Tag Archives: Delineator

Summer Color: July 1926

The top of page 28, Delineator, July 1926. These are Butterick patterns for women.

Bright colors were on view in the July issue of Delineator for 1926. The colors are not necessarily what we think of as summery hues, but they’re a nice reminder that the clothes we usually see in black and white photos were not colorless at all.

The colors of the left, Butterick pattern 6883, seem rather autumnal. The brilliant blue dress on the right, Butterick 6914, has a white smocking, a white collar, and a lively necktie which matches her hat. July, 1926.

Detail of Butterick 6883. The bib effect — like the bib on a man’s formal shirt front — is seen in many 1920’s dresses. The fullness at the front of the skirt is controlled with rows of ruching.

Detail of Butterick 6914. White smocking decorates the bodice and keeps the dress snug over the hips.

The necktie is not shaped like a man’s tie.

Left, Butterick 6914; right, Butterick 6906 in a very lively abstract print fabric. 1926.

The sleeves of Butterick 6906 are wide below the elbow and hang open. The tucks at the top of the skirt panels give a slim fit over the hips but allow the skirt panels to flare out. I don’t think I’ve seen this detail before.

Detail, Butterick dress 6906. The collar is not the dress material, but solid white. The print suggests flowers on a trellis.

These dresses appeared on the bottom of page 28:

Dresses featured on the bottom of page 28. (I moved the one on the left to make the image more compact.)

Butterick 6922 is shown made in lavender-blue striped fabric, cleverly turned to use the stripes horizontally in the center front, on the decorative pockets, and inside the skirt pleats.

Butterick 6916, shown in dark yellow material, is another “bib front” dress. Butterick 6922, in red, is accented with white smocking and worn with a gray and black scarf and matching hat. 1926.

Butterick 6916,  in yellow, has a small pocket above the hip belt.

Butterick 6922, in red, has a gathered front skirt panel (like No. 6883 on page 28) and smocking on the bodice and skirt, like No. 6914.

Left, No. 6922; right, No. 6914. Both dresses have white smocking, but in different smocking patterns. Women who didn’t want to do this hand sewing could always substitute machine ruching, but the liveliness of a contrast color would be lost.

Six more dress patterns, in more formal styles,  were illustrated in color on page 29:

Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator magazine, July 1926, pg. 29. Illustrations were probably by Marie L. Britton, who also illustrated the May issue of Delineator, and many others.

From left, Butterick 6910, in green; 6899, in blue-gray, and 6893, in gold. Top of page 29, Delineator, July 1926.

In 1926, hemlines are rising toward the knee. It might be helpful to imagine these dresses on real women, rather than the oddly lengthened torsos of fashion illustrations.

Two mature women wearing Bien Jolie corsets; both ads are from 1926. [Younger women were rejecting bust flatteners by the mid-twenties.]

Fashion illustration and photo of model, 1926. The real woman is much less elongated: she’s shorter and wider. On the right, I removed a section from the middle of the fashion illustration, just for fun. It’s not perfect — the hip flounce looks too high now — but it’s more credibly human.

Fullness in the lower sleeve — or a funnel sleeve — is a common feature on these afternoon outfits.

Butterick 6910, July 1926. Scallops were a feature on many 1920’s dresses, not always on the hem.

Left, Butterick afternoon dress 6899; right, Butterick 6893. The sheer fabric is probably Georgette chiffon.

Bottom of page 29, Delineator, July 1926.

Dress 6912, in greige/tan, has elaborate embroidery on its full, sheer sleeves, which are controlled by parallel rows of gathers (ruching) at the top.

Left, Butterick 6912, with embroidery pattern 10355; right, Butterick 6920 is very formal afternoon wear.

The lower sleeves of No. 6920 seem to be one long strip of lace, open at the sides. Pale peachy-pink or tan was often used with sheer black. Click here for a vintage dress that uses these colors.

Butterick 6952 is an ensemble of a dotted dress and sheer coat, worn open down the front for a slenderizing line.

Redingote dresses like this — open down the front and often made of sheer fabric — were popular in the 1920’s and after. Next: Colorful 1926 clothing for girls and boys.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Corselettes, Corsets, Foundation Garments, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Sportswear, Uncategorized, Underthings, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, Vintage patterns

Clothes for Clubwomen (and Their Cost) Feb. 1933

Butterick suggests a "Clubwoman's Wardrobe for $30.00." Delineator, Feb. 1933.

Butterick suggests a “Clubwoman’s Wardrobe for $30.00.” Delineator, Feb. 1933. “The colors are, from left to right, black, green, gray and black.”

“Clubwomen” implies enough leisure to participate in community fundraisers, bridge parties, etc. The Delineator‘s target reader was middle-class (Butterick patterns were more expensive than “dime-store” patterns.) But this was 1933, and many formerly “comfortable” people were struggling to keep their (1929) pre-crash position in the economy. This article assured “clubwomen” that they could afford to dress well, making four outfits for $30. As we might expect, “clubwomen” were often women whose children were grown, women of a “certain age” and, in some cases, a less than ideal figure.

Opening paragraph of the article, Delineator, p. 68. February 1933.

Opening paragraph of the article, Delineator, p. 68. February 1933.

Clubwoman’s Figure

“I have what is known as the ‘clubwoman’s figure’ and I suffer from those I-can’t-find-anything-to-fit-me blues…. I am so tired of those oldish frocks that shopkeepers seem to think  anyone weighing over a hundred and twenty should wear.”

Delineator suggested a four pattern wardrobe to solve these problems and gave the cost for materials to make each of them. Not surprisingly, the coat and the evening ensemble were the most expensive. However, a coat might be expected to last for two years.

Butterick 4902 coat pattern for 1933

Butterick coat pattern 4902, from Delineator, Feb. 1933.

Butterick coat pattern 4902, from Delineator, Feb. 1933. Estimated cost of materials is $9.91. Sizes up to 44 inch bust.

Description of Butterick coat pattern

Description of Butterick coat pattern 4902, from 1933.

The coat pattern was available in sizes 12 to 20, 30 to 44 inch bust measure. This was a normal range of women’s sizes for Butterick in 1933, equivalent to modern sizes 6 through 22.

Butterick dress pattern 4840 from 1933

Butterick No. 4840 for "clubwomen." It could be made for and came in sizes up to 44 inch bust measure.

Butterick No. 4840 for “clubwomen.” It could be made for $ 5.20 and came in sizes up to 44 inch bust measure.

Description of Butterick

Description of Butterick 4840, from 1933.

The solid color on the wrap bodice isn’t allowed for on the pattern — which I have not been able to locate at the Vintage Pattern Wikia or at CoPA. The largest size on this pattern was for a 44 inch bust, which usually meant 47.5 inch hips.

Butterick dress pattern 4790 from 1933

Butterick No. 4790, a "clubwoman's dress" from Feb. 1933. It was available in large sizes.

Butterick No. 4790, a “clubwoman’s dress” from Feb. 1933. It was available in large sizes and could be made for $5.26, including materials, buttons and pattern.

Butterick description.

Butterick  4790 description. “Get the darkest gray, as the light ones are not so interesting.”

Even a clubwoman with a 52 inch bust (a modern size 30W) could use this pattern.

Butterick evening ensemble 4904 from 1933

Butterick evening grown and jacket pattern. No. 4904 from 1933. Suggested for mature women,

Butterick evening grown and jacket pattern. No. 4904 from 1933. Suggested for mature women, its materials cost $9.63 (or $10.88.)

This evening gown and matching jacket were suggested for “clubwomen” in sizes up to a 48″ bust measurement, size 26W in 2016.

Description of Butterick pattern 4904.

Description of Butterick pattern 4904. If you line the lace yoke with flesh chiffon as recommended, the materials and pattern would cost $10.88.

Although this outfit looks like velvet in the illustration, the budget suggests “heavy sheer black crepe” and black lace. “With the jacket, this is correct for any formal afternoon occasion. Without the jacket, it is suitable for evening. So that it could be used for both purposes, we made it rather long — eight inches from the floor. For best effect, use lace that is not too hole-y and line the lace with flesh chiffon…. Those two bright spots at the neckline are double rhinestone clips. And when you want to look especially ravishing, give yourself a big bunch of purple violets and pin them, with their spread-out green leaves, just below that high point in the skirt.” [The skirt goes all the way up to the sternum on this pattern.]

This wardrobe, according to editor Marian Corey, could be worn six months of the year, if cleaned regularly.

“It  has got the right dress for every occasion, from shopping in town to traveling in Europe, or presiding over a club meeting, or attending a wedding. And it is inexpensive — costing, if one makes it oneself, just $30.00.” [In the 1930’s, many female college graduates were getting by on $18 per week.]

The same issue of Delineator had two more pages dedicated to hard-to-fit women. If coat No. 4902 wasn’t big enough, this coat and dress for “The Shorter Figure” (short in relation to its circumference) were featured on page 77.

Butterick patterns 4883 and 4956, "For the Shorter Figure," Delineator, Feb 1933. Page 77.

Butterick patterns 4883 and 4956, “For the Shorter Figure,” Delineator, Feb 1933. Page 77.

1933 feb p 77 text 4883 shorter figure large

1933 feb p 77 text 4956 shorter figure large

Dress 4883 is “especially designed to give height and slenderness to the woman less than five-five with a larger hip size than average.” [That’s a surprise; apparently Butterick expected the average woman to be taller than 5′ 5″] Diagonal (or “surplice“) lines were often suggested as slenderizing. The cleverly cut back of this “height-giving” coat does create the illusion that the waist is much smaller than it really is. “Created with shorter women in mind.” These are not yet called “half-sized” patterns, however.

back views of Butterick 4956 and 4883. Large sized patterns, 1933.

Back views of Butterick 4956 and 4883. Large sized patterns for shorter women, 1933.

On page 76 there were two more patterns designed for the “clubwoman’s figure” — here called “dresses with slender lines.”

Butterick 4957 and 4917, slender lines for larger and shorter figures. Feb. 1933.

Butterick 4957 and 4917, slender lines for larger figures. Feb. 1933.

1933 feb p 76 text 4957 slender lines large

1933 feb p 76 text 4917slender lines large

You can see that the print dress does look slightly less short-waisted than its neighbor. [But not very flattering to the hips!]

And, in the same issue, women who were not young and slim could find an ad for the Lane Bryant Stout Women’s catalog:

Ad for the Lane Bryant Sotut and Large catalog. Delineator, Feb 1933.

Ad for the Lane Bryant Stout Women’s catalog. Delineator, Feb 1933.

The prices shown on the cover ($5.95 to $8.95) are not too far off Butterick’s make-it-yourself estimates. The dress at right has a skirt extending in a point up to the sternum, like the evening pattern suggested for clubwomen; its sleeves are also  very similar to the “clubwomen’s”  patterns. The illustration style, however, is a bit more realistic.

Similar slenderizing styles from butterick and Lane Bryant. Delneator, Feb 1933.

Similar slenderizing styles from Butterick and Lane Bryant. Delineator, Feb 1933.

 

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Filed under 1930s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

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

Scarves Past (1932) and Future (2015)

This Scarf Fashion, from The Delineator, May 1932.

This Scarf Fashion, from The Delineator, May 1932.

Scarves of the Future

Scarves are on my mind this week. Yesterday I read a brief article in New Scientist magazine about “smart scarves” — scarves that heat up, vibrate or play music; some can inform you that you’re getting a phone call.

“. . . A prototype called SWARM, designed by Microsoft researchers, can  heat up, vibrate or play music and is controlled by a smartphone app. It can also link to a heart monitor sensor to react to changes in your mood.  Another smart scarf, Scarfy, triggers different apps on your phone depending on the way you tie it and can scrunch up by itself to signify an incoming phone notification.” — New Scientist, 31 January 2015, p. 20.

“The world is so full of a number of things. . . .” many of which didn’t really need to be invented! My nightmare version of the scarf that “scrunches up” when my phone rings:  My scarf is getting tighter, and I can’t find my phone. I empty my purse: the phone’s not there! I check the pockets of the jacket I was wearing:  it’s not there either! I stagger upstairs to my office, to see if my phone is still plugged into the charger . . . . but  — Aaaaargh! too late! I’m as dead as Isadora Duncan! Well, OK, I’m sure the Scarfy does not contract like a boa constrictor, but I think I can get along without one.

Scarves of the Past (1932)

On the bright side, yesterday I also came across a page of lovely 1930’s dresses accented with scarves or scarf effects. The format of the original page in The Delineator did not reproduce large enough to show details, so I have moved the elements around to make the dresses more visible online.

"This Scarf Fashion;" illustration from The Delineator, May 1923, p. 82.

“This Scarf Fashion;” illustration from The Delineator, May 1923, p. 82.

From left, Butterick suit pattern #4496, showing the “over-the shoulder” scarf; pattern#4488, accented with a striped scarf; center, pattern #4508, which has a “twisted scarf;” dress pattern #4530, with a scarf drawn through the collar and tied in a bow; and coat pattern #4481, with an attached “ascot scarf.”

Butterick 4496

Butterick 4496 for a dress and jacket; the scarf is actually part of the dress. May, 1932, Delineator magazine.

Butterick 4496 (left) for a dress and jacket; the scarf is actually part of the dress. May, 1932, Delineator magazine.

1932 may p 82 scarf 4496 text

“This scarf is part of the dress, but it is worn flung back over the jacket. The square dot print . . . is important news.” I think the tabs at the sides of the waist are charming, too.

Butterick patterns 4496 (left) and 4488 (right) from May, 1932.

Butterick patterns 4496 (left) and 4488 (right) from May, 1932.

Both the white area at the top of the bodice and the bold striped scarf near the face attract the eye upward; both dresses also have strong vertical lines for a slenderizing effect.

Butterick 4488, Butterick 4508

Butterick patterns 4488 (left) and 4508 (right.) May 1932.

Butterick patterns 4488 (left) and 4508 (right.) May 1932. Delineator magazine.

1932 may p 82 scarf 4488 striped

1932 may p 82 scarf 4508 twisted

Butterick patterns 4508 (left), 4530 (center), and 4481,(right). May 1932.

Butterick patterns 4508 (left), 4530 (center), and 4481,(right). May 1932.

Butterick 4530, Butterick 4481

Butterick patterns 4530 (left) and 4481 (right. May, 1932. Delineator magazine.

Butterick patterns 4530 (left) and 4481 (right.) May, 1932. Delineator magazine.

1932 may p 82 scarf 4530 bow scarf

1932 may p 82 scarf 4481 ascot

The “ascot scarf” is apparently attached to the coat at the back neckline. The tiny back/other views seem to show different, shorter sleeves for both 4530 and 4481.

I love the clever play with intersecting stripes that was popular in the 1930s, and which makes #4350 so interesting although its cut is quite simple. The white dress, #4508, seems wonderfully soft and feminine, and takes its interest from the complexity of the cut and delicate touches like the pintucks which control the sleeves in front. The waist reminds me of an obi. The ideal thirties’ figure is long and slender, but most of these scarf-dress patterns were available up to a 44 inch bust and 47.5 inch hip measurement. It’s also notable how different these mid-calf dresses from 1932 are from the knee-length, youthful styles of the late 1920s:

Styles from July 1928, Delineator magazine.

Styles from July 1928, Delineator magazine.

By 1932, the world was a serious place, and fashions were womanly, not girlish.

"This Scarf Fashion;" illustration from The Delineator, May 1923, p. 82.

“This Scarf Fashion;” illustration from The Delineator, May 1923, p. 82.

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Filed under 1920s-1930s, 1930s, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Four Blouses and a Hat from January 1924

After showing sketches of Paris fashions for January 1924, it seems only right to show some simpler garments: four blouses and a cloche hat which could be made from Butterick patterns. (The two embroidered blouses are luxurious and not an overnight project, but all four are “do-able” home sewing patterns.)

Butterick blouse patterns from Delineator magazine, January 1924.

Butterick blouse patterns from Delineator magazine, January 1924.

“The long blouse and godet skirt are new entries in mid-year’s styles.”  From the left:

Butterick 4933 blouse pattern, from 1924

Butterick blouse pattern 4933, January 1924.

Butterick blouse pattern 4933, Delineator, January 1924.

1924 jan p75 pattern blouse 4933 500

Like the other blouses in this illustration, it buttons at the hip band. Imagine how fabulous — and relatively easy — this would be in printed velvet, as shown.

Butterick 4941 blouse pattern, from 1924

Butterick blouse pattern 4941, January 1924.

Butterick blouse pattern 4941, Delineator, January 1924.

1924 jan p75 pattern blouse 4941 ctr 500

Butterick sold embroidery transfers and beading patterns as well as sewing patterns. To see a vintage early 1920s blouse, embroidered and beaded on sheer fabric, click here.

Butterick 4935 blouse pattern, from 1924

Butterick pattern 4935, Delineator, January 1924.

Butterick pattern 4935, Delineator, January 1924.

1924 jan p75 pattern info blouse 4935 500

Two of those blouse patterns were available in larger-than-average sizes. (The normal range of Butterick patterns in the 1920’s fit bust sizes 32 to 44 inches.) To see more embroidered garments from the 1920s, click here.

Another blouse from the same issue of Delineator magazine is more tailored, intended to be worn with a suit; Butterick also sold the pattern for making the model’s charming cloche hat decorated with a ribbon cockade:

Butterick blouse pattern 4965 and Butterick hat pattern 4973, Delineator, January 1924.

Butterick blouse pattern 4965 and Butterick hat pattern 4973, Delineator, January 1924.

Butterick 4965 blouse pattern, from 1924

“For wear with the two-piece suit this blouse with a one-button effect is very smart. It may be worn inside or outside the skirt. Make it of silk broadcloth, heavy crepe de chine, pongee, wash silks, or dimity. . . . The blouse is new for ladies 32 to 44 bust.”

Butterick cloche hat pattern 4973, 1924

Butterick's cloche hat pattern No. 4973, for Ladies or Misses. Delineator, January 1924.

Butterick’s cloche hat pattern No. 4973, for Ladies or Misses. Delineator, January 1924.

“One of the newest-shaped hats has a gored crown and hand-made ornaments at the side. One usually sees them in velvet, satin, duvetyn [a brushed wool] or wool jersey. For later wear down South, use chintz or gingham for view C. . . . The hat is attractive for Ladies or Misses.” I never thought of a chintz hat as a twenties’ authentic style, but here it is suggested by the Butterick Publishing Company.  Although Butterick sold many children’s hat patterns, hat pattern No. 4973 is not for children  — even when made from chintz or gingham.

Cloche hat trimmed with a self-fabric cockade, probably bound in ribbon or bias-cut silk. 1924.

Cloche hat trimmed with a gathered self-fabric cockade, probably bound in ribbon or bias-cut silk. 1924.

You can see more 1920’s hat patterns and hat trims by clicking here.

 

 

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A Skirt and Two Waists, January 1917

Some Butterick patterns for January 1917, Delineator magazine.

Some Butterick patterns for January 1917, Delineator magazine. These are not dresses, but skirts with separate blouses [called “waists.”]

These are not dresses. Bodice, or “Waist” patterns were sold separately from skirt patterns for a long time. (Sometimes, sleeve patterns were sold separately, too.) In Victorian times, practical women often had two bodices made to match one skirt:  a high necked, long-sleeved bodice for day, and a low-cut, short sleeved bodice for evening wear. When upper and middle class families “dressed for dinner” every night, this was a sensible way to maximize the clothing budget. Skirts took several yards of fabric, while bodices took less fabric but more labor.

It’s not surprising that patterns for these 1917 skirts, which take a lot of fabric, were also sold separately from their “waists”, i.e. blouses. This allowed women a great deal of originality in their costume, and made it possible to use one elaborate skirt with several top variations, as shown in these Delineator illustrations featuring Butterick skirt pattern 8875.

The simplest (and barest) version of both skirt and waist were shown in an editorial illustration:

Editorial Illustration, Delineator,  Jan. 1917. The top and skirt of this evening ensemble were sold separately, and both skirt  (No. 8875) and waist (No. 8901) had variations.

Editorial Illustration, Delineator, Jan. 1917. Patterns for the top and skirt of this evening “frock” were sold separately, and both skirt (No. 8875) and waist (No. 8901) had variations.

[I was able to identify the pattern numbers because they were featured in more detail elsewhere in the magazine. Butterick didn’t usually specify the patterns used for the full-page editorial illustrations that began Delineator‘s pattern pages every month.]

In this illustration, the surplice [wrap] waist is very bare, and trimmed with embroidery  at shoulder and waist:

Waist pattern 8901, shown sleeveless. Jan. 1917 Delineator, p. 37.

Waist pattern 8901, shown sleeveless. Jan. 1917 Delineator, p. 37.

On a different page, the same waist has short lace sleeves to match its more elaborate skirt:

Butterick waist pattern 8901, illustrated on page 38. Delineator, Jan 1917.

Butterick waist pattern 8901, illustrated on page 38. Delineator, Jan 1917.

Waist 8901 requires a “French lining,” which would have been close-fitting and supported the loose folds of the fashion fabric layer. Pattern 8901 was sold in sizes 32 to 46 inches bust measurement.

Butterick Skirt pattern 8875, from 1917

Skirt pattern 8875 can be made relatively simply, as on page 37:

Skirt pattern 8875 as illustrated on page 37, Delineator Jan. 1917

Skirt pattern 8875 as illustrated on page 37, Delineator Jan. 1917

Here, the sides of the panels are open at the natural waist and the front and back panels are connected with a button. The underskirt appears to be finely pleated chiffon, matching the fabric seen at the bodice underarm. [This skirt could also be made with the underskirt and overskirt of the same silky fabric — see color illustration below.]

Editorial Illustration, Delineator,  Jan. 1917. The top and skirt of this evening ensemble were sold separately, and both skirt  (No. 8875) and waist (No. 8901) had variations.

Editorial Illustration, Delineator, Jan. 1917. Page 37. This version has a plain, sheer, pleated fabric under the silk parts of the skirt and bodice.

The version with short lace sleeves was shown with matching lace — yards and yards of it — for an underskirt.

Waist 8901 with lace sleeves, and skirt 8875 with a lavish lace underskirt. Delineator, Jan. 1917, page 38.

Waist 8901 with lace sleeves, and skirt 8875 with a lavish lace underskirt. Delineator, Jan. 1917, page 38.

A closer view of this version of skirt 8875:

This version of skirt pattern 8875 has a lace underskirt, open at the sides like the overskirt, pulled through the opening near the natural waist.

This version of skirt pattern 8875 has a lace underskirt, open at the sides like the overskirt, and pulled through the opening near the natural waist. The patterned stockings echo the lacy look.

Butterick 8875:  “The skirt has an extremely graceful drapery at the front and back which gives a cascade effect at the sides. The underskirt is cut in two pieces and can be made with a flounce having a straight lower edge. The skirt is 39 inches long in front and has a slightly raised waistline.”

To make the skirt as illustrated would not be cheap. “A medium size requires 4  1/2 yards of taffeta silk 36 inches wide, 1/2 yard lace 22 inches wide, 7  1/2 yards edging 16 inches wide, 1  3/8 yard of narrow edging, 2  1/2 yards material for underskirt. Bottom foundation skirt measures 2  1/2 yards.”  When I was studying this illustration, I wondered how the underskirt could have galloon edged lace on three sides; apparently, the lace we see is the seven-plus yards of 18″ wide edging. The skirt shown here has at least three layers: silk top drape, lace under-drape, and and opaque “foundation skirt.” This skirt pattern was available in waist measurements 22 to 36 inches, for 20 cents.

Waist Pattern 8863 with Skirt pattern 8875

Skirt pattern 8875 was also illustrated with a completely different bodice, No. 8863, which had its own variations.

Other views of skirt pattern 8875, with waist 8901, left, and waist pattern 8863, right. Delineator,  Jan. 1917 .

Other views of skirt pattern 8875, with waist 8901, left, and waist pattern 8863, right. Delineator, Jan. 1917.

Butterick waist pattern 8863 with Skirt 8875:

Waist 8863 with skirt 8875, Delineator Jan. 1917.

Waist 8863 with skirt 8875, Delineator Jan. 1917. Embroidered bag transfer pattern 10616.

This is a day or afternoon version of the look. In this case, the skirt has been made with panels and underskirt of the same fabric, and trimmed with beading and tassels, which match the points of the bodice.  “Satin, charmeuse, taffeta or crepe meteor” are recommended. This two-piece outfit is described as a “smart frock.”

Butterick Waist pattern 8863:  “The waist has a draped front which is in one with the sash ends — a very new and effective arrangement for the back. The closing is made at the left shoulder and at the seam under the arm. Two different types of long sleeves with one seam are offered, or you could use the shorter length if you prefer. [The color illustration shows long, sheer sleeves with a cuff, and the black and white views show a tight long sleeve, left, and a below elbow sleeve, right. “The lower edge of the waist can be cut  in a single [black and white illus.]  or double pointed effect [color illus.]

Waist 8863 with a single point center front and high collared chemisette, or with the sheer collared V-neck chemisette shown in the color illustration.

Waist 8863 with a single point center front and a high-collared chemisette, or with the sheer collar and V-neck shown in the color illustration. Butterick also sold the embroidery design, Transfer No. 10101.

“The chemisette and collar can be omitted, but not the French lining, which is extremely important.” [I believe “French lining” refers to a close-fitted lining that does not have exactly the shape of the outer garment; it supports blouson or ruched and gathered effects on the outer layer and was very common on 19th century bodices.]

Waist pattern 8863 with sheer, cuffed sleeves and a double-pointed top, trimmed with embroidery and beaded tassels.

Waist pattern 8863 with sheer, cuffed sleeves and a double-pointed top, trimmed with beaded embroidery and tassels to match the skirt. The bag is also beaded and tasseled.

In 1917, one skirt pattern and two bodice patterns provided many variations; a woman could really feel that her choices would give her a unique look. Careful planning could also give her several “frocks” which used just one skirt. A second, more workaday, skirt pattern made from coordinated fabric could really multiply her wardrobe.

Simpler Skirts, January 1917

Skirts and blouses for day wear, Delineator, January 1917. p. 45.

Skirts and blouses for day wear, Delineator, January 1917. p. 45.

Since taffeta and silk were worn in daytime, as well as evening, one of these skirts might also be combined with the waists shown with skirt 8875.

I can’t resist pointing out the chi-chi balls / ball fringe trimming the hat on the right. Ole!

Hat with ball fringe, January 1917. Delineator, page 45.

Hat with ball fringe, January 1917. Delineator, page 45.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, bags, handbags, Hats, Purses, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns

Gowns for New Year’s Eve, 1937

Butterick pattern 7650, December 1937. Cover, Butterick Fashion News flyer.

Butterick pattern 7650, December 1937. Cover, Butterick Fashion News flyer.

You may not have time to make one of these gowns for New Year’s Eve 2014, but Butterick offered a variety of choices for 1937. Long gowns could be revealing dance dresses, like this one, or covered-up dinner dresses, in fabrics ranging from metallic brocades and lamés to velvet or satin.

Butterick 7650

Butterick pattern 7650, left, and a store-bought dress featured in Woman's Home Companion, both from December, 1937.

Butterick pattern 7650, left, and a store-bought dress with similar top featured in Woman’s Home Companion, both from December, 1937.

Butterick 7650 is described as a “Junior Miss evening dress” to be made “in metal threaded crepe.” Pattern for sizes 12 to 20, 30 to 38 inch bust. The dress on the right was featured in the Styles in Stores column of Woman’s Home Companion:

“The evening dress would make a shining success at a gala New Year’s party —  and for various excellent reasons. The first has to do with the sparkle (it is really glamorous) of the rhinestone trimming, applied in a new scroll effect. The second concerns the rustle of the material,  a white, black or sapphire taffeta which is sure to be heard on the smartest dance floors this winter. The third springs from the graceful swing of the full skirt and the fourth, from the novel cut of the halter neckline. Famous Barr Company, St. Louis.”

Butterick 7644 and 7646

"Glamour at Night" evening gowns, Butterick Fashion News flyer, Dec. 1927. The gown on the left is pattern #7644; the one on the right is #7646.

“Glamour at Night” evening gowns, Butterick Fashion News flyer, Dec. 1937. The gown on the left is pattern #7644; the one on the right is #7646.

Pattern descriptions and back views, Butterick 7644 and 7646.

Pattern descriptions and back views, Butterick 7644 and 7646. Dec. 1937.

Both evening gowns are the “new slit-up-in-front” style. The one shown in black is made of taffeta and has “the new corseted silhouette:”  “Dramatized last summer by the Duchess of Windsor the long molded line from diaphragm to hip top is now the most important point in the new silhouette.” — Woman’s Home Companion, December 1937.  The fabric suggested for the gown illustrated in white is satin. The backs are low-cut and bare. Pattern 7646 was also featured in an ad for Butterick Winter Fashion Magazine, which cost 25 cents, unlike the free Butterick Fashion News flyer. (The ad, on newsprint, is very grainy.  The dress may or may not be velvet.)

Another view of Butterick 7646, Dec. 1937.

Another view of Butterick 7646, Dec. 1937.

Dinner Dresses

This was also an era when women wore long gowns to dinner at restaurants and private homes, to night clubs, and to the theatre. “Dinner dresses” tended to be more covered up than evening gowns — often, they were made from the same pattern as a shorter day dress, as the following examples show.

"That Corseted Look:" Companion-Butterick patterns from Woman's Home Companion, Nov. 1937.

“That Corseted Look:” Companion-Butterick patterns from Woman’s Home Companion, Nov. 1937. Left, #7624; right and seated, #7626.

Butterick stopped publishing its fashion and news magazine, The Delineator,  abruptly in April 1937. However, the Butterick pattern empire, with offices in Paris and other European cities, continued. An agreement with its (former) rival magazine, Woman’s Home Companion, was in place, and the WHC began featuring “Companion-Butterick” patterns in 1937.  Consequently, patterns illustrated in the Butterick Fashion News store flyers might also be illustrated, in full color, in Woman’s Home Companion. 

Companion-Butterick 7626

Companion-Butterick pattern 7626, from Butterick Fashion News flyer, Dec. 1937.

Companion-Butterick pattern 7626, from Butterick Fashion News flyer, Dec. 1937.

Here, pattern 7626 is “A dress as new as the minute and elegant in black velvet.” For sizes 12 to 20, or 30 to 40 inch bust. [12 to 20 were sizes for young or small women.] It is “corseted” because of the snug, ruched waist, which fitted tightly because of side seam zippers on both sides. The day version could be made with a print bodice.

Daytime version of Companion Butterick 7626. WHC, Nov. 1937.

Daytime version of Companion-Butterick 7626. WHC, Nov. 1937.

Companion-Butterick 7624

Companion-Butterick pattern 7624, "That Corseted Look," WHC Nov. 1937.

Companion-Butterick pattern 7624, “That Corseted Look,” WHC Nov. 1937.

“Soft gathers in the bodice and the new slim corseted waist…. Bias cut skirt.” The Butterick Fashion flyer suggested that the dress on the left be made from satin crepe. Sizes 12 to 20, 3o to 40.  Its shaped midriff is accented [and slenderized] by a row of tiny buttons down the front. [See below.]

No. 7624 (left) and 7628 (right) were "Glamour for Night." Butterick Fashion flyer Dec. 1937.

No. 7624 (left) and 7628 (right) were “Glamour for Night.” Butterick Fashion News flyer Dec. 1937.

Companion Butterick 7628

Companion Butterick 7628,  pictured on the right, above, has “The high draped surplice line in a lovely lamé dinner dress.” The magazine reminded readers that they could use the same pattern for “a formal day dress or a simple dinner dress, or both.” Both versions were accented by a colorful “high placed handkerchief” to match your shoes, bag, or hat.

A long dinner-dress version of Companion-Butterick 7628. WHC Nov. 1937.

A  long dinner-dress version of Companion-Butterick 7628. WHC Nov. 1937.

A formal day dress version of Companion-Butterick pattern 7628, Nov. 1937.

A formal day dress version of Companion-Butterick pattern 7628, Nov. 1937.

The hostess of a dinner party could also wear a long “hostess” gown or a “housecoat.” See Companion-Butterick Triad Patterns for an example.

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