Tag Archives: Butterick pattern

Tam-o’-Shanters for Women, 1917

Tams for Women. Ladies' Home Journal, 1917; Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Tams for Women. Ladies’ Home Journal, 1917; Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Tam o’ shanters have been popular hats for women at several periods, including the turn of the century . . .

Women in tams, as pictured in Punch Magazine, 1896 and 1901.

Women in tams, as pictured in Punch Magazine, 1896 and 1901.

the World War I era . . .

Young woman in a fashionable velvet tam, about 1918.

Young woman in a fashionable velvet tam, about 1918.

the twenties, the thirties, the nineteen sixties, and into the twenty-first century:

Tam "Beret" pattern, Vogue # 7980, 2004.

Tam “Beret” pattern, Vogue # 7980, 2004.

Origins of the Tam o’ Shanter

The Tam-o’-Shanter (or Tam o’ Shanter) was originally a hat worn by Scottish men.

Two Scotsmen, as drawn by Charles Keene in Punch Magazine, 1880.

Two Scotsmen, as drawn by Charles Keene in Punch Magazine, 1880.

With them it entered the military . . .

A private in Crawford’s Highland Regiment, 1740, Illustrated by Pierre Turner. From Michael Barthrop’s British Infantry Uniforms Since 1660.

A private in Crawford’s Highland Regiment, 1740, Illustrated by Pierre Turner. From Michael Barthrop’s British Infantry Uniforms Since 1660.

and became part of the official uniform of some regiments, like the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Tams and Berets

In its simplest form, a tam is just a round or oval piece of cloth gathered into a band around the head.

Some tams are made of two round pieces, or a round piece and a cylinder, stitched together around the circumference; the round hole in the lower piece can be eased into the band with or without gathering. This can produce a crisp look, as in this Vogue pattern illustration from 2004.

Vogue pattern 7980, dated 2004.

Vogue pattern 7980, dated 2004.

Vogue called this a beret in 2004; “tam-o-shanter” had disappeared from the current fashion vocabulary by then. Today, you can find tams – some with a 1920s look – at hats.com, but they are classified as berets, not tam o’ shanters.

A beret.

A beret.

Sometimes the words “tam ” and “beret” are used interchangeably, but a beret usually has a very narrow binding around the head, and a relatively small crown.

Tam, 1917.

Tam, 1917.

The tam o’ shanter usually has a wider band.

Also, the crown of a tam is much bigger than the band, and the tam is rarely symmetrical when worn by women; it tilts or droops to one side or to the back.

Both berets and tams can be worn with the band turned to the inside, where it isn’t seen:

Tam o' shanter, 1925.

Tam o’ shanter, 1925. Delineator.

Tams for Women, 1917

Tams were very popular with women’s fashions during the First World War. This Paris design “for very young women” is by Paquin, as famous in her day as Poiret or Patou:

A chic Paris costume for a 'very young lady" by Mme. Paquin, 1917. Delineator.

A chic Paris costume for ‘very young women” by Mme. Paquin, 1917. Delineator.

Here, a Butterick coat pattern is accessorized with a tam (left):

On the left, a tam worn with a coat by Butterick, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

On the left, a tam worn with a coat pattern by Butterick, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

In 1917, tams could reach rather extreme sizes, something like a chef’s toque (technically, a ‘toque” is any hat without a brim; since tam o’ shanters have no brim,  the line between tams and toques can blur. Most fashion hats described as “toques” are more vertical than horizontal, lacking these huge crowns.)

Women in tams, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

Women in tams (one is like a chef’s toque), Sept. 1917. Delineator.

A tam made of fur and a tam made of velvet; Ladies' Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

A tam made of fur and a tam made of fur or velvet; Ladies’ Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

Tams were also popular because they could be knitted or crocheted:

Delineator crochet patterns, Sept. 1917.

Delineator crochet patterns, Sept. 1917.

Ad for Bear Brand Yarn, Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

Ad for Bear Brand Yarn, Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

This young lady got really carried away and made a matching tam, scarf, and handbag trimmed with Vari-colored cross-stitch:

Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

A knit tam could be rolled up and stuck in a pocket, which made them handy for wearing to school.

Both Delineator magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal encouraged their readers to economize during the First World War by making new clothes from worn-out or out-moded clothing.  One Home Journal reader bragged that she salvaged enough fabric from her old velvet skirt to make tams for both of her daughters and a “small toque” for herself:

Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Her examples look very much like this soft tam (or toque?) from Delineator magazine:

Delineator, Sept 1917.

Delineator, Sept 1917.

Perhaps the model on the right is explaining that her clever mother made this soft velvet hat from an old skirt.







Filed under 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, Accessory Patterns, Hats, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Couture Designs

Draped Blouses, November 1937

“One glance at this page should leave no doubt in your mind about bodice drapery. It is headline news. You can’t ignore it — especially in the more formal type of blouse shown here. Lame, crepe, velvet, sheer wool — a short length of material plus one of these patterns is all you need to have a blouse. Make several to revive a suit or top a velvet skirt. They are a boon for special occasions and an easy way of expanding your wardrobe.” — Woman’s Home Companion, November 1937.WHC 1937 nov p 96 drapery in blouse 7623 7625 7629 7627There are four separate patterns here. They are all shown as overblouses — two look rather like jackets.

Budget Dressing During the Depression

These blouses, all meant to be worn over the skirt, look marvelous in color, but it’s easy to imagine them also made in white or pastels for office wear, or made of crêpe or wool with a matching skirt. 1937 was still Depression-era, and Companion-Butterick patterns were often described as an economical way to make your wardrobe look bigger than it was.

In this case, “a short length” of a luxury material like lamé or velvet would be more affordable than a whole evening-dress length, and you could pair one evening blouse with different skirts or wear it over a simple evening dress. This was a time when dinner dresses were worn to restaurants and theatres, as well as to private homes. Pattern 7625 would be very appropriate for a “dinner suit.”

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7625

Companion-Butterick pattern, Nov. 1937.

Companion-Butterick pattern, Nov. 1937.

This jacket-like blouse could also be made in a short-sleeved version, which would be pretty under a suit jacket. The pattern description does not say anything about how it closes. This is the only blouse pattern with set-in sleeves.

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7629

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7629, Nov.1937

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7629, Nov. 1937

This blouse looks very current to me, except for the little belt in back, which snugs it to the waist. It seems to be cut on the bias. Or I can imagine a modern version in knit, with an invisible side zipper. The pattern description doesn’t say how it closes; the shorter sleeves seem to be ruched to 3/4 length, but wrist length sleeves are also illustrated.

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7623

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7623, Nov. 1937.

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7623, Nov. 1937.

A longer-sleeved version was included. Again, there is no information about how you got this tightly fitted blouse on and off. The gold novelty buttons – if that’s what they are – are a nice touch.

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7627

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7627, Nov. 1937

Companion-Butterick Pattern 7627, Nov. 1937

This blouse has interesting sleeve variations and a waist that looks almost like a vest or weskit. Since it has a center back seam, it may use a center back zipper. Lamé was not the only metallic fabric available in the 1930s, as you can see from this 1936 advertisement for Fleischmann’s yeast. 1936 metallic blouse Fleischmann's yeast adAll four of the Companion-Butterick patterns were available in sizes 30 to 44 inch bust measure.

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Filed under 1930s, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Vintage patterns

Five 1920s Bathing Suits

I intended to make this a short post about two bathing costumes from 1926, but then I worked backward to some swim suits from 1925….

Two Bathing Suit Patterns from 1926

Butterick patterns # 6809 and # 6822. Delineator, 1926

Butterick patterns # 6809 and # 6822. Delineator, 1926

Although knit bathing suits were already popular, these two patterns for the summer of 1926 use printed textiles, with separate fabric or knit shorts or trunks.

The pattern for #6809 includes a wrap skirt, pictured above right. #6822 calls for a blouse of printed silk crêpe, which would have been very revealing when wet. Perhaps it was intended more for sunning than swimming, since it was available up to bust measurement 48 inches, and came in children’s sizes, too. Pattern #6809 was also illustrated in a very Art Deco print version (see below.) 1926 june p 38 prob june text bath suits 6809 1926

Art Deco Swim Suit , 1926

Butterick pattern #6809, 1926

Butterick pattern #6809, 1926

The striking Art Deco fabric illustrated here is also used to trim the trunks, which seem to be made of satin. Her bathing shoes appear to close with snaps, and are probably made of rubber.  These illustrations are from Butterick’s magazine The Delineator; pattern #6809 was illustrated two months in a row. (Click image to enlarge.)

1926 june p 38 prob june bathing suit 6809 text

Three Swimsuits from 1925

Butterick Patterns #6014, #5210, #5204; from 1925

Butterick Patterns #6014, #5210, #5204; from 1925

The pattern on the left, # 6014, looks very old-fashioned next to the two knit suits on the right. The two 1926 bathing suits discussed above are clearly descended from this style, but in one year have become much shorter, simpler, and sleeveless. The little girl’s one piece wool knit suit, #5210, is as un-fussy as the adult’s bathing-suit  on the right, #5204. With hindsight, we know that this is the style that would dominate for the next few years.

1925 july 6014

6014  “Printed surf silks, printed surf satin, foulard or chintz with plain to match; plain surf satin, plain surf filk or taffeta with contrasting are used for this new two-piece bathing costume with its attractive handkerchief cap. Or use wool jersey, or any of these materials plain, without the tucks at the side, and with a belt…. The bathing costume is becoming to ladies 33 to 48 bust; also misses.”

This description mentions fabrics I had never heard of: ‘surf silk’ and ‘surf satin.’ Wet silk would have been very clingy, but 1920s brassieres (flattening, not uplifting) were sometimes advertised as suitable for wearing under bathing costumes. Taffeta, wool, and sturdy cottons had been used in the dress-like bathing costumes of the early 1900s. This costume was also available in sizes up to 48″ bust, so it was expected to appeal to older, larger, and/or more conservative women.

1925 july 5210 swim

5210  Another bathing-suit that plans to give the ocean hard wear this Summer is for the younger feminine members of the family. This practical suit buttons on the shoulders and has attached tights. The suit is both new and smart and should be made of heavy wool jersey. Parents will appreciate the fact that it puts wool next to the youngster’s skin. A simple suit of this type can be very easily made…. The bathing-suit is practical for girls and little girls 2 to 14 years.

This suit is a miniature version of # 5204, with its buttoned shoulders and attached tights. “Parents will appreciate the fact that it puts wool next to the youngster’s skin;” woolen underwear, like Jaeger’s, was part of the 1880s dress reform movement.  (Having worn wool-lycra bathing suits myself in the 1950s and 60s, I think that sending a small child into the ocean wearing “heavy wool jersey” was insane. If you have ever hand-washed a wool cardigan, you know how absorbent and heavy wet wool can be.)

1925 july 5204 swim july 1925

5204  Ready for an active life on the ocean wave is a simple, straight bathing-suit that has nothing in its make-up that might impede or hamper the swimmer. This very good-looking and practical suit is in one piece and the tights are attached. It can be made very easily, and the materials suitable for this style are heavy wool jersey and heavy jersey tubing. It buttons on the shoulders. The bathing-suit is good style for ladies 33 to 44 bust, also misses.

One-piece knit wool suits, without the (modesty) skirt, had been pioneered by Annette Kellerman, “the Diving Venus,” “the Million-Dollar Mermaid,”  who was arrested for wearing one in 1907,  and were used in competitive swimming in the 1920s. Imagine the water-resistance those Olympic swimmers had to overcome!

Notice that the woman in this illustration is wearing a rubber swimming cap – and rolled stockings!

A 1920s Bathing Beauty

If anyone doubts the influence of fashion illustrations, here is a family photo of a young woman wearing a purchased wool knit bathing suit, accessorized with a parasol and a handkerchief cap. If you look closely just above her knees, you can see that she has recently removed her rolled stockings.helenparasolalone


Filed under 1920s, Bras, Children's Vintage styles, Sportswear, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns, vintage photographs, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes