleepers for an adult. 1917.

Brighton Carlsbad Union Sleepers for an adult. “If preferred, without cap or feet.” 1917. “Cold cannot creep in. Just the garment for healthful out-door or open window sleeping.”

Think about living in a house without modern insulation, or heating. I remember Laura and Mary Ingalls, in one of the Little House books, waking up in a bed which was strangely warm for once — because there were several inches of snow on top of their blankets.

A nightgown with "foot pockets" for winter warmth. Brighton Carlsbad ad, October 1917.

A nightgown (Night Robe) with “foot pockets” for winter warmth. “For men, women and children…. With or without hood.” Brighton Carlsbad ad, LHJ, October 1917.

At least you would be able to shuffle around the bedroom with two separate “Foot pockets.” If they weren’t separate, walking would be more like a sack race.

Many men still wore night shirts in 1917:

Man's nightshirt, Brighton Carlsbad ad, Ladies' Home Journal, October 1917, p. 141.

Man’s nightshirt, Brighton Carlsbad ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1917, p. 141. Fabric “Also [in] summer weights.”

I have a Silent Film Festival memory — both my husband and I noticed the same thing. In a short comedy, a pair of  newlyweds take a room in a boarding house. To our surprise, the woman is wearing mannish striped pajamas when other boarders invade their room. She grabs a rug from the floor and wraps it around her waist and hips — clearly more concerned about strange men seeing her lower body in pants than she is about them possibly seeing her breasts through her top.

New Search Category:  “Women in Trousers”

As a young adult in the 1960’s, I have clear memories about when and where women were not allowed to wear trousers. I find that I write about this topic fairly often, so I decided to add a “Women in Trousers” category to this blog — and updated three years worth of blog posts to include it whenever applicable to images or text. (Since “pants” can refer to underpants or panties in British English, I chose “trousers” to refer to slacks, culottes, pajamas, shorts, overalls, gym bloomers, golf knickers, and all other bifurcated outer garments for women.) This should make it a little easier to find relevant posts without “getting your knickers in a twist.” (Another British phrase which evokes a different garment on each side of the Atlantic 🙂 )

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Menswear, Nightclothes and Robes, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns, Women in Trousers

Fashions with Peculiar Pockets, 1917

Three dresses with pockets, January 1917. Butterick patterns from Delineator.

Three dresses with pockets, January 1917. Butterick patterns from Delineator.

I intended to write a nice, short blog post showing color images of clothing from January 1917, but I started to notice the many variations on pockets in women’s clothing from that year.

Pockets were a center of interest in 1917, and quite varied.

Pockets were a center of interest in 1917, and quite varied.

Women's pockets, January 1917. Unusual shapes, in a range of sizes. Delineator.

Women’s pockets, January 1917. Unusual shapes, in a range of sizes. Delineator. Pockets were often quite low on the hip. The one at bottom right is trimmed with several rows of topstitching, very popular in 1917. The construction of the plaid double flap pocket at top right is unusual.

At the end of a few hours browsing through Delineator magazines from 1917, I had a picture file much too large to put in one post.

There were gigantic pockets…

Gigantic pockets, Feb. 1917. Delineator.

Gigantic pockets, Feb. 1917. Delineator. (Plus tiny, triangular pockets on the blouse.)

Ingenious pockets….

A pocket that is also a belt carrier. August, 1917. Delineator.

A deep pocket that is also a belt carrier. August, 1917. Delineator.

Several interesting pockets from 1917. Delineator.

Several interesting pockets from 1917. Delineator.

I saw large, flapless pockets that gaped open and were secured with buttons,…

A pocket so big it has to be buttoned in several places. March 1917. Behind it, a pocket gathered into ruffles at the top.

A pocket so big that it has to be buttoned to prevent gaping. Delineator, March 1917. Behind it, a pocket gathered into ruffles at the top.

There were pockets hanging from belts and waistbands,…

Fabric belts with attached pockets, 1917. Delineator.

Self-fabric belts with attached pockets, 1917. Delineator.

Pockets suspended from the waist, Feb. 1917, Delineator.

Small pockets suspended from the waist, Feb. 1917, Delineator.

Hanging pockets trimmed with white soutache braid. Delineator, June 1917.

Hanging pockets trimmed with white soutache braid. Delineator, June 1917.

A peculiar hanging pocket on a girl's dress, and one trimmed with buttons. January 1917, Delineator.

Left, a peculiar, gathered, hanging pocket on a girl’s dress; right, wide pockets trimmed with buttons. January 1917, Delineator.

Were these belts with pockets attached to the skirt? It's not always easy to tell. Delineator, Oct. 1917.

Were these belts with pockets attached to the skirts? It’s not always easy to tell;  they were apparently so common that the editors didn’t feel obliged to mention them in pattern descriptions. Delineator, Oct. 1917.

There were oddly shaped “bellows” pockets, which expanded,…

“Bellows pockets” on clothes for teens, March 1917. The editors said you could get your daughter to compromise on other fashion details, but she would insist on bellows pockets. Delineator.

Bellows pocket on an adult woman's suit, Delineator, March 1917, p. 63.

Hanging bellows pockets on an adult woman’s suit, Delineator, March 1917, p. 63.

Pointy pockets often stuck out at the hips…

Pockets that end in points, 1917. Delineator.

Pockets that end in points, and stand away from the body. 1917. Delineator.

More pointy pockets, 1917. Pockets were often enhanced with embroidery.

More pointy pockets, 1917. Pockets were often enhanced with embroidery. I suspect that almost anything you put in this kind of pocket would fall out when you sat down.

There were hanging pockets that looked like drawstring handbags,

These hanging pockets look like the drawstring handbags of the period, but they attached to the waist or belt of the dress. 1917, Delineator.

These hanging pockets look like the drawstring purses of the period, but they are attached to the waist or belt of the skirt. 1917, Delineator.

There were shallow, semi-circular pockets that wrapped around to the back of the dress:

A shallow, crescent shaped pocket on Butterick 9931, for women or for teens. 1917.

A shallow, rounded pocket on Butterick 9931, for women or for teens. 1917.

And there were pockets that gathered into a ruffle at the top:

Right, Butterick 8989, a coat or jacket with gathered pockets. 1917.

Right, Butterick 8989, a coat or jacket with gathered pockets. 1917.

Delineator showed sketches of the pockets on French designer dresses and suits:

Pockets in Paris, Fall 1917. Chanel and Marital et Armand. Sketched in Delineator.

Pockets in Paris, Fall 1917. A suit designed by Chanel, and a dress with unusual pockets by Martial et Armand. Sketched in Delineator, they inspired Butterick patterns.

Pockets on Paris fashions, Fall of 1917. Poiret and Doucet. Sketcher in Delineator.

Pockets on Paris fashions from Fall of 1917, by Poiret and Doucet. Sketched in Delineator. Embroidery on pockets was often seen, and that odd “turned up across the jacket hem” pocket was influential.

A girl's walking top, Butterick, April 1917.

A girl’s walking top, Butterick 9047, April 1917. These pockets literally couldn’t get any lower on the jacket.

When I was still a child, eating in a highchair, I had a plastic bib with a sort of trough at the bottom to catch spilled food — it was rather like these blouses:

These blouses end in a sort of gutter; buttoned into place they would have acted as a pocket. To me, they look unflattering and nonsensical ...

These blouses end in a sort of gutter; buttoned or stitched into place they would have acted as a pocket. Butterick patterns from Delineator magazine.

To me, they look unflattering and nonsensical, but not as nutty as the skirt on the left, below…

A skirt with a buttoned cuff... 1917.

A skirt with a buttoned turn-up cuff… 1917.

… or this skirt — illustrated twice –guaranteed to (visually) add pounds:

Are those pockets for ammo? They are described as having

Are those pockets for ammo? The skirt is described as having “French gathers.” Butterick skirt pattern 9140, Delineator, May 1917.

Two normal skirts with 1917 pocket variations. The skirt in the center is weird. Butterick patterns.

Skirts with 1917 pocket variations. The skirts at far left and upper right are typical, but the skirt in the center, with button tab (pockets?) is weird. Butterick patterns.

To modern eyes, the essential oddity of many 1917 fashions is that they were intended to make a woman’s hips look wider.

Pockets were used to exaggerate the width of women's hips, in French designer fashions and in home sewing patterns. Bothe from Delineator, 1917.

Pockets were used to exaggerate the width of women’s hips, in French designer fashions (left) and in home sewing patterns (right.) Both illustrations from Delineator, 1917.

Back views of three Butterick patterns, Sep. 1917. Delineator, p. 50.

Back views of three Butterick patterns, Sept. 1917. Delineator, p. 50. The two on the left really exaggerate hip width..

1917 pockets often curved around the hip to the back of the body.

1917 pockets wrap around the body, increasing the apparent size of the hips. Delineator.

Many 1917 pockets wrap around the body, and stand away from it,  increasing the apparent size of the hips. Delineator.

Modern pockets tend to stop at or before the side seam, but in 1917, many pockets wrapped around the hip — from side front to somewhere on the back.

In thes back views of Butterick patterns, you can see that the pocket continues around the side, extending the hip width. Delineator, Oct. 1917.

In these back views of Butterick patterns, you can see that the gaping pocket continues around the side, extending the width of the body at the hip. Delineator, Oct. 1917.

In the 1850’s and the 1950’s, full skirts and exaggerated hips made corseted female waists look smaller by comparison. But in 1917, there was no emphasis on a small waist.

Dresses for misses 14 to 19. Butterick patterns, July 1917. Delineator.

Dresses for misses 14 to 19. Butterick patterns, July 1917. Delineator. These pockets start toward the side in front and wrap around to the back of the dresses.

There were pockets so strange that only the model’s pose confirmed that they were pockets.

Two Butterick patterns from 1917. Left, No. 9376. Can you call the side opening on the barrel dress a pocket?

Two Butterick patterns from 1917. Left, No. 9376. Right, No. 9274. There are  side openings on the “tonneau” (barrel) dress at right,  but can we call them “pockets”?

And, especially prevalent were pockets that drew attention to women’s hips.

An embroidered pocket wraps around the sides of this gold coat. Delineator cover, October 1917.

An embroidered pocket wraps around the sides of this gold coat. Delineator cover, October 1917.

There’s no doubt that pockets add bulk, especially if you put things in them. But sometimes you just need a place to stash a hankie, a key, or a few coins.

Today, when many women keep a cellphone within reach at all times, it’s perversely not easy to find a dress or knit top that has pockets. However, in 1917, women were “spoiled for choice.”

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Dating Vintage Patterns, Musings, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Couture Designs, World War I

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!

woman-in-housecoat-with-and-baby-1940s

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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Filed under 1930s-1940s, Children's Vintage styles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns from the movies

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.

1403-m50-p-44-text-tulip-novelty-pocket-front-tie-waist-coverall593

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