Tag Archives: Lucky Strike Cigarettes

Fun with Stripes: A Gallery of 1930’s Styles

Fifty years ago, I saw this 1930’s photo of actress Gertrude Lawrence in a striped suit. The creative use of striped fabric struck me and stayed in my memory.  The joy of these nineteen thirties’ dresses is the way that a striped fabric is turned in different directions — horizontally, vertically, on the bias — to create the interest of the design.

Butterick pattern after Jacques Heim, Butterick Fashion News, July 1939.

Butterick pattern after Jacques Heim, Butterick Fashion News, July 1939.

Simple Striped Dresses

Striped dresses in many variations appeared throughout the 1930’s. I’m not talking about dresses that simply use striped material, charming as these are:

Butterick patterns from The Delineator, 1934. Left, June; right, July.

Left:  Stripes cut on the bias.   Butterick patterns from The Delineator, 1934. Left, #5599 from June.  Right, #5767 from July.  This fabric was probably printed with diagonal stripes and used on the straight grain.

I’m trying to imagine jumping over the net in one of those tennis dresses.  Actually, #5599 isn’t so simple; getting stripes to match and form chevrons on the bias takes patience.

Striped dresses were usually summer wear. This one is punningly named after Lucky Strike Cigarettes.

"Lucky Stripe;" Butterick pattern from June, 1932.

“Lucky Stripe;” Butterick pattern #4600 from June, 1932.

The dress below is a three piece set:  blouse (with or without sleeves) plus skirt and shorts.

The stripes are all used simply on straight of grain here, both they would make cutting and assembly more difficult! Butterick pattern #3785 from April, 1931. This is a three piece set:  blouse, skirt, and shorts.

Butterick pattern #3785 from April, 1931.

The stripes are all cut simply on straight of grain here, but pattern matching would make cutting and assembly more difficult! Matching stripes is a challenge for the dressmaker.

Stripes in Different Directions

The dresses that delight me turn the stripes in different directions.

Butterick patterns, The Delneator, April 1931.

Butterick pattern #3769, The Delineator, April 1931.  [Two of these early 30’s dresses have both a low hip and a natural waist.]

Pattern with a slenderizing center front panel, Butterick Fashion News, September 1939. It came in sizes 34 to

Pattern #8583 has a slenderizing center front panel, Butterick Fashion News, September 1939. It came in sizes 34 to 52.

A simple dress with bias skirt and playful pocket:

Butterick Fashion News, September 1939. Butterick pattern #

Butterick Fashion News, September 1939. Butterick pattern #8566

Sometimes the interest comes just from the flattering contrast between a horizontally striped yoke and a vertically striped dress.

Far right, Butterick pattern # in The Delineator, February 1936.

Far right, Butterick pattern #6622 in The Delineator, February 1936.

Butterick pattern #5201 makes a striped cruise dress, January 1934, The Delineator.

Butterick pattern #5201 makes a striped cruise dress, January 1934, The Delineator. The horizontally striped pocket flaps carry the yoke design to the skirt.

Here, the yoke is on the bias, and echoes the diagonal lines of the pockets:

Bias cut yoke on #7743, Butterick Fashion News flyer, March 1938.

Bias cut yoke on #7743, Butterick Fashion News flyer, March 1938.

When the yoke continues into sleeves, there is added interest:

Horizontal stripes on yoke and pockets, vertical stripes on the body of the dress. Butterick Fashion News flyer, March 1938.

Horizontal stripes on yoke, pockets, and belt; vertical stripes on the body of the dress. Butterick Fashion News flyer, March 1938. By 1938, the center front zipper was no longer news.

This yoked dress and jacket combination (at right) has an interesting dress, too.

Jacket dresses from February, 1935. The bias stripes change direction on the sleeves. Butterick pattern 6074.

Jacket dresses from February, 1935. The bias stripes appear to change direction as they follow the sleeves. Butterick pattern #6074.

This dress with chevron striping goes under coat # . Butterick pattern from February 1935. The Delineator.

This dress with chevroned stripes goes under coat # 6074 . It also has “yoke and sleeves in one.” Butterick pattern from February 1935. The Delineator.

The ensemble below is pretty straight forward, but the lapels, bow, and belt turn the stripes in a different direction:

Striped jacket dress from May, 1934. Butterick #5634.

Striped jacket dress from May, 1934. Butterick #5634.

The play of stripes also appeared in thirties’ evening wear:

Striped evening dress, Butterick, February 1934; striped gown and matching jacket, Butterick, July 1934.

Striped evening dress, Butterick, February 1934; striped gown and matching jacket, Butterick, July 1934. #5780 has beautiful, complex striped sleeves.

Advanced Play with Stripes

But the play of stripes gets really interesting when used as the focus of the design.

Berth Roberts Semi-Made dress, Spring, 1934.

Berth Robert Semi-Made dress, Spring, 1934.

 

Butterick pattern 5678, May, 1934. The Delineator.

Butterick pattern #5678, May, 1934. The Delineator.

The more complex, the more fun -- or at least, the more challenging for the dressmaker. Butterick #4089, October, 1931.

The more complex, the more fun — or at least, the more challenging for the dressmaker. Butterick #4089, October, 1931.

Illustration from Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1936.

Illustration from Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1936.

“The zigzag dress to the left is made of muffler woolen, soft to touch, and in wonderful two-tone colorings. Leather belt and buttons, and a scarf barely peeking out above the collar.” — Ladies’ Home Journal, September, 1936.

This one has contrasting shapes inserted in the sleeves, a tucked bib, and buttons in graduated sizes.

Wearfast sports dress, Berth Roberts Semi-Made dress catalog, Spring, 1934.

Wearfast sports dress, Berth Robert Semi-Made dress catalog, Spring, 1934.

Stripes were often used on “bib” dresses:

Butterick pattern 5760, May 1934, and Butterick 5822, August 1934.

Butterick pattern #5760, May 1934, and Butterick #5822, August 1934.

"Housedresses" from December, 1931. Butterick patterns.

“Housedresses” from December, 1931. Butterick patterns. The one on the right was actually a “pull on” dress with mostly decorative buttons.

Ribbed wool or corduroy was also used for a more subtle play of stripes:

Butterick Pattern for a dress with silk crepe bodice and skirt of ribbed wool, with matching coat. February 1932. Delineator.

Butterick Pattern #4316 for a dress with silk crepe bodice and skirt of ribbed wool, with matching coat. Contrast yoke, bow, cuff trim, and belt. The Delineator. February, 1932.

1932 feb p 87 text 4316 doat and dress vionnet coat

Corduroy was also suggested for this lightweight coat:

Corduroy coat, Butterick pattern, January 1932.

Corduroy coat, Butterick pattern #4290, January 1932.

Bold stripes give lots of “Bang for the buck.”

Butterick pattern, May 1932.

Butterick pattern #4530, May 1932.

Berth Robert Semi-made dress #932, Spring 1934 catalog.

Berth Robert Semi-made dress #932, Spring 1934 catalog.

McCall's pattern 9815, July 1938.

McCall’s pattern 9815, July 1938.

Floral stripes were popular in 1938.

Resort dress, Butterick Fashion News flyer, July 1939. Butterick

Resort dress, Butterick Fashion News flyer, July 1939. Butterick #8473.

What a difference the stripes make:  Two versions of Butterick #8557, Butterick Fashion News, September 1939.

What a difference the stripes make:  Two versions of Butterick #8557, Butterick Fashion News, September 1939.

Does anyone feel inspired to rework a basic pattern — by playing with contrasting stripes? Maybe a sewing group would like to have a “stripe challenge.”

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Filed under 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Sportswear, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes, Zippers

1920s Styles for Larger Women, Part 1

For Bust Measurement 33 to 48 Inches

For Bust Measurement 36 to 48 Inches

1920s Patterns with Bust Measurement 44 Inches or More

In spite of the long, narrow figures in 1920s fashion illustrations, twenties dress patterns were usually available in bust sizes 33 to 44 inches – the equivalent of a modern size 22. Butterick routinely issued patterns even larger than 44.  The gorgeous evening dress above, pictured in gold metallic brocade, is sized 36 to 48. More about it later….

Body Measurements from a Butterick Pattern Envelope, 1927

This chart is on the back of a pattern envelope from 1927:

Butterick Pattern Envelope, 1927

Butterick Pattern Envelope, 1927

A woman with a 32″ bust was expected to have 35″ hips; a 38″ bust had 40 ½” hips; and a size 44 was assumed to have 47 ½” hips – and the pattern mentions “outlet seams” which can add another inch and  a half if necessary.

Surplice Styles Flattering to Larger Women

As you can imagine, 1920s fashions which drew a horizontal line across the widest part of a woman’s body were not necessarily flattering — especially to a woman with 49″ hips. With that in mind, the editors of Delineator Magazine often recommended a surplice line dress for larger women. 1929 jan p 26 surplice“There is no line more flattering to mature figures than the surplice closing, especially when it is softened by a scalloped and frilled lingerie collar. The straight skirt is gathered to a girdle that ties snugly….Designed for [bust] 34 to 48.”

The ‘surplice line’ meant that there was a design line, often the front closing, that ran diagonally from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Draped fabric falling from that point – as in the gold evening gown, #1187 below – carries the eye down, rather than across the body.

Two 1926 Evening Gowns for Size 48 Bust Patterns 1195, 1187 together

1926 dec p 47 #1195 for 48 bustFrock #1195: Draperies that develop wing-like properties in motion fly from the shoulder and hip of a Paris evening gown. The frock that composes itself entirely of Georgette, lace, or crépe de chine is the most useful kind of evening dress. In this particular frock the bloused body is sewed to a one-piece slip and the lower edge of the tunic [sic] is straight….For women 32 to 48 bust. [Controlling the blouson top by attaching the sheer outer layer to a slip makes the dress much easier to wear. The slip – with its straight hem – is visible below the asymmetrical hem of the dress. Such a slip would be made in a color to match the dress, and the silk used for the slip might also bind the neckline.]

1926 dec #1187 fits 36 to 48 bust

Gown #1187: “Uneven lies the hem of the Paris gown intended for formal day or evening use. The long V line of the surplice closing, the tight drapery at the hip and the free drapery at the side have reducing properties. The gown itself is in one-piece style and so is the separate slip. An extra slip with sleeves for afternoon, make[s] two gowns. Size 36 will need 2 5/8 yards of metallic brocade 40 inches wide. Designed for women 36 to 48 bust.” [The version illustrated is an evening gown. An under-dress ‘slip’ with a higher neckline and sleeves, often of sheer fabric trimmed with the dress fabric, would make it modest enough for afternoon tea dances, etc.]

Mature Elegance in a Surplice Evening Gown1929 feb p 89 lucky ad middle aged woman

Elsie de Wolfe, Noted Interior Decorator (and about 63 years old at the time of this February ad) wears an evening dress very similar to Butterick #1187 in an advertisement for Lucky Strike Cigarettes, 1929. She is quoted as saying, “I recommend a Lucky instead of a sweet… an excellent substitute when your appetite craves a sweet but your figure must be considered.” [The ad goes on to say that “A reasonable proportion of sugar in the diet is recommended, but the authorities are overwhelming that too many fattening sweets are harmful. So, for moderation’s sake we say: – ‘Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet!’ “]

Surplice Line Dresses for Young Women and Teens, January 1929
1929 jan p 29 rt

The surplice style was not limited to older women or those who had to “consider” their figures. Butterick pattern #2397, “a very informal afternoon frock for winter resorts, [was] designed for sizes 32 to 37, 15 to 20 years, and for [ladies with bust measurement of] 38, 40.” The dress next to it, #2424, is also for teens “15 to 18 years and [women bust] 36 to 44 [inches.]” A dress pattern for size 18 years had a 35 inch bust, but was proportioned for a smaller person. 1920s pattern descriptions often say “15 to 20 and smaller women.” Butterick Patterns for women who were both short and stout did not become available until the 1930s, as far as I have seen — but I’m still looking.

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Filed under 1920s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes