Tag Archives: butterick patterns 1917

Cutting the Cost of Clothes, March 1917

In March, 1917, before America officially entered World War I, Delineator magazine began a series of articles on the advantages of making your own clothing. I find them interesting because the cost of making up the same pattern(s) in different fabrics is given.

"Cutting the Cost of Slothing," Delineator, pages 54 and 55, March 1917.

“Cutting the Cost of Clothes,” Delineator, pages 54 and 55, March 1917.

Second page of "Cutting the Cost of Clothes" article, Delineator, March 1917.

Second page of “Cutting the Cost of Clothes” article, Delineator, March 1917.

Digression:  Before I show the patterns and their budgets in detail, I can’t ignore that ad for Hump Hair Pins.

Ad for Hump Hair Pins, Delineator, March 1917.

Ad for Hump Hair Pins, Delineator, March 1917. “The Hump Hair Pin Locks the Locks” … “hours after your hair has been dressed.”

Not quite a bobby pin and not quite a traditional hairpin, the Hump Hair Pin seems to be designed for women who are bobbing their hair like Irene Castle, or at least wearing it shorter in front while pinning up the long hair in back.

Hump Hair Pin ad, Delineator, March 1917. "Short Ends never worry the woman who insists on Hump Hair Pins."

Hump Hair Pin ad, Delineator, March 1917. “Short Ends never worry the woman who insists on Hump Hair Pins.”

Cutting the Cost of Clothes, March 1917.

1917 mar p 54 cost of clothes caption

The article by Evelyn Chalmers, “Cutting the Cost of Clothes,” was the first in a series intended to be of “very practical helpfulness to women of average means.” Delineator aimed at the middle and upper-middle class woman; not everyone lived near a department store, but most towns had dressmakers who made clothes from patterns their customers selected. Not every woman who bought a Butterick pattern would sew it herself. However, Butterick Publishing Company had good reasons to stress the cost-saving potential of sewing patterns.

“I am going to show how you can cut the cost of clothes. . . . I am going to show, . . . for instance, how you can have a delightful little suit under fifteen dollars that you couldn’t buy for twenty-five. . . . I am going to help you choose styles that will serve as many purposes as possible so that you will always be correctly dressed without having to go to the expense of a very elaborate and varied wardrobe. It is a question of using your brain, your thrift and your industry in place of money.”– Eleanor Chalmers in Delineator

“The three [suits] I have chosen . . . are simple but not too severe, smart enough to answer all requirements  and yet so conservative that you can use them for traveling, shopping, etc. . . . The suits are smart. They are correct. They are young looking and becoming.”

Costs of Materials for Making Butterick Patterns 9039 and 9019 

“A smart little suit with pinch tucks:”

Butterick Jacket and Skirt, Delineator, March 1917, p. 54.

Butterick Jacket 9039 and Skirt 9019, Delineator, March 1917, p. 54.

Supplies for making this coat and skirt combination ranged from $7.21 to $11.43, depending on the version you made and the materials you chose. March 1917. Delineator.

Costs of making Coat 9039 and Skirt 9019, March 1917. Delineator.

Supplies for making this coat and skirt combination ranged from $7.21 to $11.03, depending on the version you made and the materials you chose.

I am assuming that “flannel” is wool flannel, but it is a facing, so perhaps not. Satin lining material varies from $0.80 to $1.00 per yard. I’m surprised to find that the coat is interlined with cambric (which I associate with handkerchiefs) which can cost either $0.09 or $0.12 per yard. As now, buttons could be cheap ($0.18 per dozen) or a bit fancier ($0.25 per dozen.) Chalmers suggested celluloid buttons.

Detail of jacket No. 9039.

Detail of jacket No. 9039.

Costs of Materials for Making Butterick 8980 and 9040

“A suit with splendid lines:”

Butterick coat pattern 8980 and skirt pattern 9040, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55.

Butterick coat pattern 8980 and skirt pattern 9040, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55.

The jacket has a rather interesting pocket and belt combination. High, and bizarre, hats were popular.

Costs for materials: four different versions of jacket 8980 and skirt 9040. Delineator, March 1917, p. 55.

Costs for materials: four different versions of jacket 8980 and skirt 9040. Delineator, March 1917, p. 55.

The jacket’s collar could be made of velveteen, at $0.75 per yard, or of velvet, at $1.00 to $1.25 per yard.

All three jackets are lined with satin, and interlined with cambric. “For your lining you can get a satin with a cotton back at the price I’ve quoted.”  This outfit’s price ranged from $7.20 to $11.20.

1917 mar p 54 Light Bright

Costs of Materials for Making Butterick 9041 and 9042

Butterick coat 9041 and skirt 9042, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55.

Butterick coat 9041 and skirt 9042, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55. “The new barrel silhouette.”

This is a typical “( “Six or seven inches from the floor is the length accepted by the best  houses here and abroad.”

1917 mar p 54 skirt in illust IIIYou can understand how the 1917 barrel skirt might have tempted women to let their figures spread a little, so that the slim lines of the 1920’s were a bit of a problem for the not-very-young. (See How to Look Thinner in the 1920’s;  Corsets and Corselettes.)

Material costs for four version s of Butterick 9041 and 1942. March 1917. Delineator. p. 55

Material costs for four versions of Butterick 9041 and 1942. March 1917. Delineator. p. 55

This suit (jacket and skirt) could be made as cheaply as $8.27 or from more expensive “serge, gabardine or check” for $13.45, assuming you made it yourself.

All of the patterns call for dress weights, cambric interlining, silk thread, cotton thread, and basting thread.

Chalmers suggested making a satin blouse (with a peplum) in the same color as your skirt, so that it could be worn as a “street dress” when the weather got warmer and you didn’t need a jacket.

Prices for Mail Order Clothing from Delineator Advertisements

The cost of making the suits shown in Eleanor Chalmers’ article do make her point:  “You can have a delightful little suit under fifteen dollars that you couldn’t buy for twenty-five”

In the same month, March 1917, advertisers in her magazine offered two piece suits, something like those above, for as much as $35.00.

Woman's suits from the Bella Hess catalog, Ad, Delineator, March 1917, p. 33.

Women’s suits from the Bella Hess catalog. Ad, Delineator, March 1917, p. 33. Suits, $25.00 and $18.98; Hats for $1.98 and $2.98.

Clothing from the Bedell dress catalog; ad in Delineator, March 1917.

Clothing from the Bedell dress catalog; ad in Delineator, March 1917. A silk dress for $16.98 and a velour coat for $12.98 .

Price range of women's clothing from Bedell catalog, 1917.

Price range of women’s clothing from Bedell catalog, 1917. Suits $8.75 to $35.00; skirts $1.00 to $10.00, Dresses $5.00 to $25.00.

An Easter Dress from the Philipsborn catalog, advertised in Delineator, March 1917.

An Easter Dress from the Philipsborn catalog, advertised in Delineator, March 1917. $4.98. Quite a bargain!

Cost of Living, March 1917

One kind of ad that appeared in Delineator over a long period — decades — was for nursing schools. To give you an idea of a desirable income for a woman:

"Be a Nurse -- Delineator, March 1917.

“Be a Nurse — Earn $15 to $25 per week.” Delineator, March 1917.

This Dodge convertible closed car cost $ 1135.00, F.O.B. Detroit.

Dodge closed car in ad, March 1917, Delineator.

Dodge closed car in ad, Delineator, March 1917.

 

 

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Hairstyles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns, World War I

Butterick Fashions for August, 1917

American women had been reading about the active wartime roles of women in France and Germany since 1914. Here, a few months after the U.S. entered the first World War, softly feminine (although thick-waisted) styles appear beside clothes that look like uniforms.

Fashions from Butterick's Delineator magazine, August 1917.  During World War I, pseudo-military uniforms were shown for women who wanted to wear them while volunteering for war-related charities.

Fashions from Butterick’s Delineator magazine, August 1917.

During World War I, patterns for pseudo-military uniforms appeared for women who wanted to wear them while volunteering for war-related charities. (The Red Cross and other agencies soon prescribed their own — official — uniforms, with strict regulations about wearing them. Click here.) I’ll show these dresses and their descriptions in detail later in this post; first, here is the second full color fashion page from this issue of Delineator:

Another page of fashions from Butterick's Delineator Magazine, August, 1917.

Another page of fashions from Butterick’s Delineator magazine, August, 1917.

Some of these outfits are one-piece dresses, but often what looks like a dress turns out to be a blouse (sometimes called a “waist”) pattern with a separate skirt pattern. That allowed a great deal of customization, and I always enjoy seeing illustrations of the same skirt with several tops, or vice versa.

Starting at top left of the first color plate:

Blouse pattern NO. 9311 with skirt pattern No. 9318. Butterick's Delineator, August 1917.

Blouse pattern No. 9311 with skirt pattern No. 9318. Butterick’s Delineator, August 1917.

Butterick's description of 9311 and 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick’s description of 9311 and 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

“It has the popular wide collar and large pockets…. A very good design for misses [i.e., teens] as well as women.”

Left, blouse 9330 with skirt 9073; right, coat 9324 with skirt 9318. Butterick patterns, Delineator,Aug. 1917.

Left, in pink:  blouse 9330 with skirt 9073; right, coat 9324 with skirt 9318. Butterick patterns, Delineator,Aug. 1917.

Blouse 9330 with skirt 9073, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Blouse 9330 with skirt 9073, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick 9330 and 9073, Aug. 1917. Delineator.

Description of Butterick 9330 and 9073, Aug. 1917. Delineator.

What makes this a “Russian Blouse?” I have no idea. Research project for somebody….

Coat pattern 9324 with skirt 9318, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Coat pattern 9324 with skirt 9318, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick patterns 9324 adn 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick patterns 9324 and 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

” ‘Who goes there?’ The answer — a new suit with smart military cape and pockets receives a salute from Fashion. . . . The cape is removable. . . The suit is a splendid design for misses [i.e., ages 15 to 20] as well as women.” This same skirt, No. 9311, was also shown with the long, dotted blouse No. 9311.

Butterick blouse pattern 9311 with skirt 9318. 1917.

Butterick blouse pattern 9311 with skirt 9318. 1917.

Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320, Delineator, Aug. 1917. “The coat has the popular large collar, [No kidding!] with two new outline possibilities….”

Description of Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

The pattern descriptions page included two more contrasting styles, a loose embroidered dress beside another version of the piped coat with military pockets and insignia:

Butterick dress 9326; coat 9324 with skirt 9309. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick dress 9326; coat 9324 with skirt 9309. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

This is the same military-influenced coat, No. 9324, that was shown above in a tan, caped version.

Description of Butterick coat 9324 and skirt 9309, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick coat 9324 and skirt 9309, Aug. 1917.

“It is a splendid model for the woman who wants something newer and more picturesque than the severely tailored suit.” [Top it with a Rough Riders hat?]

Description of dress 9326, Butterick's Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of dress 9326, Butterick’s Delineator, Aug. 1917. “The deep pouch pockets and long narrow sash-belt are popular parts of the one-piece look.”

The one-piece dress above, No. 9326, has big, triangular, embroidered pockets something like this one, shown in color:

Description for Butterick dress pattern 9335; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description for Butterick dress pattern 9335; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick dress 9335, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick dress 9335, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Dress patterns 9323 and 9331, Butterick. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Dress patterns 9323 and 9331, Butterick. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9323; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9323; Delineator, Aug. 1917. “The modern woman buckles on her armor . . . .”

Altenate views of Butterick 9323 and 9331, Aug. 1917.

Alternate views of Butterick 9323 and 9331, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9331, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9331, Aug. 1917.

It’s interesting that the blue dress, No. 9323, is described as appealing “to the woman who does not care for the one-piece frocks.” But it is a one-piece frock, with several sleeve variations.  The checked dress, No. 9331, has a more complicated cut than you would think from the color illustration. This issue of Delineator had a separate article about gingham dresses.

Butterick pattern 9321, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick pattern 9321, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

This blue and tan dress is worn with an exaggerated military cap; Butterick also sold embroidery transfers for military insignia like the one on this dress’s sleeve.

Description of Butterick patern 9321 from August, 1917.

Description of Butterick patern 9321 from August, 1917.

“The attractive military lines . . .  military pockets and collar  . . . maintain the martial spirit. . . . It is pretty for a young girl. . . . Sizes 32 to 44 inches bust measure.”

Two more black and white illustrations appeared with the descriptions of the color images on page 43.

Both are waist and skirt combinations, and both outfits use the same skirt pattern, No. 9316. When the folds are buttoned together, as on the left, it is called an “envelope effect.”

Butterick dress patterns 9340 and 9316; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Left:  Butterick dress patterns 9340 and 9316. Right:  waist 9350 and skirt 9316. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick pattern 9340 and 9316 on the left. Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick waist [blouse] pattern 9340 and skirt 9316, above on the left. Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick waist pattern 9360 with skirt 9316. Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick waist pattern 9360 with skirt 9316, illustrated above on the right. Aug. 1917.

It’s possible that the Delineator magazine was especially militaristic, but this coat ad from the Ladies’ Home Journal also shows a military influence on women’s ready-to-wear:

Ad for Hamilton coats, Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

Ad for Hamilton coats, Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes, World War I

Up Like Little Soldiers: Wilson Garter for Children, 1917

Ad for Wilson Garter, Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ad for Wilson Garter, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

I want to share this advertisement for a couple of reasons. First, there may be a collector of vintage underthings who has one of these contraptions and will appreciate the identification.

The Wilson Garter for children and pregnant women. It supports the stockings from the shoulders instead of from the waist. LHJ ad, Sept. 1917.

The Wilson Garter for children and pregnant women. It supports the stockings from the shoulders instead of from the waist. LHJ ad, Sept. 1917.

Second, it is just one more example of the way America’s entrance into World War I, in April of 1917, permeated American popular culture.

Wilson Cord and Slide Garters

“Up Like Little Soldiers — That’s how the Cord & Slide Wilson Garter allows children to grow — trim, graceful — all ginger. No more little rounded, stooping shoulders, and no more torn hose tops.

“For Boys and Girls, 1 to 16 years. Shoulder style like picture, slips on over head, white or black, 25 cents. Give Age.

“For Women, same style. Fine for home, athletic or Maternity wear, 50 cents. Bust sizes.”

Digression:  I feel I should explain a bit;  we live in an era when many people have never worn stockings. (Pantyhose are more popular, if less erotic, than individual thigh-high stockings worn with garter belts.)

When I wore my first garter belt in eighth grade, I was puzzled by ads — like this page from a 1958 Sears catalog — that showed the garters [suspenders] being worn over full petticoats — which would have flattened the petticoat absurdly. I had no mother to ask about this; finally an older girl explained that you actually wore the petticoat on top of the garter belt, but advertisers couldn’t show a garter belt attached to stocking tops over a bare thigh in family magazines.

Garter belts from Sears catalog, Fall 1958.

Garter belts from Sears catalog, Fall 1958. My first garter belt looked like K (bottom center), not P (the black one.) Back then, normal 12 year old girls did not wear black lace undies. However, if you wore stockings when dressed up, you needed a garter belt.

“Pull Up Your Socks!”

It’s hard to conceive of a time when active little children wore stockings instead of socks.

Fashions for boys, Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Fashions for boys, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Nevertheless, these little boys are wearing boots with spat-like contrast uppers (or possibly spats! see far right), over stockings probably made of cotton lisle, although wool was a possibility.

Ad for Buster Brown Shoes for Boys or Girls, Delineator, October 1917.

Ad for Buster Brown Shoes “For Boys — for Girls,” Delineator, Oct. 1917.

A poor boy receives a basket of food from a boy who is better off. Both wear stockings. Robert A. Graef illustration, Delineator, Nov. 1924.

A poor boy receives a basket of food from a boy who is better off. Both wear long stockings. Robert A. Graef illustration, Delineator, Nov. 1924.

Because putting on his first pair of “long pants” was once a rite of passage for an adolescent boy, pre-adolescent boys wore knickers or short pants; these left their lower legs exposed all year round — so they sometimes wore long stockings.

Since neither little boys nor little girls have a waist significantly smaller than their hips, keeping trousers, shorts, and stockings from falling down was a problem.

Pictorial Review pattern 3386, for boys shorts that button on to the shirt.

Pictorial Review pattern 3386, for boys’ shorts that button on to the shirt. Note the sagging sock.

A solution popular in the 1920’s was to button the pants to the shirt, or to a sleeveless underbodice, in front and in back. This made it very difficult for small boys to go to the bathroom without help. (To read “Zippers Are Good for Your Children,” click here. )

Boys didn’t always wear stockings; some wore sensible socks, sometimes rolled over elastic garters, and little boys and girls kept warm by wearing stockings under leggings in the winter. [Like much fashion vocabulary which changes over time,  “leggings” now describes a completely different garment, i.e.,  women’s knit tights that stop at the ankle.]  Formerly, stiff (lined) wool or corduroy leggings were buttoned from below the anklebone to above the knee (you needed to use a buttonhook) and must have been a nightmare to put on squirming children.

Clothes for boys, Delineator, Nov. 1917. The smallest boys wear buttoned leggings.

Clothes for boys, Delineator, Nov. 1917. The smallest boys wear buttoned leggings. Butterick patterns.

Grown men wore long trousers which covered their garters:

Boston Garter ad for man's stocking garter; Delineator, Jan. 1917.

Boston Garter ad for man’s stocking suspender with “Velvet Grip;” Delineator, Jan. 1917.

Grown women suspended their stockings from their corsets:

La Camille Corset advertisement, April, 1917.

La Camille International Corset advertisement, Delineator, April, 1917. Look at those lovely clocked/embroidered stockings! For modesty’s sake, the model is drawn wearing frilly bloomers, which would have made it difficult to attach the suspender to the stocking! Here it is left dangling.

Corsets and stocking suspenders were also worn by some unlucky little girls:

Ad for girls' corsets; April 1917.

Ad for girls’ corsets; April 1917. Ferris Good Sense “Waist” for Girls and Misses.

The younger girl’s figure is still unformed, so her corset has shoulder straps to prevent the tension on her stockings from pulling it down. If it only attached to her stocking tops in front, this might produce the “stooped” look mentioned in the Wilson Garter ad.

Like Little Soldiers

Boy's patterns, Delineator, July 1917. Two of these children have sagging socks.

Children’s patterns, Butterick’s Delineator, July 1917. The long stockings of the boy on the left are falling down. Note the military insignias on their tunics.

There was a time when a parent, seeking to divert children from mischief, would simply yell, “Pull up your socks!”

However, the pugnacity of these two boys was part of a general trend to illustrate children as little warriors during World War  I.

Boy's pattern illustration, Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Boy’s Butterick pattern illustration, Delineator, Sept. 1917.  A few months earlier, boys were shown flying a kite, not leading a charge “over the top.”

Butterick pattern for a girl's military uniform, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick pattern for a girl’s military style “Service” uniform, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick pattern for boy's military uniform, Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Butterick pattern for boy’s military style outfit, complete with putteesDelineator, Sept. 1917.

Which brings us back to the Wilson Garter, which “allows children to grow . . . up like little soldiers.” By Jingo.

Ad for Wilson Garter, Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ad for Wilson Garter  for children, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Corsets, Hosiery, Hosiery & Stockings, Maternity clothes, Menswear, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Underthings, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Vintage patterns, World War I, Zippers

Button Up Your Overcoat, 1917

Three mail order coats advertised in Ladies' Home Journal, October 1917.

Three mail order coats advertised in Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1917. Hamilton ad, left; Printzess ad right.

Apparently, 1917 was not a year when women went around asking “Does this coat make me look fat?”

Swagger coat from Bedell clothes catalog, Advertised in Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917. For teens and women.

Swagger coat from Bedell clothes catalog. Advertised in Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917. For teens and women.

This ad for the Bedell’s catalog really got my attention, because it is not a “Lane Bryant Stout” ad. This coat is for teens 14, 16, and 18 years old, and for women with bust sizes 34 to 44 — the normal size range until the 1930s. “It is a stunning New York model made of excellent quality Melton cloth, delightfully warm” and trimmed with “silk caracul fur fabric [i.e., simulated fur];” “the wide cape collar . . . may be worn high or low.” The price is $9.98, with free express shipping included.

Sweaters were not very flattering, either. No one had yet realized that the camera can add pounds, so professional models were normal, pretty women. (An average model now is 5’11” and weighs less than 120 lbs. No wonder these models from 1917 seem a bit stocky to us.)

Sweater from an ad for Glossilla crochet and embroidery thread, November 1917. Ladies' Home Journal, p. 36

Sweater from an ad for Glossilla crochet and embroidery thread, November 1917. Ladies’ Home Journal, p. 36.

The coat below, from Wanamaker, was available in black, taupe,  or navy blue and has a large cape collar of “taupe kit coney fur” [rabbit.]  It cost nearly twice as much as the swagger coat from Bedell’s:  $18.75.

Woman's coat from Wanamaker catalog, Oct. 1917. It cost $18.75. Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

Woman’s coat from Wanamaker catalog, Oct. 1917. It cost $18.75. Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

These Hamilton coats are in the same price range as the others; the one on the left cost $9.75,  and the one on the right cost $17.75.

Two coats from the Hamilton catalog, Advertised in Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

Two coats from the Hamilton catalog, Advertised in Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

During World War I, women’s suits and coats often showed a strong military influence, like the one above,  right [are those crossed swords on her collar?] — so did their hats.

Coat pattern illustrations, Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917. Note the military  style hat on left.

Coat pattern illustrations, Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917. Note the military-style hat on left. She could be leading a marching band.

The very full coat on the left, above, was recommended for an 18 year old girl. The one on the right was for women up to bust 44″.

Very high collars, which could be worn open or buttoned up to the chin, took some rather strange shapes when unbuttoned:

Seventeen year old girl, about 1918. Her collar could probably be fastened into the high, fold-over collar seen in other illustrations.

Seventeen year old girl, about 1918. Her collar could probably be fastened into the chin-high, fold-over collar seen in other illustrations. She wrote her age on the back of the photo.

Butterick coat patterns  9533 and 9535, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick coat patterns 9533 and 9535, Nov. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick coat pattern 9471, November, 1917. Delineator.

Butterick coat pattern 9471, November, 1917. Delineator. 

The military influence (and a good deal of jingoism) led to ads like this one, for Kenyon coats and suits:

Ad for Kenyon suits and coats, October 1917. Ladies' Home Journal.

Ad for Kenyon coats and suits, October 1917. Ladies’ Home Journal. (They aren’t mud-stained; it’s a printing flaw.)

lhj 1917 oct p 118 Kenyon coats and suits ad text

This coat, made of “high grade Bolivia cloth” and lined with “peau de cygne” [swansdown, either real or artificial] came in five colors, including “wistaria” and cost $55.00! (A Ford Runabout automobile cost $345 in 1917.)

Since most women would not be inspecting battlefields, I wondered why coats were so bulky and heavy in 1917.

Photo of coat from Ladies' Home Journal; Butterick coat pattern illustration. Both from October 1917.

Photo of coat from Ladies’ Home Journal; coat pattern illustration from Delineator. Both from October 1917. As usual, the fashion illustration idealizes the human body.

These two ads from December, 1917, gave me a clue:

“Steer Warms Keep the Hands Warm While Driving.” “Electrically heated grips” for your steering wheel. Ad, Dec. 1917, LHJ. The car has no side windows and no roof.

Ad for Willys-Overland car, Ladies' Home Journal, December, 1917.

Ad for Willys-Overland car, Ladies’ Home Journal, December, 1917.

The Ford Model T, introduced in 1908, was by far the most popular car in America: 734,811 Fords were made in 1916. Willys-Overland was second, with 124,834. [Source: Average Guy’s Car.]

You’ll notice that cars could get very chilly.

For some time, cars were similar to the horse-drawn carriages they replaced — open to the elements.

Haynes car ad, Ladies' Home Journal, July 1917.

Haynes car ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, July 1917.

“In 1911, Buick introduced its first closed-body car, four years ahead of Ford,” according to Wikipedia. AfterMarket News says the 1913 Hudson Model 54 was “the first U.S. automobile with a closed body. Previously, cars left their occupants completely exposed to the weather, or, at best, covered by a convertible top.” [Source:  aftermarketnews.com.] 

Whichever is right, in 1917, most Americans who owned a car were driving through winter rain and snow without a hard roof, glass windows, a heater, or any insulation. And American women were definitely driving cars.

Editorial illustration, Delineator magazine, November 1917.

Editorial illustration, Delineator magazine, November 1917.

If it was a winter like 2015, they needed warm coats.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Coats, Hats, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns, vintage photographs, World War I

1917 Fashions Revisited

Delineator, September 1917 editorial image.

Delineator, September 1917 editorial image.

My local Public Broadcasting Station has shown Downton Abbey Revisited so many times in the past few weeks that I suspect a new season is about to begin. I realize they’re somewhere in the 1920s by now — I lost interest many episodes ago — but I still have some lovely color images of 1917 fashions from the American fashion magazine Delineator to share. [Back and alternate views — sometimes surprising — may be found at the bottom of the post.]

Butterick patterns for September 1917. Delineator magazine, page 51.

Butterick patterns for September 1917. Delineator magazine, page 51.

Starting at the top of the page:

1917 sept p 51 color top 500

 Butterick patterns 9375, 9363, 9326

A “waist” is what we call a blouse. Waist and skirt patterns were commonly sold separately, but often made up of matching fabrics and called a “frock.” Butterick suggested that either of the outfits below could also be made in navy or dark blue serge; the dress on the right was suitable for “serge, gabardine, checks and stripes” and would also be “pretty in marine blue, smoke gray, beige, soft green or claret color.” Note the red pocket lining and stitching.  Parallel rows of decorative topstitching made a popular trim in 1917. (Click here and scroll to the bottom of that post for a photo.) That’s quite a lovely jeweled belt — very Arts & Crafts, like this set of hairpins.

Butterick waist 9375, skirt 9363, and dress 9326, Sept. 1917.

Butterick waist 9375, skirt 9363, and dress 9326, Sept. 1917.

 Butterick 9369, 9316, 9384

The French blue Georgette top (below, no. 9369) with matching midnight blue satin skirt (9316) is worn for afternoon or tea — tea dances were popular — but for “general wear fine serge or gabardine with a satin; [sic] silk crepe or chiffon cloth body and sleeve would be good-looking and useful.” Pullover dress 9384 is shown made of “mustard color broadcloth. The soft sleeve shown here is cut with a pointed outline that ends with a fascinating bell tassel of dark blue to match the deep indigo satin of the collar and cord sash. . . . One piece frocks are worn in navy, beige, Burgundy, dust color, prune or brown.”

Butterick patterns 9369. 9316, and dress 9364; Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Butterick patterns 9369. 9316, and dress 9364; Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Skirt 9316 is illustrated in two versions, with the “tonneau” skirt [below left] arranged “in four soft loops that are especially effective in the satin surfaced silk;” it can also be made as the “envelope” skirt [right] with the folds overlapped and apparently stitched or buttoned together — and trimmed with a tassel.

Two versions of the same skirt: a

Two versions of the same skirt: a “tonneau” [barrel skirt] on the left and an “envelope” skirt on the right. Butterick 9316, from 1917.

The Tonneau Skirt, 1917

It must have taken a merchandising genius to persuade women that they wanted their hips to look like a “tonneau,” the French word for  “barrel.”  Nevertheless, they did; here is a photo of a California girl proudly showing off her new dress:

“Ethol” wearing a taffeta tonneau-skirted dress, circa 1918.

Ethol and Bretta, San Mateo Co., California, about 1918.

Ethol and Bretta, San Mateo Co., California, about 1918.

The “envelope” version of pattern 9316 (in light blue ) appeared at the bottom of the page, with this wine colored dress, No. 9381:

1917 sept p 51 waist 9337 skirt 9316 dress 9381 500
1917 was a good year for interesting hats, upswept hairstyles . . .

Finely pleated hat, 1917. Delineator.

Finely pleated hat, 1917. Delineator.

. . .  novelty sleeves, plenty of buttons, tassels galore, and beautifully embroidered dresses. Butterick sold embroidery transfers and also the pattern for the handbag, at left, No. 10625.

Novelty sleeves, plenty of self-covered buttons, tassels everywhere, and embroidered dresses and suits. Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Novelty sleeves, plenty of self-covered buttons, tassels everywhere, and embroidered dresses and suits. Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Butterick patterns 9373, 9073, 9340, 9360

The salmon-colored top and skirt outfit below has a white satin collar, and the buttons are also satin-covered. “Deep patch pockets are embroidered in red and stitched in black.” [!] The blouse can be cut in a shorter length. For afternoon wear, the outfit should be made in satin; “serge, gabardine, wool jersey, stripes or checks make a useful morning and street costume during early Autumn.” [The alternate view of the Russian blouse — at the botttom of this post — looks very different.]

Russian blouse 9373 with skirt 9073; waist 9340 with skirt 9360. Butterick patterns, Delineator. Sept. 1917.

Russian blouse 9373 with skirt 9073; waist 9340 with skirt 9360. Butterick patterns, Delineator. Sept. 1917.

Above right: “Russian green and beige are the colors, soft silk and Georgette crepe the materials that make a frock of distinction for afternoon wear, teas and luncheons. . . . The two-piece skirt can be made with trimming pieces on the hips that give a graceful draped effect. [See the back view, further down.] It has a very soft, pretty silhouette and is made with a moderate amount of fullness.”

Butterick patterns 9350 and 9251

Butterick waist patern 9350 with skirt 9251. Delineatro, Sept. 1917.

Butterick waist pattern 9350 with skirt 9251. Delineator, Sept. 1917.

“In this frock of blue a draped front in bodice effect has a pointed closing fastened by a single big button. . . . The front of the waist forms a sash at the sides and ties over the back giving an attractive peplum impression. [Scroll down for a back view.] The two-piece skirt is arranged with drapery at the sides and gives the popular narrow lower edge and yet is not at all extreme. For evening wear there is a separate train that is very smart and graceful…. For general wear the serge frock is effective in dark blue, mastic, gray, dull red, brown, or prune color.” It could also be made as an afternoon frock in satin, charmeuse, crepe de Chine or crepe meteor “for receptions, tea, or matinee wear.” It’s not hard to imagine an evening version of this skirt, with a long train trailing after those tasseled side-poufs.

Back versions of three of these outfits were also fully illustrated:

Back (or alternate) views of Dress 9384 , waist 9340 with skirt 9360, and 9381. Butterick patterns for September 1917. Delineator.

Back (or alternate) views of Dress 9384 , waist 9340 with skirt 9360, and 9381. Butterick patterns for September 1917. Delineator.

Back (or alternate) views of Dress 9384 (the mustard one), waist 9340 with skirt 9360 (the green striped one), and 9381 (the Burgundy dress with sleeve tassels and front emboidery.) Apparently the woman on the left is not looking over her shoulder to ask, “Does this dress make my butt look big?” That was a “given” in most 1917 fashions. The alternate version of 9340 – 9360 [center] is very different from the “Russian green” striped version we saw before.

Other alternate and back views for the dresses in this post:

Other views of Butterick patterns 9363, 9316, 9350, 9251, Sept. 1917.

Other views of Butterick patterns 9363, 9316, 9350, 9251, Sept. 1917. Note the sleeve variations, right.

Other views of Butterick 9337, 9316, 9326, Sept. 1917.

Other views of Butterick 9337, 9316, 9326, Sept. 1917. Waist 9337 is almost unrecognizable.

Othre views of Butterick skirt 9073 and Russian blouse 9373, Sept. 1917.

Other views of Butterick skirt 9073 and Russian blouse 9373, Sept. 1917.

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