Category Archives: Vintage patterns

Asian-Influenced Maternity Pattern, 1956

This chic maternity pattern appeared in the Butterick Fashion News store flyer in June, 1956.

Butterick 7795, a maternity pattern from June, 1956. Available in three versions.

[I apologize for the poor quality photos — my new computer won’t run my old photo program!]

Pattern description for Butterick 7795, from 1956.

The sleeveless version of Butterick 7795 was illustrated in pale green. The dress at left was for “Expecting company.”

The “Party time” version was a skirt and blouse with three-quarter sleeves and side slits; brocade material was recommended.

A glamorous Asian-influenced brocade maternity outfit for parties. 1956.

These 1950’s outfits — which assume that the mother-to-be will lead a normal life, entertaining, shopping, attending parties — are a refreshing contrast to the attitude of previous decades, which suggested that pregnancy should be concealed as long as possible, and that a pregnant woman should try not to attract attention in public. (See Who Would Ever Guess? (1930’s), Some Maternity Clothes of the 1920’s and 1930’s, and Maternity Fashions for December 1942, etc.)

1934 march p 80 lane bryant maternity catalog

“Designed to conceal condition,” 1934.

I remember the maternity fashions of my own childhood, the fifties, as being pretty — and making the wearer look pretty, too — distinct from the tight-waisted dresses of those days, but available in many versions, from “suitable for church” to “picnic in the back yard,” which included trousers instead of the narrow pencil skirts worn in public. (Trousers were strictly casual — not for school or PTA meetings.) This McCall pattern is from 1959.

McCall maternity pattern 4936, dated 1959. A pencil skirt, tapered “Capri” pants, and Bermuda shorts were included.

Back of pattern envelope, McCall 4936. From 1959. The “kangaroo” front of the pencil skirt and the waist of the trousers are adjustable.

There is no nonsense about concealing pregnancy in these fifties’ outfits. Hooray!

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Filed under 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, Maternity clothes, Sportswear, Vintage patterns, Women in Trousers

Maternity Patterns from 1907

Top of a full page article about Maternity styles from Ladies’ Home Journal, Jan. 1907, top of page 60.

Since Mother’s Day is approaching, this 1907 article about maternity fashions from the Ladies’ Home Journal seems appropriate. I accessed this article through ProQuest. The images were very faint and the text hard to read, so I have enhanced them.

A surprise on the same page was this 1907 advertisement for a “book” of maternity skirts, from Beyer and Williams Co., which could be purchased “made to order.” Lane Bryant is usually thought of as creating this niche market.

Ad for Fine-Form Maternity Skirt catalog, Ladies’ Home Journal, Jan. 1907, p. 60. “If not in need of a maternity skirt, remember our famous B & W dress and walking skirts….”

Back to the maternity patterns and advice available from Ladies’ Home Journal:

Since pregnancy was not mentioned in polite society, and was usually concealed as long as possible, 1907 maternity clothes looked as much as possible like current fashions. Ladies’ Home Journal patterns 2914 (bodice) and 2915 (skirt.)

The bodice was “designed by R.C. Pond,” the skirt by E. L. Phelps, and the drawings were by Anna W. Speakman. [Sometimes the ProQuest search terms are yellow-highlighted so thoroughly that the word is obscured.]

 

Back view of 1907 maternity bodice and skirt; LHJ patterns 2914 & 2915. [Here, “girdle” means belt or sash.]

Maternity clothing should be “inconspicuous in color, dark blue and black being preferable.” “Albatross” fabric could be worsted or cotton.

The bodice was adjustable:

The drawing shows the laced-up under-bodice and the hook and eye, side front  closings of the fashion fabric. [“Waist” is another word for “bodice.”]

The inner lining or foundation was tightly fitted, but laced up on each side of the front, so it could expand as needed. The fashion fabric was pleated and it also expanded. How it was possible to maintain the fashionable S-curve silhouette is not discussed.

“Maternity waist [i. e., bodice]” LHJ pattern No. 2914.

At left, an illustration of the expandable waist of the ten-gored skirt, LHJ pattern 2915.

Although the pattern was sold in waist sizes from 24 to 30 inches, the skirt could expand as much as fourteen inches at the waist and more at the hip.

Undergarments were also important; there is an emphasis on light-weight fabrics, since the usual layers of ruffled petticoats of 1907 could be heavy enough to cause a backache, even if the wearer was not pregnant.

Maternity undergarments, Ladies’ Home Journal, January 1907, bottom of p. 60. Tucks running around the petticoat and drawers could be let out as the front hem was pulled up by the baby bump.

Petticoat pattern 2913 description, LHJ, January 1907.

LHJ pattern 2913 for maternity undergarments, designed by H. C. Routery. 1907.

As an expanding abdomen lifted the skirt in front, the entire flounce could be lowered. From what I have seen, this problem was completely ignored by maternity dresses in the 1930’s.

Description of maternity corset cover pattern, LHJ 2911.

A maternity corset cover and maternity drawers (underpants), LHJ patterns 2911 and 2912 from 1907.

Description of maternity drawers pattern 2912, LHJ, Jan. 1907, p. 60.

There is the expectation that, after the baby is born, its mother will want to continue wearing these garments — they can be returned to her pre-baby size. Of course, most women probably did resort to wearing a “wrapper” housedress during the later months.

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Accessory Patterns, Maternity clothes, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Slips and Petticoats, Underthings, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, Vintage patterns

Spring Prints, 1938

Maybe it was the result of seeing flowers in bloom that made women dress in print fabrics every Spring. In 1938, the flowers on the dresses were often big ones:

Two dresses for May, 1938. Butterick Fashion News flyer. Butterick 7847 and 7839.

Pattern descriptions and back views for Butterick 7847 and 7839, May 1938.

These (mostly floral) print dresses appeared in the Butterick Fashion News flyer in April and May of 1938.

Print dresses for Spring, 1938. Butterick store flyer, April 1938. Butterick 7813, left, and 7801, right.

 

Butterick dress pattern 7809 illustrated in a large-scale print fabric. Butterick store flyer, April 1938. Available up to bust size 44 inches.

Butterick patterns 7786, 7784, 7817, and 7795. Store flyer for April 1938.

Patterns for older and larger women were also illustrated in print fabrics. Butterick patterns 7802, 7799, and 7815; store flyer, April 1938. These were available up to size 50 or size 52.

Smaller and younger women could also find patterns — and print fabrics — to meet their needs.

Butterick 7862 was for women 5′ 4″ and under. Store flyer, May 1938.

7830, 7836, and 7828.

The “jacket frock” in the center is for Junior Miss figures up to bust size 38. Companion-Butterick patterns 7830, 7836, and 7828, from May 1938. The one on the right has print lapels and sash.

The dress on the cover for May 1938 was polka-dotted. Butterick 7857.

Left, a big floral print on Companion-Butterick 7829. Next, No. 7823 has a floral print sash. Its neckline is attributed to Vionnet’s influence. The dress with bows, No. 7827, is shown in a smaller, widely spaced white floral print. Right, No. 7825. All were available in a wide range of sizes, to fit either  young and small women (Sizes 12 to 20) or women up to bust 44″. Butterick store flyer, May 1938.

Bold border print fabrics were suggested for these “Beginners'” sewing patterns.

These patterns for inexperienced dressmakers use 52″ border prints. One has a zipper front, and neither has set-in sleeves. Butterick 7838 and 7864. May 1938.

Print fabrics were also suggested for Spring of 1939 — but there was a more youthful silhouette:

Butterick dresses for Spring, 1939. Patterns 8366, 8387, and 8372. Butterick Fashion News flyer, May 1939.

These sleeves and shoulders resemble those of the previous year, but in 1939, skirts were being worn much shorter — just at the bottom of the kneecap:

Butterick dress patterns from May 1938 (left) and May 1939 (right.) Butterick store flyers.

For May, 1939, a suit jacket and bodice are piped with the same polka-dotted fabric that makes the “pancake” hat, worn very far forward on the head. The hat is Butterick pattern 8359. The suit, with knee length skirt, is Butterick 8351.

 

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Filed under 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes, Zippers

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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Filed under 1920s, Accessory Patterns, bags, Gloves, handbags, Hats, Purses, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns

Colorful Fashions for April, 1926

Delineator, page 27, April 1926. Butterick patterns for women.

These Butterick patterns for April, 1926, were illustrated by Marie L. Britton. I did not record all the pattern information, but, based on other issues of Delineator magazine, the illustration style distinguishes between dresses for women (usually sized up to 44 inch bust) and dresses for young women 15 to 20, or for small women. Typical mid-twenties details include colorful prints, border prints, embroidery, and the contrast between the matte and shiny sides of crepe satin.

At left, Butterick dress pattern 6686; at right, Butterick dress pattern 6737, shown decorated with Butterick embroidery transfer 10430. Delineator, April 1926, page 27.

The dresses on page 27 were for adult women.

Butterick patterns for women, Delineator, April 1926, top of page 27. Butterick 6692, 6704, and 6739.

The dress in the center makes good use of a border print fabric which graduates from larger to smaller scale. The dress on the right contrasts shiny with matte surfaces. Both dresses on the left have the long, ribbon-like ties at the neck which can be seen on many 1920’s Butterick patterns — an attempt to introduce a flattering vertical line to balance the horizontal line at the hips. (For more examples, see 1920’s Accessories: What’s Missing?)

This page also showed a classic twenties’ evening dress:

Butterick pattern 6743 is very snug around the hips. Delineator, April 1926, p. 27.

Party dresses were also illustrated on page 29. I think these are for young or small women, judging from the illustration style.

Left, Butterick dress pattern 6716 is embroidered with Butterick transfer pattern 10378. It could be worked in beads or in shiny thread. Right, Butterick 6715.

Instead of a “Spanish” shawl, a painted shawl is shown: This "Aztec" pattern hand painted shawl was made in the Samuel Russel Studio, New York, and illustrated by Katharine Stinger for an Ivory Soap Flakes ad. Delineator, March 1927.This “Aztec” pattern painted shawl was made in the Samuel Russel Studio, New York, and illustrated by Katharine Stinger for an Ivory Soap Flakes ad. Delineator, March 1927.

Another black floral print dress is illustrated on page 29. Notice that these young women or teens are drawn with snub noses.

Butterick pattern 6650, shown in a black print fabric; Butterick cape coat 6769 over dress 6719; and another border print, Butterick 6683. April 1926.

All three of these dresses have long ties at the neckline. Perhaps Butterick didn’t want to suggest that a long necklace was necessary. On the print dress below, which is very snug across the rear, the long tie is on the back of the dress.

Butterick dress patterns [for young women,] April 1926; Delineator page 29. Butterick 6711 and 6728. Notice the bust dart at right.

The dress on the right, No. 6728, has the bib front (based on a man’s shirt) that was very popular in the twenties, and seen again in the 1960’s,  when dropped waists were also briefly in style.

A Vogue pattern circa 1966 with a bib front. Vogue 6988.

This dress pattern from 1965 shows a dropped waist and, like Butterick 6728, a long row of buttons creating a vertical line down the front.

McCall’s 8135 from 1965 has a dropped waist and a long vertical line of buttons.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that very long necklaces also returned to style in the 1960’s.

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Filed under 1920s, Musings, Vintage patterns

90 Years Ago: Daytime Fashions for April 1927

Two views of a suit from Molyneux, left, and a sporty double-breasted suit from O’Rossen. The Molyneux suit used the same ombre striped fabric for the skirt and to trim the jacket. Delineator magazine, April 1927.

Since time forthe Easter Parade is approaching, lets take a closer look at the hats:

Left, two views of a hat from Molyneux; right, a simpler hat by Reboux. 1927.

Original description of Paris designer suits from Delineator, April 1927, p. 24.

Molyneux was one of the most influential designers of the late twenties. O’Rossen is almost forgotten today.  Another very successful French designer from the 1920’s was Louise Boulanger, whose fashion house was called Louiseboulanger. I may have shown her appliqued coat before — but it’s worth a second look (below right.)

French designer coats illustrated in Delineator, April 1927, p. 25. Left, a coat by Paquin; right, an applique-trimmed coat from Louiseboulanger.

Description of Paris coats from Delineator magazine, April 1927, p. 25.

These coats could be purchased in New York at the shop of Mary Walls. Here is a closer look at those hats:

Left, a hat from Molyneux; right, a hat by Alphonsine trimmed “with a huge taffeta ribbon bow.” 1927. They were available in New York:  the Molyneux from Mary Walls, or the Alphonsine from Saks Fifth Avenue.

If your budget did not run to couture, these Butterick patterns for Spring were also available:

Butterick coat pattern No. 1346, and dress 1386. Delineator April 1927, p. 31. The dress has closely pleated tiers cut in a scallop shape.

Descriptions and back views of Butterick 1346 and 1386, 1927.

The coat lapel is trimmed with a large “flower” made of ribbon. The hat at left is decorated with a cliquet pin. Bar pins, some of them quite large, like the one on the dress, were often shown worn like this, pinned diagonally to the front of a dress which looks too fragile to support it. 1927.

Some early 20th c. bar pins. I have worn these on my lapel or at my throat, but never diagonally on the mid- chest as seen in 1920’s illustrations.

Butterick coat pattern 1387; Frock 1392; two-piece dress pattern 137; and “jumper frock” 1372, Delineator, April 1927, p. 32. The skirt of No. 1372 hung from an under bodice, not a waistband.

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Butterick 1387 and 1392, 1927.

Details of Butterick 1370 and 1372. 1372 has a bow at the neck, partly hidden by her hand..

Butterick patterns 1360, 1408, and sports wear patterns 1396 (spectator sports) and 1378 (active sports, like tennis.) Delineator, April 1927, p. 33.

The rows of parallel top-stitching on No. 1360 is a style of trim that was popular in 1917.

Butterick 1360 and 1408.

The tennis dress below is illustrated with contrasting fabric inside the pleats, which would have flashed when the wearer was in motion. I’ve also seen this in several other twenties’ illustrations.

Butterick 1396 and 1378, from 1927. The monogram shows the influence of Molyneux. That sleeve construction would be rather binding in an active tennis game,  but truly sleeveless styles were still associated with evening dress.

 

Butterick patterns for Teens, April 1927. The one with the black jacket is called the “tomboy suit.” Delineator, April 1927, p. 29.

Alternate views of Butterick teen fashions 1362, 1388, 1344, and 1366. April 1927 Delineator, p. 29.

Butterick styles for teens, 1927. Patterns 1362 and 1388.

Descriptions of Butterick 1362 and 1388.

Details of Butterick’s “tomboy suit,” pattern 1344, and a surplice dress, 1366. Delineator, April 1927.

Descriptions of Butterick patterns 1344 and 1366.

“Size 19 years ” had a 38 inch bust. Size 15 years was proportionately smaller. For more about 1920’s pattern sizing click here.

 

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Hats, Sportswear, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns

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