Tag Archives: smocked dress 1920s

Orange and Blue in the Mid-Twenties

When I wrote about the orange and black color combination that was popular in the nineteen twenties, I found out that there are still some devoted lovers of orange out there. It turns out that orange and blue were often pictured together in Delineator fashion illustrations in 1924 and 1925.

Evening dresses and and evening wrap; Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator magazine, February 1924.

Evening dresses and and evening wrap; Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator magazine, February 1924.

Of course, orange and blue are complementary colors, opposite each other on the color wheel, and therefore they enhance each other when juxtaposed, — orange seeming brighter and blue seeming more vivid — so illustrators may have put them side by side for this reason.

Butterick patterns 4979 (dress) and 4963 (cape.) February 1924, Delineator.

Butterick patterns 4979 (dress) and 4963 (cape.) February 1924, Delineator.

Butterick dress patterns for July 1924. Delineator magazine.

Butterick dress patterns for July 1924. Delineator magazine.

But orange and blue — in slightly pastel tints — was a frequent combination in garments, especially in clothing for girls.

Butterick patterns for girls for Valentine's day, 1925. Delineator.

Butterick patterns 5797 & 5752 for girls for Valentine’s day, 1925. Delineator. [The dress on the right reminds me of quilts from the twenties and thirties.]

It’s sometimes hard to put an exact name to the variations of orange — sometimes it’s a pastel-tinted (i.e., with white added) version of coral red, vermillion, or red orange. [I’m speaking as an illustrator, not as a dyer.]

Butterick patterns for girls, February, 1924. Delineator magazine.

Butterick patterns 4959 and 4995 for girls, February, 1924. Delineator magazine.

 

Butterick patterns for women 5301 and 5341, July 1924. Delineator.

Butterick patterns for women 5301 and 5341, July 1924. Delineator. The color on the left is closer to red-orange than to pure red.

Burnt orange or intense orange seems to be more common for “grown-up” dresses.

Dresses for Misses [age 15 to 20] Butterick patterns 5327, 5329, & 5337. Delineator, July 1924.

Dresses for Misses [age 15 to 20], Butterick patterns 5327, 5329, & 5337. Delineator, July 1924.

Butterick patterns for women, August, 1924. Delineator magazine.

Butterick patterns for women, August, 1924. Delineator magazine.

Pale orange, peach, or apricot also appear in children’s dresses, often with light blue trim.

Butterick patterns for girls, November, 1924. Delineator.

Butterick patterns for girls, Nos. 5607, 5543, 5590; November, 1924. Delineator.

 

Girl's dress 1925; Girls' dress patterns for June, 1924. Delineator.

Girl’s dress 1925; Girls’ dress patterns for June, 1924. Delineator. #5254 on right.

This little girl is wearing an orange dress smocked with black,  with a black coat and orange-trimmed black hat, a combination usually reserved for Hallowe’en now:

Girls' dress  patterns from Butterick, Delineator, March 1924.

Girls’ dress patterns from Butterick, Delineator, March 1924. The blue dress with flower-pot pockets, #5057,  is a charming idea. # 5067 is on left.

As Autumn approached, older girls and young women could use intense orange to accessorize either midnight blue or dark green dresses:

Butterick patterns for teens and small women, October, 1924. Delineator.

Butterick patterns for teens and small women, October, 1924. Delineator. Dress 5489, Coat-dress 5485, and Hat 5561. That orange thing in her hand, far right, is a tiny purse.

That dashing cloche hat is also made from a Butterick pattern.

And, if you weren’t quite prepared for your wedding to include brilliant orange bridesmaids . . .

Bride, Maid of Honor, and Bridesmaids. Butterick Pattern illustration from Delineator magazine, October 1924.

Bride, Maid of Honor, and Bridesmaids. Butterick Pattern illustration from Delineator magazine, October 1924.

this blue and pastel red-orange bridal party might be just what you want:

Bride and bridesmaids, April 1924. Butterick patterns 5137, 5158, 5093, 4462. Delineator magazine.

Bride and bridesmaids, April 1924. Butterick patterns 5137, 5158, 5093, 4462. Delineator magazine.

The dresses on the right have a muted coral bodice and tiers of coral taffeta softened with white lace overlays, with rose pink hats and trim. [The pinkish color may be a result of layering white organza over the bodice fabric.]

Bride's attendants, April, 1924. Delineator magazine.

Bride’s attendants, April, 1924. Delineator magazine.

The bride’s home could even have an orange and blue kitchen:

An ad for Hoosier cabinets, Delineator magazine, Oct. 1925.

An ad for Hoosier cabinets, Delineator magazine, Oct. 1925.

This post is dedicated to Lynn and Brooke, who wrote to say that they love orange.

 

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Filed under 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Vintage patterns

Embroidered Peasant Styles from the Nineteen Twenties

White linen vintage dress with blue embroidery and cutwork, mid-nineteen twenties.

White linen vintage dress with blue embroidery and cutwork, mid-nineteen twenties.

Dresses from the 1910s and 1920s were often ornamented with embroidery and beading, even for daytime wear. Just as there was a strong interest in ethnic clothing and crafts in the nineteen sixties and seventies, some women appreciated folk embroidery and embellishment ninety years ago. The style was not limited to “artistic” or eccentric dressers; “peasant” blouse and dress patterns were offered by mainstream companies. I was lucky enough to photograph the 1920s peasant dresses that follow while making an inventory of a friend’s collection. [I wish now that I had had time to take better pictures!]

Peasant Blouse and Dress Patterns, 1925

Here are some Butterick “peasant” patterns from 1925:

May 1925: blouse trimmed with smocking and embroidery, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

May 1925: blouse trimmed with smocking and embroidery, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

Embroidery transfer #10341 for the blouse shown above.

Embroidery transfer #10341 for the blouse shown above.

Butterick sold sewing patterns and also sold embroidery and beading transfers.

“#10341: You get several trimming combinations in this embroidery, for after you have finished trimming your peasant blouse with the cross-stitched bandings and motifs, you can use the one-stitch banding in bright wools down the front of your wool jersey sports frock…. The one-stitch banding may combine different bright colors in wools…. It can be adapted to 1 5/8 yard each of bandings 4 ½ inches wide, 2 ½ inches wide, 1 5/8 inch wide and 1 3/4 inch wide and 32 assorted motifs.”

Butterick blouse pattern #5903. Here it is shown embroidered in red and worn under a black "suspender skirt." May, 1925.

Butterick blouse pattern #5903. On the right, it is shown embroidered in red — or red and black — and worn under a black “suspender skirt.” May, 1925.

These smocked peasant dresses from the same issue (May, 1925) have a strong relationship to the embroidered vintage dress pictured below. Smocking is a peasant embellishment technique originally used on shepherd’s smocks.

Peasant dress patterns # 6006, for ladies 32"- 40" bust, and #6012, for Misses 16 to 20 years. 1925.

Peasant dress patterns # 6006, for ladies 32″- 40″ bust, and #6012, for Misses 16 to 20 years. 1925.

“#6006: One-piece dresses in peasant style are very cool and dainty for Summer and one of the smartest new fashions…. Many attractive color combinations are possible, for instance, on a white frock the smocking may be done in red, lavender, yellow and black.”

Embroidery on Two Vintage Twenties Dresses

The subtler color palette of this vintage peasant dress, in sheer cotton, is very attractive:

1920s smocked dress in sheer cotton, with embroidered front.

1920s smocked dress in sheer cotton, with embroidered front.

Detail of front and back

Detail of front and back

V098 smocking detail

This white linen dress with marine blue embroidery and cutwork is more clearly inspired by ethnic embroidery. [I imagine it being worn by a 1920s tourist visiting the Greek islands with parasol in one hand and sketchbook in the other. I dimly remember a similar dress being used in the movie Carrington (1995), based on the life of painter Dora Carrington.]

Front and side views of a vintage white linen embroidered dress, 1920s.

Front and side views of a vintage white linen embroidered dress, 1920s.

PHOTO  This dress, which was in the collection of a friend, had blue crocheted loops and blue crocheted buttons along the collar and neck opening. I photographed it first over a pale peach slip, to show the beautiful openwork patterns:V093 front embroidery detail 500

And again over a navy blue slip, which gives it more dimension. V093 embroiderd cutwork on navy slip 500

Considering the amazing things that can be done with computerized sewing machines and soluble stabilizers, I suppose it would be possible to duplicate these dresses today without the many, many hours of handwork that made the originals so wonderful. But it would still be quite a project!

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, Dresses, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns