Category Archives: Gloves

High Hats, 1937

A high beret by Agnes was featured in this illustration for Woman’s Home Companion, October 1937. Illustration by Dynevor Rhys. [That’s a lot of eye makeup!]

The next month, Woman’s Home Companion offered this hat pattern, No. 7361:

Detail, “Height in Your Hat,” Butterick-Companion [?] pattern 7631, November 1937. WHC. Three hat styles in one pattern for 25 cents.

A style that combines height with a beret front and a driving cap back, pattern 7631, WHC, Nov. 1937.  This one is closest in spirit to the more extreme couture hat designed by Agnes.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Paris Fashion Shoes, 1936

“Exquisite — Flattering” Paris Fashion Shoes. Ad from Ladies’ Home Journal, November 1936. Black suede side tie shoe, with a very high heel.

I hadn’t encountered any other ads for Paris Fashion Shoes, and the very high heels and relatively low prices in the ad intrigued me.

Paris Fashion Shoes, center of ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, November 1936. Top, a brown or black square-toe sandal.

Paris Fashion Shoes cost just $3 to $4 in 1936. Bottom of ad from Ladies’ Home Journal, November 1936, p. 111. This high heeled “butterfly” tongue step-in was available in “black, wine, or green suede” or in “black or blue kid” — quite a range of choices and sizes.

(Oh, for the days when shoes were available in a such a variety of widths. I still miss AA heels on B width shoes.)

A high-heeled “Foot Rest” shoe from Krippendorf promised comfort, for “$6.95 to $7.95” or more. Ad from WHC, October 1936.

I was curious about the Paris Fashion brand, and found that it was only one of many lines made by the Wohl Shoe Company. Wohl owned forty-six trademarks. A 1941 booklet celebrating the history of the Wohl Shoe Company was recently offered on eBay. In 1941, Wohl produced lines called Jacqueline, Natural Poise Arch Shoes, Connie, and Paris Fashion Fifth Avenue Shoes. Click here.  

A selection of shoe ads from Woman’s Home Companion, also from 1936, shows that Paris Fashion Shoes were relatively low-priced, compared to other brands. You can tell from the names of the companies, however, that these ads were aimed at women who wanted shoe comfort as well as style.

“According to the Table of Shoe Hotness, any brand that promises comfort will add 10 years to one’s WEA (Wearer’s Estimated Age.)” – Columnist Leah Garchik, writing in the Style section of the San Francisco Chronicle.)

Enna Jettick shoes cost $5 to $6 in 1936. Ad from WHC, April 1936.

This Enna Jettick shoe ad from April 1936 featured 27 year old Hollywood star Helen Twelvetrees wearing Enna Jettick shoes. (Ener-Getic! Get it?) Enna Jetticks were aimed at older women. Many other brands promised both comfort and style.

Red Cross shoe ad, WHC, April 1936. (Great swing coat! You could have worn that suit in the 1950’s.)

These Red Cross shoes cost about $6.50 a pair. Ad from WHC, October 1936. Red Cross shoes were supposed to “exercise your feet and legs back to shapeliness with every step you take.”

I remember similar claims for shoes in the 1970’s.

However much they promised comfort, these 1936 shoes are not necessarily “old lady” shoe styles.

This Butterick-Companion holiday frock pattern (7155) was drawn on a youthful model and illustrated with fashion accessories: shoes, bags, and gloves. WHC, December 1936.

Fashionable shoes and purses  for December 1936. Gray or Claret were suggested. WHC, p. 69. These shoes also appeared in WHC ads.

Apparently advertisers supplied shoes to the magazine for use in fashion layouts. Nothing new about that!

This Walk-Over “Cabana” model, from a October 1936 ad [inset], was available in gray suede and a range of other colors: black, green, brown, and blue.

December fashion illustration and [inset] October ad for Red Cross Shoes. WHC.

Other seasonal colors were advertised :

There is no price range on this ad for high-heeled Queen Quality shoes. WHC, March 1936. This ad is aimed at brides and “every other girl with a flair for fashion.” These styles were available in blue, and probably in a range of other color

Ads for Selby Arch Preserver shoes are interesting because they always show three women of different ages striding along in chic outfits. Ad from WHC, November 1936.

Queen Quality shoe ad, WHC, November 1936. The Bengal, right, looks rather middle-aged to me, but the Lanett pump, top left, has a very high heel.

These Walk-Over shoes from October 1936 range from casual and sporty (top left) to citified. Top left has a stacked leather heel. Prices $7.50 to $8.50, in a wide range of colors, including “Araby green.”

The top-stitched Walk-Over shoe at top right looks a lot like the gray shoe featured in that December fashion illustration.

Back to those $3 to $4 Paris Fashion Shoes: They were really inexpensive compared to shoes advertised in Woman’s Home Companion at the same time.

Red Cross Shoes cost $6.50 to $6.85 in November 1936.  That’s more than 50% to 100% higher than Paris Fashion Shoes. (A couple of these styles look rather graceful compared to others from 1936.)

These Foot Saver shoes cost as much as $12.75 in October, 1936. WHC. [Are those sequins?]

According to Woman’s Home Companion, October 1936, a working woman with a college education could expect to earn $18 per week. She was expected to need four pairs of shoes per year, at $3 a pair. Maybe she bought Paris Fashion Shoes!

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/1936-oct-college-girls-budget.jpg?w=500

 

 

 

 

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Butterick Vacation Wardrobe for $25, 1933

You could make a complete summer vacation wardrobe — six outfits — for just $25 from a set of Butterick patterns. Delineator magazine, May 1933, p. 69.

The Butterick company’s target market in the 1920’s was upscale; there were regular reports on French fashions, and even a new column giving women financial advice during the stock market boom of the late twenties. But in this Depression Era article from May, 1933, the emphasis is on economy.

The accessories suggested include some rather elegant shoes, a sweater, and, as explained in the text, only one hat that you couldn’t make for yourself.

I’m not surprised that those shoes were expensive.

A Store-bought black straw hat for summer, 1933. Delineator, May 1933, p 69.

A store-bought sweater and a home-made hat, May 1933; Delineator.

Other gloves and hats could be made from Butterick patterns:

Butterick glove pattern 5135, hat pattern 5126, and clutch purse No. 3131. Delineator, May 1933.

Notice the extended shoulders on most of these clothes.

Butterick Skirt 4908, worn with a sweater and coat 5043; next, dress 5019  in a fine print; “tennis dress” 5104 made in white; and afternoon dress 5095 in a floral print voile fabric. May, 1933. Delineator magazine.

In addition, a print suit (a dress plus jacket) and a “Letty Lynton” – influenced evening gown were part of the twenty-five dollar wardrobe.

Butterick evening gown pattern 5069 from May, 1933.

The stiff, sheer layered sleeves show the influence of Adrian’s design for Joan Crawford in the film Letty Lynton.

Butterick jacket dress 5107, 1933.

The $25 budget didn’t include accessories, not even the ones made from Butterick patterns.  However, there is an emphasis on the need for wardrobe planning:  coordinating your pieces so that they can all be worn with either black or white accessories. (And, if you could afford a vacation in 1933, setting some limits would definitely make packing easier.)

The cost per outfit of making the $25 wardrobe. Delineator, May 1933. Page 69.

The cost of the Butterick patterns themselves ranged from fifty cents (the jacket dress or the evening gown) to thirty-five or forty-five cents for the other dresses, and twenty-five cents for the hat pattern, which included three styles. I wonder if the big, stylish buttons were included in the price estimates.

In 1936, a woman fresh out of college could expect to earn about $80 per month. According to one article, on this salary, she could even afford to take a vacation…. https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/1936-oct-working-college-grad-woman-budget-end.jpg?w=500

She can “join a savings club and see the world. Happy landing, we say.” — Woman’s Home Companion, October 1936.

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Hats and Dresses for Young Women, April 1924

The young woman at left wears Butterick dress pattern 5141 with Butterick hat pattern 4973. (The cape can be removed; it buttons on.) The frilly cloche worn with Butterick dress 5167 is presumably store-bought. Delineator, April 1924, page 36.

One of the pleasures of pattern illustrations in old magazines is seeing the accessories that accompany them. I especially enjoyed these 1924 hats and dresses for “Misses age 15 to 20” (and for “smaller women.”) Some of the hats are actually illustrations of  Butterick patterns. Other hats and accessories seem to be drawn (in both senses) from a selection kept on hand at the Butterick offices.

A satin dress topped with a wide brimmed hat. Butterick dress 5173, Delineator, April 1924. Page 36.

I’ll show most of  these outfits in full at the end of this post; first, I’ll show the hat details.

This Butterick dress with cape is pattern 5099. April, 1924. The cascade of roses on the hat would be easy to duplicate.

This wide-brimmed hat has a free-form pattern on the band. It’s worn with a tunic and slip combination, Butterick 5155. April 1924, Delineator.

Right, a simple cloche with an oddly cut front brim is shown with a plaid dress and decorated gloves. Delineator, April 1924, p. 36.

At the top of page 37, a gored cloche hat pattern (Butterick 4973) is shown with a caped dress pattern, Butterick 5070. Delineator, April 1924. I love the rose inside the brim of the hat worn with dress 5136.

As on dress 5141, at the top of this post, the short matching cape on pattern 5070 is optional.

Butterick dress 5145 is decorated with a large monogram (from a Butterick embroidery transfer.) The hat is Butterick pattern 4449. April 1924. Note the wallet-like clutch purse with a handy strap on the back.

Two ways of trimming a cloche hat; shown with Butterick dresses 5114 (left) and 5082. Delineator, April, 1924, p. 37.

Clusters of cherries cascade from the hat worn with Butterick dress 5159. Delineator, April 1924, pg. 37. The dress is made from fabric printed with large roses, shown later in this post.

A pleated frill trims the front of this cloche, like a 20th century version of the fontange. Butterick dress 5165 is probably an afternoon dress. April 1924.

Another Butterick hat pattern, No. 4886, is worn with a coat (Butterick 5120) and matching skirt (Butterick 4983.) Delineator, April 1924.

For those who are curious about the dresses, here are some full-length images:

Butterick 5481 and 5167, Delineator magazine, page 36, April 1924. Even on very young women, the hems are still several inches below the knee. The hips are made snug with tucks and buttons [!]

Page 36, top right: Butterick 5076, 5151, and 5173. Delineator, April 1924.

Top of page 37; Delineator magazine, April 1924.

Bottom of page 37, Delineator, April 1924.

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Dresses for Teens and Young Women, October 1924

In 1924, dresses were still longer than our usual image of the nineteen twenties — even dresses for young women, who were usually illustrated in the shortest styles.

A page of dresses for Teens and young or small women, Delineator, October, 1924, p. 29.

A page of dresses for teens and young or small women, Delineator, October, 1924, p. 29.

For their back views, see the end of this post.

This group reminds us that there are fashions in color combinations, as well as in cut. In 1924, Orange and navy, or orange and black, did not evoke Halloween. Dellineator, Oct. 1924.

This group reminds us that there are fashions in color combinations, as well as in cut. In 1924, orange and navy, coral and black, or green with orange and black did not evoke Halloween. Delineator, Oct. 1924.

These dresses look very long, but any of them might have been skillfully shortened and worn later in the decade. Delineator, Oct. 1924.

These three dresses look very long, but any of them might have been skillfully shortened and worn later in the decade. Delineator, Oct. 1924.

The evening dresses would have needed a clever remodel around 1926 — cutting them at the 1926 hip or waist line, and raising the lower part of the skirt. The new seam could have been hidden with a sash or belt, too. The tunic dress at right might have simply discarded the underskirt.

Butterick also offered many cloche hat patterns — and tam-o’-shanters — during the twenties — including two that were shown with these dresses.

A Closer Look at These 1924 Dresses and Hats

Butterick 5487, dress pattern from Delineator, Oct. 1924, p. 29.

Butterick 5487, dress pattern from Delineator, Oct. 1924, p. 29. “Plaited” means pleated, not “braided.” Its scarf collar seems to end in a long fringe. This pattern was also available in Ladies’ sizes, usually 34″ to 44″ bust. The bird-trimmed hat is not a Butterick pattern, but it does have comic possibilities! [A hat trimmed with stylized bird silhouettes would be a little less old-fashioned than this flock circling her head.]

Butterick pattern 5528, for an evening dress trimmed with feathers. Delineator, Oct. 1924.

Butterick pattern 5528, for an evening dress trimmed with feathers. Delineator, Oct. 1924. A light, floating effect was recommended for dancing.

If you’re wondering what size “16 to 20 years” means, click here.

Butterick pattern 5550, from Delineator, Oct. 1924.

Butterick pattern 5550, from Delineator, Oct. 1924. “Silver, beige, or colored lace is new…” There is an interesting free-swinging back detail trimmed with a large tassel; but only the bottom layer of ruffles continued around the back. Available up to bust size 38 inches.

“It is worn over a slip of flesh-pink satin veiled with flesh-pink chiffon trimmed with lace.” This suggests that the impression of a nude body glimpsed through the lace was the goal. Other lining colors were, of course, possible — tan, coffee, pale blue, yellow-green, etc. In the image below, it appears that the chiffon-over-satin layer was visible at the sides.Back trim on evening dress 5550. The trim begins with the straps in front, and exctends into a long tassel, with a surprise lining of pink.

Back trim on evening dress 5550. The trim begins with the straps in front, and extends into a long tassel, with a surprise lining of strong pink, and plenty of beads or pearls.

Butterick dress pattern 5511 and hat pattern . Oct. 1924, Delineator.

Butterick dress pattern 5511; Oct. 1924, Delineator. Velvet, trimmed with fur, and with long fringe extending the collar. The length of the gloves works surprisingly well with the short sleeves.

There are “fine plaits at each side,”  [tucks?] making the dress fit more closely at the hip. This dress from 1926 has the same “plaits” at the hip.

Butterick dress pattern 5536 with Tam-o'-Shanter pattern 5458. October 1924.

Butterick dress pattern 5536 with Tam-o’-Shanter pattern 5458. October 1924. Tam 5458 was featured in several issues of the Delineator.

“It is the new narrow type [as] close fitting at the hips as one can sit down [in.]” It closes at the side front, like a Russian shirt. The pattern description suggests making it in dark brown with a contrasting scarf. In an era when ladies still did not go shopping or to work without wearing a hat, the soft, crushable Tam-o’-Shanter was especially popular with girls and young women.

Descriptioin of Butterick tam pattern No. 5458, Delineator, September 1924.

Description of Butterick Tam-o’-Shanter pattern No. 5458, Delineator, September 1924. Another use for a very long tassel.

For more about 1924 Tam-o’-Shanters, click here. For Part 2 of Tams for 1924-25, click here.  For a brief history of the Tam, click here.

Butterick dress pattern 5489, October 1924.

Butterick dress pattern 5489, October 1924. The orange braid on the sleeves is applied in the pattern available as Butterick embroidery transfer #10175. This dress has a gathered skirt attached to a long bodice, called a basque. See back view below.

No. 5489 could easily have been shortened at the hem and worn in 1926, when hemlines approached the knee. Its proportions could have been improved by raising the waist line as well, but it wouldn’t have been necessary.

Butterick dress pattern 5546, Oct. 1924.

Butterick dress pattern 5546, Oct. 1924. “It is new to use the shiny side of crepe satin and bind the edges of the bias bands with the dull side, or reverse this order….” However, the illustration seems to show black trim; a pale border this narrow would have been lost in the small printed image.

Butterick dress pattern 5485 and hat pattern 5561. Delineator, Oct. 1924.

Butterick dress pattern 5485 and hat pattern 5561. Delineator, Oct. 1924. “For the wrap-around hat use velvet, etc.” Is that a miser’s purse in her hand?

Butterick hat 5561, 1924.

Butterick hat pattern 5561, from 1924. “The hat which ties around the head to form a trimming at the side is typically French.”

I  don’t see any knot, or other sign that it literally ties, in this illustration. This hat appeared in several issues. The side views make it look as though the velvet whatever-that-is-on-the-side is wired and possibly twisted, but not “tied.” It does look, in the side view, as if the front brim extends into a long point which is twisted up, and the back brim has a shorter extension which twists down.  I am glad I don’t have to make it, because I’m not at all certain I understand it!

Butterick hat pattern 5561 was illustrated several times in 1924.

Butterick hat pattern 5561 was illustrated several times in 1924. I’m not sure the illustrators were really clear on how that side piece worked, either.

Butterick’s cloche hats were usually either four or six gored. I wrote about another cloche hat pattern from 1924 here.  (The variety of easy trims on that one attracted me.)

Here are the back or alternate views for seven of these dresses.  The back of No. 5550 was illustrated in color and shown earlier.

Back and alternate views of Butterick

Back and alternate views of Butterick patterns 5487, 5526, 5511, 5536, 5589, 5546, and 5485 from October 1924.

Dresses cut like No. 5489 are often seen in silent movies, but they are usually tightly fitted, with an opening in the left side seam; or the actresses may have been stitched into their evening dresses by hand.

 

 

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Butterick Forecast Patterns, Fall 1927

I promised more details about Butterick  “Forecast” wardrobe patterns. Butterick’s Delineator magazine gave just one page to patterns 8 A through 8 D in October of 1927, and one page to patterns 9 A through 9 D in November. The fact that they cost $1 each — and had very strange pattern numbers — wasn’t mentioned. [But I still need to revisit those volumes….]

Incidentally, there is no consistency about these pattern numbers — the illustration might use a hyphen (9-A), while the text said (9A) and a space might be used in Delineator‘s pattern list (9 A). I wonder what the pattern envelopes said….

Butterick Forecast Wardrobe Patterns, October 1927

Butterick Forecast patterns 8 A through 8D, Delineator, p. 26, October 1927.

Butterick Forecast patterns 8 A through 8 D, Delineator, p. 26, October 1927. “The Smart Woman sees Each Costume as a Part of the Whole Wardrobe.”

Some recommended accessories were illustrated and described along with the patterns.

Butterick pattern 8 A, Delineator, Oct. 1927.

Butterick pattern 8 A, Delineator, Oct. 1927. Her bag seems to match her scarf.

8A 500 text1927 oct p 26

Butterick pattern 8 B, for a complex but lovely evening dress.

Butterick pattern 8 B, for a complex but lovely evening dress. Chartreuse Georgette fabric was suggested.

A large bar pin sits below the V neckline.

text 8B 1927 oct p 26 The purse, shoe, stockings, and optional flowers or necklace were also illustrated.

Two flowers made of organdie could be attached to the shoulder of the evening dress, or a necklace could be worn. 1927.

Two flowers made of organdie could be attached to the shoulder of the evening dress, or a fringe necklace of gold could be worn. 1927.

At first, I thought the necklet was inspired by Egyptian revival lotus buds, but you can see that they are individual long and short beads.

Very sheer stockings for evening wear might still have  pattern (called a “clock”) on their sides.

Sheer stockings for evening wear. Delinator, Oct. 1927.

Sheer stockings for evening wear. Delinator, Oct. 1927.

These nearly identical clocked formal stockings appeared in an ad for Kayser Hosiery three years earlier.

Sheer stockings with "clocks" for formal evening or bridal wear. Ad for Kayser Hosiery, Nov. 1924.

Sheer stockings with “clocks” for formal evening or bridal wear. Ad for Kayser Hosiery, Nov. 1924. Stockings were often matched to the color of the dress in the twenties.

 

Butterick pattern 8 C, October 1927, Delineator.

Butterick pattern 8 C, October 1927, Delineator.

frock 8C text 1927 oct p 26

A bag for daytime use, Oct. 1927 Delineator.

A bag for daytime use, Oct. 1927 Delineator.

top rt shoe glove1927 oct p 26 accessories and wardrobe 8A 8D 8C 8B not listed in chart top RThe bag and “slipper” (shown below) could be suede, lizard, or kid. The color of the gloves should match the color of the “guimpe” [a false blouse or dickey] under the dress. Fox fur “scarves” or neckpieces were widely worn, even with very lightweight, summery fabrics. Below, pattern 8 C is shown under the wrap coat, but made in a lighter color.

Butterick coat pattern 8 D from Delineator, Oct. 1927.

Butterick coat pattern 8 D from Delineator, Oct. 1927.

8D text coat 1927 oct p 26

Butterick Forecast Wardrobe Patterns, November 1927

top text1927 nov p 26 forecast wardrobe 9D 9C 9B 9A and accessories btm

BUtterick Forecast patterns 9 A through 9 D, Delineator, November 1927.

Butterick Forecast patterns 9 A through 9 D, page 26, Delineator, November 1927.

Outfits with the blouse trimmed in the skirt fabric appear often in Delineator illustrations from the late twenties. Pattern 9 A strikes me as probably unflattering to any woman, but it does look nice as an Art Deco drawing….

Butterick pattern 9 A, from Delineator, p. 26, November 1927.

Butterick pattern 9A, from Delineator, p. 26, November 1927.

9A text 1927 nov p 26 forecast wardrobe 9D 9C 9B 9A and accessories btmDresses with applied trim like this one were often made from two fabrics in the same color but of contrasting textures (e.g., velvet and silk), so the bands on the bodice would be a subtle change of texture rather than of light/dark values as illustrated here. Double-sided silk crepe used with matte and shiny sides out was popular.

BUtterick 1775, Dec. 1927, and 1705, Oct. 1927. Delineator magazine.

These dresses use both the matte and shiny sides of double-sided crepe satin. Butterick 1775, Dec. 1927, and 1705, Oct. 1927. Delineator magazine.

The skirt of 9A  is described as “two piece” and “flared front;” during most of the twenties, the back of a skirt or dress was cut straight, with all of the fullness — and walking ease — in the front. See the “front flare” coat below.

Butterick coat pattern 9 B from Delineator, Nov. 1927, p. 26.

Butterick coat pattern 9-B from Delineator, Nov. 1927, p. 26.

450 text coat 9B nov 1927 nov p 26 forecast wardrobe 9D 9C 9B 9A and accessories btm

Accessories for Nov. 1927.

Accessories for Nov. 1927. Delineator, p. 26.

The “Oxford” shoe above left was recommended for wear with dress 9A, and the three-toned shoe and envelope purse at right are suggested for dinner dress 9C, below:

Butterick 9 C with matching jacket for dinner or bridge. Delineator, Nov. 1927.

Butterick 9C is a sleeveless gown with matching jacket for dinner or bridge. Delineator, Nov. 1927. The wide rhinestone “necklace” and “cuffs” are not jewelry, but part of the dress and jacket. I love the sporty — but rhinestoned — jacket!

450 9C dinner 1927 nov p 26 forecast wardrobe 9D 9C 9B 9A and accessories btm“The embroidery in necklace and bracelet outline is new and important.” In the same month, Delineator showed this drawing of a “Necklace Dress” by couturier Jean Patou; the “necklace” was actually trim on the dress:

A "necklace dress" by Jean Patou, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1927. The three-strand false "necklace" is trim applied to the dress.

A “necklace dress” by Jean Patou, illustrated in Delineator, Nov. 1927. The three-strand false “necklace” is trim applied to the dress.

 

Butterick pattern 9 D from Delineator, Nov. 1927.

Butterick pattern 9-D from Delineator, Nov. 1927.

450 dress 9D1927 nov p 26 forecast wardrobe 9D 9C 9B 9A and accessories btmBias panels joined by fagoting were associated with Vionnet. This diagram gives you an idea of how it works:

https://witness2fashion.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/black-dress-squares.jpg?w=500The panels were connected by horizontal stitches over a space of an eighth to a quarter inch or so, leaving a tiny part of the undergarment visible. It meant the panels could move (slightly) independently. The dress would be worn with the bias in a vertical position. See a later vintage dress with fagoting as trim here.

Vionnet also used pin tucks to create diagonal lines across the front of dresses like this one, dated 1926-27 in the Metropolitan Museum collection. You could use double lines of pin tucks instead of fagoting to recreate Butterick 9-D.

 

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Dating Butterick Patterns Site Has Been Updated

Cover of Butterick Fashion News, October 1962. Image courtesy of PatternVault at ETSY.com

Cover of Butterick Fashion News, October 1962. Image courtesy of PatternVault at ETSY.com. Butterick pattern 2452 dated 1962.

My project for dating vintage Butterick patterns using Butterick Fashion News flyers (Click here for an explanation) has some new information, thanks to the input of generous readers. I finally have some pattern numbers for 1962, thanks to Sarah at the Pattern Vault, and I’ve been able to fill in some missing information for other years, too. (Thank you, Monica, at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.)

Cover of Butterick Fashion News, July 1962. Image courtesy of PatternVault at ETSY.com.

Cover of Butterick Fashion News, July 1962. Image courtesy of PatternVault at ETSY.com. Butterick pattern 2343, from 1962.

I’ve been neglecting my search for covers of Butterick Pattern News lately, because the pattern dating at the Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA) is so comprehensive. However, if you have a vintage Butterick pattern that looks 1920’s through 1970’s and want to date it, my numerical charts  at witness2fashion.com are easy to use. If you go to witness2fashion.com, under Dating Butterick Patterns 1937 -1977 you will find a chart like this one — but larger and easier to read.

Dating Butterick Patterns 1934 -1977 chart from witness2fashion.com.

Dating Butterick Patterns 1934 -1977 chart from witness2fashion.com.

You can see from this chart that simply by listing the date of a Butterick News Flyer and the number of the pattern on its cover, a numbering sequence can be established. Of course, some patterns remain available for sale in stores for a very long time, but if you’re not sure whether a pattern is late 1930s or early 1940s, for instance, this chart can help.

At witness2fashion.com earlier patterns are listed on another page:  Butterick patterns 1920’s to 1937. Click on those charts to enlarge them.

I’m especially grateful to Sarah, because I still have a few years without any data from Butterick Fashion News covers, and she was able to supply us with numbers from 1962, an important year.  Butterick pattern numbers  reached the high 9900s by November of 1961, so re-numbering was due to begin in 1962. Thanks to Sarah, we now know that the new number sequence (1962) seems to have begun in the two thousands, skipping the one-thousands.

Some years have no information at all from Butterick Fashion News covers. witness2fashion.com

Some years — like 1953 and 1963 — have no information at all from Butterick Fashion News covers — yet. Detail of Chart from witness2fashion.com

For some years — like 1953, 1955, and 1963 — I have not found any BFN covers, but we can deduce that the 6000 series began again in 1952, since No. 5934 was for sale in January 1952. Did numbers in the 1960’s 3000 series begin in 1963 or 1964? It would be nice to fill in that two-year gap from October 1962 (No. 2452) to October 1964 (No. 3288.) If you have a cover from a “blank” year, please send the date and front cover pattern number(s) to witness2fashion at gmail.com. Sarah scanned the covers, enabling me to share them.

In 1973, Butterick reached the end of the 6900s in March and began renumbering in the three thousands in April.

Renumbering begins in 1973. Cover pattern numbers from Butterick Fashion News.

A new numbering cycle began in mid-year, 1973. Cover pattern numbers from Butterick Fashion News.

Starting a new number sequence before reaching 9999 is sometimes triggered by a new logo or pattern envelope format.  Jumps in sequence (renumbering) like this are one reason that a chart is helpful in dating undated patterns. Another potential source of confusion is that the same numbers are reused every few years. (For example, Butterick pattern numbers beginning with five thousand were issued in 1924-25, 1933-34, 1949-52, the late 1960’s – early 1970’s, and again in the late 1970’s!)  I have not systematically collected numbers earlier than 1924 — so far– but a new numbering sequence, ending the 9990’s and starting again in the 1000’s, began around July 1918:

Pattern views from Delineator, July 1918. The end of the 9000's number sequence is side by side with the new 1000s sequence.

Pattern views from Butterick’s Delineator magazine, July 1918. The end of the 9000’s number sequence is side by side with the new 1000’s sequence.

 

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