Category Archives: handbags

Fringe Fashions, December 1918

Old copies of Delineator magazine always have surprises that catch my eye.

December fashions, Delineator, 1918, top of p. 64

December fashions, Delineator magazine, 1918, top of p. 64. Butterick patterns 1276, 1260, 1255, and 1243.

Parts of the December 1918 issue were probably ready to print before the Armistice was announced on November 11, and the magazine contains many references to World War I.

Butterick doll clothing for a soldier, 402, and a sailor, 403. Delineator, December 1918.

Butterick doll clothing: “boy doll’s military suit,” pattern 402, and “boy doll’s sailor suit,” 403. Delineator, December 1918. This woman’s “one-piece dress” pattern was available up to size 44.

text-patterns-1276-402-403-1918-dec-p-65-dec-1918-btm-text

But the “theme” of the month seems to be fringe. Here is the bottom of the same page:

Butterick patterns for women, December 1918. Two are fringed, and the gold dress is trimmed with black monkey fur. Delineator, p. 64.

Butterick patterns for women, 1283, 1294, and 1305. December 1918. Two are fringed, and the gold dress is trimmed with black monkey fur. Delineator, p. 64.

Pattern descriptions for Butterick 1283, 1294 and 1305, December 1918. Delineator.

Pattern descriptions for Butterick 1283, 1294 and 1305, December 1918. Delineator.

Fringe could be light-weight, like chenille, or made from heavier silk or cotton. I have encountered monkey fur coats in costume storage. [Eeeeeek. Just as unpleasant as having the paw fall off a vintage fox fur stole.]

More fashions with fringe appeared on page 63:

The blue dress is fringed; the other is trimmed with fur. Delineator, Dec. 1918,. p 63

The blue dress (1278) is trimmed with fringe; the other outfit (blouse 1259 and skirt 1105) is trimmed with fur and decorative buttons. Delineator, Dec. 1918, p 63. Two different muff patterns were illustrated, 1190 and 9517.

In addition to keeping your hands warm, a muff often had an interior pocket that functioned as a purse.

Two more fringed day dresses, Dec. 1918. Delineator, p 63.

Two more fringed day dresses, Dec. 1918. Delineator, p 63. Butterick 1253 and waist/blouse 1263 with skirt 9865. No. 1253 is illustrated in satin; waist 1263 is in velvet, worn over a satin skirt.

More fringe from December 1918:

Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator. Dec. 1918, page 65.

Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator. Dec. 1918, page 65. Fringe trims the center two.

Butterick patterns in Delineator, page 71, December 1918.

Fur or fringe trims these Butterick patterns in Delineator, page 71, December 1918.  Women’s dresses No. 1294, 1309, and 1285.

Butterick patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68.

Butterick patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68. The shape of the skirt is determined by the high-waisted, curve-flattening corset of the era.

Fringe hangs from the pockets of a skirt, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68.

Fringe hangs from the pockets of a skirt, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68. Butterick blouse 1306 with skirt 1226. Shirt-waist pattern 1279 with skirt of suit 1101.

In October, Butterick suggested a fringed wedding gown, pattern 1169, shown again in November in a dark, velvet version:

Left, wedding gown 1169, Butterick pattern from October 1918; right, the same pattern in velvet, worn for a formal occasion. (November, 1918.)

Left, wedding gown 1169, Butterick pattern from October 1918; right, the same pattern in velvet, worn for a formal daytime occasion. (November, 1918.)

If you weren’t ready to go wild with fringe, you could carry a subtle fringed handbag instead of a muff.

Winter coats from Butterick December 1918. The woman in the center carries a matching striped muff; the woman on the right carries a fringed handbag. Delineator, December 1918, p. 66.

Winter coats from Butterick December 1918. The woman in the center carries a striped muff (Butterick 1266) to match her coat; the woman on the right carries a fringed handbag (Butterick pattern 10720.) Delineator, December 1918, p. 66.

The coat on the right is a reminder that the “Barrel skirt” or “tonneau” was [to me, inexplicably] in fashion for a while.

 

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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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Summer Dresses from Butterick, July 1918, Part 2

Summer fashions from Butterick, Delineator, July 1918, page 51.

Summer fashions from Butterick, Delineator, July 1918, page 51.

These summer outfits — with one exception — are really blouse and skirt combinations. The blouses deserve a close-up look:

Butterick blouse patterns 9999 and 9997, Delineator, July 1918, p 51.

Butterick blouse patterns 9999 and 9997, Delineator, July 1918, p 51.

9995 and 1011, with skirts 1028 and 1001. The bag, with tassel trim, is Transfer pattern 10370. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

Butterick blouses 9995 and 1011, with skirts 1028 and 1001. The bag, with tassel trim, is Transfer pattern 10670. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

These sheer overblouses are smocked to provide a little fullness over the bust. "Smock or Blouse 9994 and Blouse 1012. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

These sheer overblouses are smocked to provide a little fullness over the bust. “Smock or Blouse” 9994 and “Smock or Blouse” 1012. Delineator, July 1918, p. 51.

Dress 1007 is bluish, with a slight teal or gray tint. Its pockets and hem area are either embroidered or use soutache braid as a trim. Butterick sold the transfer pattern for such embellishments: No. 10692.

Butterick dress pattern 1007, from July 1918, Delineator.

Butterick dress pattern 1007, from July 1918, Delineator.

Page 50, which had all the pattern descriptions, also showed three additional outfits in black and white illustrations:

Butterick patterns from Delineator, July 1918, p. 50. From left, Blouse 1025 with skirt 1020; dress 9934, and dress 1019.

Butterick patterns from Delineator, July 1918, p. 50. From left, Blouse 1025 with skirt 1020; dress 9934, and dress 1019.

Here are all ten outfits, with their original descriptions and alternate views — which are often quite different from their color illustrations.

Butterick blouse 9999 and skirt 9991, July 1918.

Butterick blouse 9999 and skirt 9991, July 1918.

The alternate view shows a very different, high necked version of the blouse; the U-shaped neckline was a fairly recent fashion, so the high-necked version was aimed at older or more conservative dressers.

Butterick blouse 9997 and skirt 1013, July 1918.

Butterick blouse 9997 and skirt 1013, July 1918.

The skirt pattern was available in waist sizes 24 to 38 inches. The alternate view has a “Peter Pan collar.” The actress Maude Adams toured extensively in the play Peter Pan, setting a fashion. Click here to see her Peter Pan collar. Click here to see more about this Turn-of-the Century beauty with a brain.

Butterick Smock or Butterick dress pattern 1007. Delineator, July 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 1007, July 1918. The illustration of the alternate view shows a high collared insert — perhaps a dickey or vestee?

Dress pattern 1007 came in a larger than usual size — 46″ bust — and has a surplice closing “becoming to every woman, whatever her age,”  so it was expected to appeal to older women, too. During World War I, Delineator fashion writing often used military phrases, such as “maintains the morale,” “obeys all orders,” and “dangerous to mankind.” (See Up Like Little Soldiers for more examples of jingoistic fashion writing.)

Butterick Smock or Blouse 1012 with skirt 9723. Delineator, July 1918.

Butterick Smock or Blouse 1012 with skirt 9723. Delineator, July 1918.

Notice that the fancy, smocked pocket is shown as part of the skirt pattern, although it is on the smock in the color illustration. This skirt is gathered in back, and forms a header/ruffle above the waistband. This smock is also shown with a Peter Pan Collar (or it may be a long Buster Brown…. see below.) If not made in sheer fabric, would it be a maternity top?

Another Smock or Blouse pattern from Butterick, No. 9994. This sheer blouse is shown over a "Foundation" -- a slip like underdress, meant to show. July 1918.

Another Smock or Blouse pattern from Butterick, No. 9994.  Foundation 9842. July 1918.

This sheer blouse is shown over a “Foundation” — a slip-like underdress, meant to show; the foundation looks more like a lingerie slip in the alternate view.

Butterick blouse 9995 with skirt 1028. Delineator, July 1918.

Butterick blouse 9995 with skirt 1028. Delineator, July 1918. The skirt was available in waist measurements 24 to 38 inches.

Butterick blouse 1011 and skirt 1001, July1918.

Butterick blouse 1011 and skirt 1001, July, 1918. More smocking gathers the bodice. This alternate view shows a “Buster Brown collar.

Buster Brown shoe ad, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Buster Brown shoe ad, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick blouse 1025 with skirt 1020. July, 1918.

Butterick blouse 1025 with skirt 1020. July, 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 9934, from July 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 9934, from July 1918. The bodice can be made with either front or back closures, and “all of the most popular necklines.” The unusual sleeves were a popular style.

Her flower-covered hat has a sheer brim. (For others, click here or here or here.)

Butterick dress pattern 1019, July 1918.

Butterick dress pattern 1019, July 1918.

The hat shown in the middle of the page deserves a closer look. How did the wearer get through doorways, or into a car?

The hat is adorned with two feathers which appear to be ten or twelve inches taller than the hat.

The hat is adorned with two feathers which appear to be ten or twelve inches taller than the hat.

Perhaps the hatless lady in the foreground is making a comment?

Part 1 of Summer Dresses from Butterick, July 1918, is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

page 51

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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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Butterick Forecast Wardrobe Patterns, 1927 to 1928

I don’t collect patterns or sell them anymore, so I feel a little weird about finding another category of rare Butterick patterns. These are proving difficult to research, simply because they appeared in a few issues of Delineator with no fanfare (as far as I know,) and then no more was seen of them — at least, not by me.

Forecast Wardrobe from Delineator, November 1927, p. 26. The Butterick pattern numbers are, from left, 9-D, 9-C, 9-B and 9-A. These patterns cost more than four-digit Butterick patterns.

Forecast Wardrobe from Delineator, November 1927, p. 26. The Butterick pattern numbers are, from left, 9-D, 9-C, 9-B and 9-A. These patterns cost a dollar each.

These “forecast wardrobe” patterns are peculiar for two reasons:

  • They are outside the usual four-digit numbering sequence.
  • They cost $1.00 each at a time when most Butterick patterns cost from 25 to 50 cents.
Detail from a Butterick pattern price chart, Delineator magazine, January 1928, page 92.

Detail from a Butterick pattern price chart, Delineator magazine, January 1928, page 92. Pattern numbers and prices in cents. A chart of current pattern prices appeared in every issue.

I stumbled upon a two-page spread of “Fashions of the Forecast Wardrobe” in the January 1928 Delineator [Butterick’s magazine for women,] and didn’t see anything special about them except the odd numbering: 10-A, 10-B, etc.

"Daytime Fashions of the Forecast Wardrobe," Delineator, January 1928, p. 30. From left, Butterick patterns 10 B, 10 F, 10 A and 10 C.

“Daytime Fashions of the Forecast Wardrobe,” Delineator, January 1928, p. 30. From left, Butterick patterns 10 B, 10 F, 10 A and 10 C.

It was the price chart — which appeared at the back of every issue in the late 1920’s — that surprised me.

A typical Butterick Price Chart like this allowed Delineator readers to order by mail. January, 1928. It also helped me to date Butterick patterns.

A typical Butterick Price Chart like this allowed Delineator readers to order by mail.  It also helped me to date Butterick patterns. This one appeared in January 1928.  (Three-digit numbers are craft patterns.) The dollar patterns at the bottom are unusual; other prices are given in cents [Cts.]

I started looking through the previous years — 1927 and 1926 –expecting to find a regular series, but have only discovered five sets of “Forecast” patterns so far, starting with the four-pattern group beginning with 8 (8 A, 8 B, 8 C, and 8 D) in October of 1927 — and those patterns did not appear on the October price chart.

Butterick patterns 8-A through 8-D appeared in an article on wardrobe planning, Delineator, October 1927, p. 26. There was no mention in the article of the patterns' prices.

Butterick patterns 8-A through 8-D appeared in an article on wardrobe planning, Delineator, October 1927, p. 26. There was no mention in the article of the patterns’ special prices.

The group numbered 9 (9 A, 9 B, 9 C, 9 D) was illustrated in the November 1927 Delineator, again without appearing on the price chart.

Butterick patterns 9-A through 9-D appeared in November, 1927, with recommended accessories. Delineator, p. 26.

Butterick patterns 9-A through 9-D appeared in November, 1927, with recommended accessories. Delineator, p. 26.

In January 1928, the eight-pattern Number 10 series was luxuriously illustrated (on the S.S. Ile de France) by L. Frerrier, and showed up on the pattern chart with that $1.00 price, finally giving me an idea why these “Forecast” patterns were special. Series Number 9 patterns were on the January price chart, too.

Butterick "Forecast" patterns 10 D, 10 H, 10 E, 10 G. Illustrated by L. Frerrier for Delineator, January 1928, p. 31.

Butterick “Forecast” patterns 10 D, 10 H, 10 E, 10 G. Illustrated by L. Frerrier for Delineator, January 1928, p. 31.

Another eight-pattern Forecast wardrobe (11 A through 11 H) appeared in March, 1928 — again, a two page spread. The final group of eight (12 A through 12 H) appeared in June, but Frerrier’s illustrations were crammed into just one page. I haven’t gone through 1929 Delineators page by page, but there were no more Forecast patterns in 1928. As Kermit T. Frog would put it , “What the Hey?”

Butterick Forecast patterns 11-C, 11-D, 11-B, and 11-A, from March 1928. Delineator, p. 30.

Butterick Forecast patterns 11-C, 11-D, 11-B, and 11-A, from March 1928. Delineator, p. 30.

I don’t see anything special about the designs of Forecast Wardrobe patterns; in fact, some of them look a bit dowdy. And, as for predicting future fashions — well, if anyone could do that with absolute accuracy, that person would be very rich.

As I work through Delineator magazines for 1928, I’ll be keeping an eye out for these designs; did they reappear with normal numbers and normal prices as time went by? In what way were they “forecast?” And what made them cost twice as much as other patterns?

Has anyone found a vintage Butterick pattern with these peculiar numbers? Did they appear in the store pattern catalogs or store flyers? And, are there more than thirty-two of them (four  in October 1927,  four in November 1927, and eight per month in January, March, and June of 1928?)

I’ll be sharing details of the patterns in later posts; after the library retrieves the bound volumes for 1927 and 1928 from off-site storage, I’ll be reading through their masthead pages in case “Forecast” patterns were announced there. For now, I’m just sharing the mystery.

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, bags, handbags, Purses

More McCall Hats and Bags, 1946

My copy of the McCall Needlework store catalog for December 1946 shows many delightful patterns for hats and handbags. I’ve already described three patterns from the 1946 catalog that were successful enough to still be included in a store catalog at the end of 1950.

McCall 1228 pattern for hats and handbags. 1945. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946.

McCall 1228 pattern for hats and handbags. 1945. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946.

When dating styles from sewing patterns, it’s good to be reminded that it takes a while for a new style to gain acceptance, so that pattern companies continue to feature some patterns over a span of several years. The following group of patterns debuted between 1944 and 1946, and were out of print by November of 1950 (the latest McCall Needlework catalog I happen to have.)

This, No. 1115, is the oldest hat pattern from the 1946 catalog — originally issued in 1944. It has been dated by the Commercial Pattern Archive.

McCall 1115, Pattern for Hat and Handbag

McCall hat and bag pattern 1115, from the Dec. 1946 Needlework catalog. Pattern issued in 1944.

McCall hat and bag pattern 1115, from the Dec. 1946 Needlework catalog. Pattern issued in 1944.

View (B), a beret worn tilted far forward on the head, has a pretty extension at the back in place of the more common 1940’s band. The purse has straps which act as a drawstring, passing through sewn-on metal rings.

MC 1115 txt 500 hats bags dec 1946

The close-fitting cap (A) is described as a calot, meaning a close-fitting hat without a brim. It was more commonly called a “Juliet cap.” (See pattern 1293, below.) There are many illustrations of modern royalty wearing “calots” at the Royal Hats blog. In the 1920’s a hat type called a callotte was also brimless, but not close to the scalp. See a twenties version here.

McCall 1193, Hat Patterns

McCall hat pattern 1193 dates to 1945. McCall Needlework Catalog, Dec. 1946.

McCall hat pattern 1193 dates to 1945. McCall Needlework Catalog, Dec. 1946.

Frankly, View (A) looks to me to be too small for the model. The caved-in crown is a bit of a surprise — but handy as a base for a bowl of fruit… :). Version (B) evokes 1930’s hats like this one from 1936. From the rear, View (C) suggests a matador’s hat.

MC 1193 text hats bags dec 1946

“Turban A has a bias-fold crown. . . marvelous in stripes, and plain, too. The widow’s peak hat B and the beret-type C are soft hats, too. C is machine stitched and trimmed with ribbon bows. All are snug-fitting hats.”

“They can be worn with high or low hair-dos.” But, obviously, the extreme pompadour hair styles of the early 1940’s are not going to work with these hats.

There are more views on the pattern envelope at CoPA.

McCall 1200 Hats and a Bag for Very Young Women

McCall hat and bag pattern 1200, from 1945. Imge from McCall Needlework catalog, Dec. 1946.

McCall hat and bag pattern 1200, from 1945. Image from McCall Needlework catalog, Dec. 1946.

The round bag is a perennial style. Ridiculously small hats worn very far forward were a chic forties’ style.

McCall 1200 hat for young women. The green one is an "Eton cap" or schoolgirl's cap.

McCall 1200 hats for young women. The green one is an “Eton cap,” or schoolgirl’s cap. It was copied from uniform caps worn by schoolboys.

“The Eton cap (B) and the brim hat (C) are tops for young casuals, especially when matched up with suits or dresses.”

McCall 1228, Hats and Bags

McCall 1228 pattern for hats and handbags. 1945. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946.

McCall 1228 pattern for hats and handbags. 1945. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946.

MC 1228 hats TXT 500 bags dec 1946351

“Wonderfully smart dressmaker hats with bags to match. So easy to run up! Nothing but stitching and a self-bow on the hats. Companion bags in two styles carry out the stitching trim. Both styles have loop handles and are finished with slide fasteners [zippers.] One is a large carry-all, the other a small, compact model.” The blue bag is a “large carry-all” by 1945 standards, but not today! There are additional views on the pattern envelope. If you love to enter the zen state of decorative machine stitching, these really could be fun to make….

McCall 1252, Flat Hat Patterns circa 1945

McCall hat pattern 1252 circa 1945-46. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946.

McCall hat pattern 1252 circa 1945-46. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946. Views A, B, and back of C.

McCall hat pattern 1252 circa 1945-46. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946

McCall hat pattern 1252 circa 1945. Image from McCall Needlework catalog Dec. 1946. Views C and D.

“Making hat news, these four clever models are designed to open out for washing or cleaning. A — modified peach basket, ties together.  B — Coolie type, snaps to position at top and brim.  C — a drawstring beret.  D — pouchy turban that snaps to crown…. No blocking required.” Like No. 1228, Versions A and  B are stiffened with extensive machine top stitching.

[Sidenote:  the word “coolie” — often applied to Asian workers who did hard manual labor like building the Transcontinental Railroad, digging canals, and toting heavy loads — comes from two Chinese words meaning “bitter” (ku,) and “strength” (li.) It describes a person whose strength is “bitter” because it condemns one to a life of hard labor. This is not a word to use casually, although many people did not consider it offensive in 1946. “Ku” can also mean an agricultural worker. ]

Hat designer Agnes had already experimented with hats that can be unzipped or un-snapped and folded flat for packing, back in 1937.

McCall 1293, Patterns for a Beaded Halter Top, a Vestee, a Juliet Cap and a Handbag

McCall pattern 1293 for a halter top, a vestee, a Juliet cap, and a beaded handbag. 1946.

McCall pattern 1293 for a vestee (A), a halter top (B), a Juliet cap, and a beaded handbag. 1946.

The pattern envelope shows a second way to decorate the vestee.

MC 1293 blouse text hat bag dec 1946 72

“For festive occasions sew sequins on a vestee, Juliet cap, purse.” It was a Victorian custom that Juliet’s stage costumes often included a small, head-hugging cap made of pearls — not authentic to Renaissance Italy nor Shakespeare’s England, but pretty.  (Click here for silent screen star Lillian Gish wearing one.) The sideless vestee would be worn over a slip and under an open suit jacket (which you couldn’t take off in public, of course.) This glittering vestee might go with you to the office in your handbag, and be exchanged for your workday blouse in the ladies’ room at 5 p.m., turning your business suit into a cocktail or date outfit.

McCall 1298, Pattern for Hat and Bag

McCAll hat and bag pattern 1298. 1946 McCall catalog.

McCall hat and bag pattern 1298. 1946 McCall catalog. The handbag has grommet holes for the drawstring strap to pass through.

The back of that enormous beret is quite impressive, with an interesting top stitching pattern “for style and firmness.”

MC 1298 text hat bag dec 1946

“The trim spectator sports hat with clever visor brim A,  the popular big beret B, are easy to wear, simple to make.” [Just remember to duck when approaching a doorway.] Outsized berets and tams had been popular during World War I, too. Click here for an image from 1917, or here for a brief history of Tam-o’-Shanters and the difference between a tam, a toque, and a beret. And here is Joan Crawford wearing a big, dome-like hat, in 194o.

Hattie Carnegie suit and big straw beret hat, Vogue 1940.

Hattie Carnegie suit and big straw beret-type hat, Vogue 1940.

 

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Filed under 1940s-1950s, Accessory Patterns, bags, Hairstyles, handbags, Hats, Purses, Sportswear, Vintage patterns