A page of Butterick patterns from Delineator, May 1926. Illustrated by Marie L. Britton. Page 29.
If you were looking for summer dress ideas in May, 1926, you might have found inspiration in these Butterick patterns from the Delineator. As often happens, the dresses for “Misses 15 to 20 and small women” show the hemlines that older women would adopt a couple of years later. The full-page colored illustrations were done by Marie L. Britton.
A full page of Butterick fashions for young or small women, Delineator, May 1926. Page 27.
I’ll be showing the tops and bottoms of four color pages, but here are a few trends to look for:
Border prints, fashionable in 1925, continue to add charm to 1926 dresses. I especially like the yellow one on the left. Both use the border print at the bottom of their sleeves.
Butterick patterns 6788 and 6779 show how much a border print can contribute to the charm of a one-or two piece twenties’ dress. Delineator, May 1926.
Both of those patterns also have a sleeve that continues into the yoke, called a saddle shoulder.
Ruching (several parallel lines of gathering) guarantees a snug fit at the hips of these dresses:
Butterick patterns 6817, 6777, 6760 and 6779 use ruching to create a snug hip band. Delineator, May 1926. The very short dress is for girls 15 and under.
Sewing tip: if you don’t want the ruching threads to break, sew a flat panel of sheer fabric matching the slip, and cut to hip size, under the ruching. (In the 1970s or 1980s, dresses used elastic thread for a similar effect.) To control the blousing, the hip band can be attached to the under slip.
Embroidery, popular in the 1910’s and twenties, adds a custom touch to some of these dresses, although the embroidery was optional. Just a touch of embroidery on the sleeve is a surprise on a rather severe pleated dress (center.)
Embroidery-trimmed dresses for women and little girls in the twenties. Delineator, May 1926.
The dress in the middle also has a saddle sleeve — plus another mid-twenties feature so common I almost forgot to mention it: long ties or streamers in front, often part of the collar.
The 1920’s fashion ideal was youthful and slender, but the 1920’s feature we all notice — a horizontal line across the hip, which is the widest part of a woman’s body — was the opposite of slenderizing. You can find many strategies for creating a vertical line in the twenties — including those long 1920’s necklaces — but the most common styling trick is long ribbons or ties down the center front. Often a band which enclosed the back of the neckline became long ties falling down the front of the dress. Even the coat (below left) has them.
Here are the full images of these — and other — outfits for summer, 1926.
Top of page 27, Delineator, May 1926. Butterick patterns for young or small women: coat 6771 (plus a tam-o-shanter hat,) dresses 6775, 6744, and 6788.
Bottom of page 27, Delineator, May 1926. Butterick patterns for young or small women, Nos. 6777, 6801, 6718, 6791. The lavender dress may be a border print; no embroidery pattern is cited. The red dress has a saddle shoulder and rows of yellow decorative top-stitching on collar, cuffs, and pockets.
Top of page 28, Delineator, May 1926.Women’s patterns from Butterick: far left is dress No. 6765 (plus a turban, pattern 6634,) the blue outfit is No. 6823 (open dress and slip,) and green print dress No. 6781 is at far right.
Bottom of page 28, Delineator, May 1926. Butterick patterns 6796 (far left), 6767 (in black), and 6817 (far right).
Top of page 29, Delineator, May 1926. Butterick patterns 6785 (far left), 6763 (in black), and 6787 (far right). At far left, the collar binding turns into very long streamers.
Bottom of p. 29, Delineator, May 1926. Butterick patterns 6792, 6779, 6759. Notice the stocking colors.
Number 6759 (at right) has a half cape in back. So does Number 6765 (page 28 top left,) the red and black dress with a pleated skirt — and a pleated back-cape.
Top of page 30, Delineator, May 1926. Butterick patterns for children and young teens. Top left is a little boy.
Bottom of page 30, Delineator, May 1926. Butterick patterns for children and young teens. (I love the play of stripes on the far right!) The two middle-school aged girls on either side have mid-knee hemlines.