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A Pattern for Mother, Daughter, and Grandmother, 1937

Companion-Butterick Triad Pattern #7553, for Three Generations. From Woman's Home Companion, September 1937.

Companion-Butterick Triad Pattern #7553, for three generations. From Woman’s Home Companion, September 1937. Illustration by ERNST

Companion-Butterick “Triad” patterns usually were marked by their versatility: patterns with day and evening versions, or patterns that could be made in several ways to create a larger wardrobe. This is the first I’ve noticed that was versatile because it was equally suited to young, middle-aged, and older women. (There would be no savings in buying this unless all three wore the same size… and were still the same shape….)

“Pattern 7553 is designed for the family — a find for teas, luncheons, and bridge. To see it at its best you will want to make it up in an exciting new fall fabric and color.  For you mothers, we suggest a wool-like silk, bound in green grosgrain. It is a perfect foil for kid-trimmed brown suede shoes and a felt toque.” 1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern 7553 3 ages illus“For you daughters, very sheer wool is new in cranberry, a vibrant fall shade. Add high-cut black suede pumps, a felt calot, and you are dressed for any special occasion. You grandmother will like the heavy drape of satin-back silk  in soft blue tinged with lavender — a color flattering to gray hair. With this dull and shiny combination, no shoe could be nicer than one in black suede trimmed with patent leather.  And to complete your costume we suggest a felt hat in matching blue.”

1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern 7553 tops bodices 3 ages 500
The daughter’s calot is a close-fitting cap without a brim.  The styling of the bodices is varied, but, except for having shorter sleeves, the daughter’s version is not noticeably youthful. Grandmother’s heavy satin-backed silk is made with the matte side out and the shiny side used only as trim.  It also has ruching on the shoulders, perhaps to provide a little more bust fullness, and less puffy sleeve caps. Mother’s wool-like brown silk bound in green grosgrain strikes me as a bit too “Robin Hood.” (To be fair, the Errol Flynn Adventures of Robin Hood wasn’t released until May of 1938.) I’m hoping that’s a gorgeous Art Deco emerald clip on her neckline.

To my eyes, the most youthful-looking shoes are worn by the grandmother, not the granddaughter. 1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern shoes 500 7553 3 ages

From an Air Step Shoe Ad, September 1937. Woman's Home Companion.

From an Air Step Shoe Ad, September 1937. Woman’s Home Companion. “Most styles $6.00. Slightly higher in Far West.”

Notice how high and relatively narrow the heels on the “Fay” model are. Mother might also wear the “Stroller” heels, which are equally high, but not as thin. “Fernwood,” with a lower heel, looks more grandmotherly to me, and as recommended, they are suede or gabardine with patent leather trim. Perhaps the daughter is wearing “high-cut black suede pumps” with a zipper front, but these Air Step “Dianne” shoes would also do.

Air Step shoes, "Dianne" model, Sept. 1937. Woman's Home Companion.

Air Step shoes, “Dianne” model, Sept. 1937. Woman’s Home Companion.

The pattern information and back views of Companion-Butterick #7553: 1937 sept p 82 family triad pattern 7553 3 ages text back view

 

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