Tag Archives: 1920s blouse

Ensembles for April, 1929

Spring jacket and coat ensembles; Butterick patterns from The Delineator magazine, April 1929.

Spring jacket and coat ensembles; Butterick patterns from The Delineator magazine, p. 35, April 1929.

There is a time machine in San Francisco. Every year, thanks to the SF Silent Film Festival, I enter the Castro Theatre, a 1400 seat “movie palace” built in 1922,  and spend several days watching movies from the 1920’s, (and earlier) in the building where they originally played. Unlike so many of its peers, the Castro has not been divided into tiny screening rooms with the seats not-quite-facing the screen. Here, silent movies are shown on a full-sized, correctly proportioned screen, not chopped and cropped, letterboxed, or panned-and-scanned to fit a TV screen or modern movie proportions. They are accompanied by live music, just as they were in the 1920s. I enjoy my time travel with thousands of like-minded people, a number of whom dress in vintage or replica 1920’s clothes. In honor of The SF Silent Film Society, (you can scroll through their archives here) I’m sharing some suit, coat, dress and jacket ensembles ideal for an afternoon matinee in 1929.

Ensembles for Spring, 1929. The Delineator, page 34.

Ensembles for Spring, 1929. The Delineator, page 34.

Delineator, April 1929, p. 34.

The Delineator, April 1929, p. 34.

Left, blouse #2568, skirt # 2208, jacket # 2546. Center,  blouse #2565 with suit #2536. Right, frock and jacket ensemble # 2539. Butterick patterns, April 1929.

Left, blouse #2568, skirt # 2208, jacket # 2546. Center, blouse #2565 with suit #2536. Right, frock and jacket ensemble # 2539. Butterick patterns, April 1929.

The skirt on the left is worn over its blouse; in the center, a blouse is worn over a skirt. The bands of trim on #2539’s dress form a triangular shape. This sleeveless dress has the new, square armholes.

Alternate views of blouse 2568 & skirt 2208, blouse 2565 & suit 2536, and dress 2539.

Alternate views of blouse #2568 & skirt #2208, blouse #2565 & suit #2536, and dress  #2539. Butterick patterns from 1929.

Left, frock #2535 with coat #2545. Center, frock #2271 with coat #2495. Right, coat # 2545 again with frock #2539. Butterick patterns from 1929.

Left, frock #2535 with coat #2545. Center, frock #2271 with coat #2495. Right, coat # 2545 again with frock #2539. Butterick patterns from 1929.

“A high color with a white or off-white blouse, or a light suit with a dark blouse — this is the new mode for ensembles.”

Coat # 2545 is shown at left in seven-eighths length over a two-piece dress which uses a border print for its very long top. At right, the same coat (#2545) is shown in jacket length. Both have standing collars. The coat in the middle, with “a youthfully wide collar,” reminds me of one I owned in the 1980’s, made of reversible material.

Back views coat 2545, coat 2493, and frock 2529 with coat 2545 as jacket.

Alternate views of coat #2545, coat #2495, and dress #2529 with coat #2545 as its jacket.

 

Ensemble frocks, page 35, The Delineator, April 1929.

Ensemble frocks, page 35, The Delineator, April 1929. “The . . . blouse is often sleeveless.”

Jacket #2546 and frock #2553. Butterick, April 1929.

Jacket #2546 and frock (dress)  #2553. Butterick, April 1929.

This jacket is made of light-weight [“sheer”] checked wool, with a scarf collar; it is trimmed with bias-cut bands of the same checked wool, which is also used as a trim on the wool jersey bodice of the dress (#2553). More challenging is the use of the bias check on the pleated skirt. It is drawn as if panels cut on the bias were inserted between the straight-grain pleats of the skirt. (I’d be more inclined to cut the skirt entirely on straight grain and apply the bias bands to the stitched-in pleats — I think.)

Back views of jacket #2546 and dress #2553. Butterick, 1929.

Back views of jacket #2546 and dress #2553. Butterick, 1929.

On the jacket “the bands and the scarf collar may be omitted.” In fact, this is the same jacket shown earlier, when it was made from printed fabric and worn with a matching print skirt and a ruffled blouse.

Two versions of Jacket pattern #2546

Two versions of Jacket pattern #2546

This high-contrast dress and jacket ensemble looks great in black (or navy?) and white, but Butterick suggested a different color combination.

Jacket #2530 worn with Frock #2551. Butterick, 1929.

Jacket #2530 worn with Frock #2551. Butterick, 1929.

“This cardigan (#2530) is of a new length, it has the new raglan sleeve, and it is linked to its frock (#2551) by bands of the crepe that makes the blouse. The cuffs and pocket are finished with the same bands. It would be smart in a bordered material, jersey, or printed or plain crepe de Chine.” The chic dress “for the first outdoor sports events of spring” is trimmed with the same material used for its skirt and jacket. According to Butterick’s Delineator magazine,  “Chartreuse with blue or brown is very smart for this frock.” [For more 1920’s color combinations, see “A Lament for Bound Periodicals” or “1920’s Orange and Black: Not Just for Halloween.”]

Alternate views of #2530 and #2551.

Alternate views of #2530 and #2551. This jacket is longer than the others.

I confess, I’m very impressed with Frock #2559 and its geometric but asymmetrical design:

Butterick dress pattern #2559 and coat pattern #2547. 1929.

Butterick dress pattern #2559 and coat pattern #2547. 1929.

I almost think you could wear this frock  today (adjusted to normal body proportions) without  people realizing it was a vintage dress. It has square armholes, as well as square pockets. 1929 april p 35 square armhole dress reefer coat

Alternate views, dress #2559 and reefer coat #2547. Butterick, 1929.

Alternate views, dress #2559 and reefer coat #2547, shown full length. Butterick, 1929.

The “Reefer Top-Coat,” #2547, “is a fashion classic — double-breasted with a belt and vent in the back — but it is in the new seven-eighths length. In navy or white cheviot with brass buttons, it becomes the nautical reefer that is worn aboard ship by the smart yachtswoman. At Palm Beach it was worn for sports.” — The Delineator.

Speaking of normal proportions:  on all the dresses that are not covered by jackets, there are two shallow bust darts on each side.

Bust darts, April 1929.

Bust darts, April 1929.

Their location is rather low by modern standards, perhaps because the torso is very elongated in these illustrations.

All of these 1929 Butterick patterns were available in bust sizes from 32″ to 44″ (with a maximum 47 1/2″ hip measurement.)

Also worth noting:  most of these cloche hats for Spring of 1929 have very little brim in front — if any.

Cloche hats for April, 1929. The Delineator, pp. 34-35.

Cloche hats for April, 1929. The Delineator, pp. 34-35.

More about the Time Machine (May-June 2015)

This year, the Silent Film Festival in San Francisco runs from Friday, May 28, through Monday, June 1. Buying tickets in advance is a very good idea — for many movies, all 1400 seats sell out. It’s possible to see four or five different films in a day. This year, the time machine will go back 99 years to 1916, showing William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes, plus the silent “Ben-Hur”(1925)  and “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930), Greta Garbo (1926), Harold Lloyd (1928),  Colleen Moore (1929), and silent films from Germany, France, Norway, China, the U.K., and of course, the U.S.

Also, the “High Style” exhibition from the Brooklyn Museum Collection at the Metropolitan Museum will be in San Francisco until mid-July. What a great summer!

 

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Exhibitions & Museums, Hats, Musings, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Embroidered Peasant Styles from the Nineteen Twenties

White linen vintage dress with blue embroidery and cutwork, mid-nineteen twenties.

White linen vintage dress with blue embroidery and cutwork, mid-nineteen twenties.

Dresses from the 1910s and 1920s were often ornamented with embroidery and beading, even for daytime wear. Just as there was a strong interest in ethnic clothing and crafts in the nineteen sixties and seventies, some women appreciated folk embroidery and embellishment ninety years ago. The style was not limited to “artistic” or eccentric dressers; “peasant” blouse and dress patterns were offered by mainstream companies. I was lucky enough to photograph the 1920s peasant dresses that follow while making an inventory of a friend’s collection. [I wish now that I had had time to take better pictures!]

Peasant Blouse and Dress Patterns, 1925

Here are some Butterick “peasant” patterns from 1925:

May 1925: blouse trimmed with smocking and embroidery, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

May 1925: blouse trimmed with smocking and embroidery, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

Embroidery transfer #10341 for the blouse shown above.

Embroidery transfer #10341 for the blouse shown above.

Butterick sold sewing patterns and also sold embroidery and beading transfers.

“#10341: You get several trimming combinations in this embroidery, for after you have finished trimming your peasant blouse with the cross-stitched bandings and motifs, you can use the one-stitch banding in bright wools down the front of your wool jersey sports frock…. The one-stitch banding may combine different bright colors in wools…. It can be adapted to 1 5/8 yard each of bandings 4 ½ inches wide, 2 ½ inches wide, 1 5/8 inch wide and 1 3/4 inch wide and 32 assorted motifs.”

Butterick blouse pattern #5903. Here it is shown embroidered in red and worn under a black "suspender skirt." May, 1925.

Butterick blouse pattern #5903. On the right, it is shown embroidered in red — or red and black — and worn under a black “suspender skirt.” May, 1925.

These smocked peasant dresses from the same issue (May, 1925) have a strong relationship to the embroidered vintage dress pictured below. Smocking is a peasant embellishment technique originally used on shepherd’s smocks.

Peasant dress patterns # 6006, for ladies 32"- 40" bust, and #6012, for Misses 16 to 20 years. 1925.

Peasant dress patterns # 6006, for ladies 32″- 40″ bust, and #6012, for Misses 16 to 20 years. 1925.

“#6006: One-piece dresses in peasant style are very cool and dainty for Summer and one of the smartest new fashions…. Many attractive color combinations are possible, for instance, on a white frock the smocking may be done in red, lavender, yellow and black.”

Embroidery on Two Vintage Twenties Dresses

The subtler color palette of this vintage peasant dress, in sheer cotton, is very attractive:

1920s smocked dress in sheer cotton, with embroidered front.

1920s smocked dress in sheer cotton, with embroidered front.

Detail of front and back

Detail of front and back

V098 smocking detail

This white linen dress with marine blue embroidery and cutwork is more clearly inspired by ethnic embroidery. [I imagine it being worn by a 1920s tourist visiting the Greek islands with parasol in one hand and sketchbook in the other. I dimly remember a similar dress being used in the movie Carrington (1995), based on the life of painter Dora Carrington.]

Front and side views of a vintage white linen embroidered dress, 1920s.

Front and side views of a vintage white linen embroidered dress, 1920s.

PHOTO  This dress, which was in the collection of a friend, had blue crocheted loops and blue crocheted buttons along the collar and neck opening. I photographed it first over a pale peach slip, to show the beautiful openwork patterns:V093 front embroidery detail 500

And again over a navy blue slip, which gives it more dimension. V093 embroiderd cutwork on navy slip 500

Considering the amazing things that can be done with computerized sewing machines and soluble stabilizers, I suppose it would be possible to duplicate these dresses today without the many, many hours of handwork that made the originals so wonderful. But it would still be quite a project!

 

11 Comments

Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, Dresses, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns

Was Vionnet the First Couturier to Use a Zipper? Spring 1929

Vionnet Spring 1929, Sketched for Delineator magazine, March 1929, page 27

Vionnet for Spring 1929, Sketched for Delineator magazine, March 1929, page 27

Delineator Magazine Reports on Paris Fashions, March 1929

The Butterick Publishing Company, which published Butterick patterns and also the Delineator magazine, maintained an office in Paris for the purpose of reporting on couture and other Paris fashions.

“…Butterick keeps a staff of experts in Paris all the time. Wherever new modes are launched there is a Butterick expert noting each successful model.  Quickly that expert cables the news. Sketches, details follow by the fastest steamers. Immediately patterns are made for each of the successful new modes.” — Butterick Advertisement in Delineator, August 1924, p. 67.

Couture for Spring, 1929,  Article in Delineator, March 1929, page 27.

Paris Fashions for Spring, 1929, Article in Delineator, March 1929, page 27.

The top left sketches show designs by Cheruit and Vionnet. Designs by London Trades and Mary Nowitsky at right. The evening gown is by Louiseboulanger.

Dress and jacket by Cheruit; Blouse, skirt, and coat ensemble by Vionnet, Spring 1929

Dress and jacket by Cheruit; Blouse, skirt, and coat ensemble by Vionnet, Spring 1929

The sketch and caption for the peach satin blouse by Vionnet show that it closes with a slide fastener – i.e., a zipper.

Delineator, March 1929, page 27.

Delineator, March 1929, page 27.

Butterick Pattern #2526: Culotte Blouse with Zipper; Wrap Skirt

Left, design by Vionnet; Right, Butterick pattern #2526

Left, design by Vionnet; Right, Butterick pattern #2526

When I turned to page 28 of the same issue, I found Butterick patterns which are nearly line-for-line copies of the Vionnet blouse, wrap skirt, and coat ensemble.

Butterick culotte blouse & skirt pattern #2526 on left, Coat pattern #2495 on right.

Butterick culotte blouse & skirt pattern #2526 on left, Coat pattern #2495 on right.

Back views, Butterick patterns #2526 and #2495

Back views, Butterick patterns #2526 and #2495

The name of Madeleine Vionnet does not appear on this page, but the idea for the culotte blouse is typical of her ingenuity. The problem of wearing a 1920s wrap skirt which rides far below the natural waistline (the skirt over a satin blouse would have a tendency to migrate around the body as you walk), and the problem of keeping the blouse tucked in when you sit and stand, or raise your arms, are both neatly solved by the “culotte blouse,” known much later in the 20th century as a bodysuit, as popularized by Donna Karan. The 1929 blouse is made-in-one with panties, like a camisole & panties underwear “combination” or “teddies”, also called “cami-knickers;” the crotch keeps the blouse from riding up and twisting around.

Here are the pattern descriptions:

Pattern descriptions for Butterick #2526 and # 2495.

Pattern descriptions for Butterick #2526 and # 2495.

1929 march p 28 vionnet zipper pattern blousePhoto Left of pattern #2526 “The Elegant Version of the Culotte”: This is Paris’ newest idea on the ensemble frock. The blouse is not only a blouse but a step-in, which gives it these advantages; it stays in place and it eliminates a piece of lingerie. It closes with a slide-fastener under the tied neck-line. The skirt is a graceful one-piece tie-around, holding the hips snugly. Designed for sizes 32 to 42. [bust measure]
1929 march p 28 coat pattern # 2495

Photo right of pattern #2495 “The Ensemble with Casual Coat”: The coat-and-frock ensemble has reached new peaks in the mode. There is no smarter example of it than this with a seven-eighths length coat, which hangs casually open, has moderately wide sleeves and a shawl collar, and the frock described above….Designed for 32 to 35 (15 to 18 years); 36 to 44. [bust measure]

The Vionnet culotte blouse was described on page 27 as ending “in brief trousers with the new sliding fasteners at each side.” The Butterick culotte blouse pattern described on page 28 only mentions a slide fastener down the front. It’s difficult to say from the tiny back illustration (unfortunately on the curve of a bound volume) whether we are seeing a side seam or a side zipper. [Using the Ladies’ Room while wearing a bodysuit was always awkward, but I’m not sure side zippers would help much.]

I have not searched the library for other reviews of Vionnet’s collection for Spring of 1929, but it certainly deserves more investigation.

If you search for “Schiaparelli zipper” you may find sites claiming that she was the first couturier to use zippers (then called ‘slide fasteners.’)  She was among the first; and she pioneered (and even encouraged the development of) colored plastic zippers in women’s clothing.  But, unless Butterick invented the designs sketched in its March 1929 issue of Delineator, Vionnet deserves the credit for the first zipper used in couture.

#2526 is not the first Butterick dress pattern to use zippers; # 2365 appeared in December of 1928, and no designer was mentioned.

11 Comments

Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, Not Quite Designer Patterns, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns, Zippers

Five Blouses and a Hat from 1924

5 blouses, 1924

One Vintage Pattern Leads to Another

Photo used with permission of connieandcompany

Photo used with permission of connieandcompany

When I used this blouse pattern, # 5508,  as an example of how vintage Butterick patterns could be dated using witness2fashion.com, I discovered four other interesting blouses on the same page of the Delineator, September, 1924.

Three Twenties Blouses (click on image to enlarge)1924 sept blouses 5502 5508 5486 10225 p 31 top

Blouse #5502: “For Fall, choose a slip-over blouse of crêpe de Chine, silk broadcloth, satin, etc., to wear with a two-piece skirt of wool rep, soft twills, cheviot, etc.”

Blouse #5508: “The slip-over blouse is smart to wear with a wrap-around straight skirt with set-in pockets, etc. Initials trim this blouse of heavy crepe de Chine, etc.”

Blouse #5486: “A new costume is composed of a jacquette blouse of crêpe de Chine, silk crêpe, or satin crêpe and a one-piece wrap-around straight skirt of soft twills, etc. The embroidery is easily done.” [Hmmmm. Define “easily.” It seems to be done with a blanket-stitch. You could purchase Butterick embroidery transfer 10225.]

Two More Twenties Blouses 1924 septblouses p 31 btm

Blouse #5490:  “The scarf collar slips through a slash and gives a new effect to this slip-over blouse of plain or printed crêpe de Chine or silk crêpe, or of satin crêpe. 36 bust requires 1 3/4 yard 39-inch novelty crêpe.”

Blouse #5498 and Hat #5353:  “Both collar and cuffs of this slip-over blouse with a shoulder yoke may be sewed to the blouse or detachable. Use silk broadcloth, heavy crêpe de Chine, silk jersey, silk crêpe, etc. For the tricorne hat use velvet, duvetyn, etc. “

Both these blouses could be made with long or short sleeves. [Theatre curtains are often made of duvetyn, a brushed pile fabric which was light-absorbent – like velvet – but sturdy and able to be treated with fire retardant.]

And a 1920s Tricorne Hat Pattern1924 july p 36 hat 5353I associate clôche hats from the Twenties with felt or straw, but several four-gore or six-gore Butterick hat patterns were available for the home stitcher, and could be made of wool, silk, velvet, etc. 

hat 5353 top left#5353:  “One of the latest arrivals in this country from Paris is the smart little tricorne hat with its gored crown. It boasts a hand-made ornament on its brim. Make the hat of wool jersey, serge, soft twills, duvetyn, broadcloth, camel’s-hair, satin, or taffeta.” [The hat would need to be stiffened; Custom Milliner Wayne Wichern says he uses tailoring supply natural hair cloth in his taffeta and silk hats.]

1 Comment

Filed under 1920s, Vintage patterns

Chiffon Blouse, Early 1920s

vintage 1920s chiffon blouse side viewThe Vintage Traveler recently published the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2014.

I immediately thought, “I’ve seen that color combination before!” A peachy pinkish color, somewhere between beige and tan, with orange, yellow, pale blue, and aqua accents (plus a touch of darker color for contrast.)
I was able to photograph this blouse while it was in the collection of a friend. [The collection has been sold.]  front vintage beaded blouse

The mannequin was very small, so the blouson above the waistband doesn’t show properly, but this is a very close kin to the blouse pictured in this Pictorial Review pattern, which also uses two layers of sheer material to give opacity over the body and transparency to the sleeves:  Pictorial review #9186 detail

The blouse I photographed has a sleeveless layer of the chiffon – probably ‘crepe chiffon’ – inside the outer layer.  The layers were not connected all the way around the neckline. It has above-elbow sleeves and is decorated with appliques of orange crepe chiffon, hand stitching in silk floss in colors of yellow, aqua, and orange, and pale blue and black beads, plus silvery blue beaded tassels. Appliques, silk embroidery, beads and tasselsIt’s possible that some of the beads outlining the appliques are the same color as the blouse fabric, but those in the tassels have a pearly, light blue tone.  The silk embroidery in aqua and light orange continues the pattern of diamond shapes across the back of the blouse, and accents the sleeve hems. back of vintage blouse

You can see the gathering which creates a sash effect at the front of the blouse. The ties in back are very long.  There was no sign of a manufacturer’s label; it’s possible that this blouse was not store bought. Embroidery patterns were a big part of the pattern business in the 1910s and 1920s, when dress styles were often simple but accented with embroidery and beading.  Pictorial Review pattern # 9186 suggests (Pictorial Review) Beading design # 12511 for the neckline of the blouse – available as a transfer in blue or yellow for 25 cents.  PR 9186 beading at neckline

Comments Off on Chiffon Blouse, Early 1920s

Filed under 1920s, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns