Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ladies Home Journal 1139 - Men's Overalls

1917.  What I most like about this pattern (after the brilliantined hair, the jaunty pose, and the spats) is the fact that the gentleman is wearing a tie.

This pattern was featured in an illustration in the November 1917 issue of Ladies' Home Journal entitled "Practical Work Clothes and so Easily Made."

This is an interesting style of overalls as there is no waist belt - the bib and trousers are cut in a single length.

Both the fly and the shoulder straps are buttoned.

This is an unprinted pattern.

When I unfolded the pocket piece, I found this fairly substantial thread of fabric.  Note that it's plied blue and white.  This is not typical of the yarns used to make denim, chambray, or hickory stripe.  If used in both the warp and weft, fabric made of this yarn would have had a mid-blue color, somewhat similar to chambray (even though the construction is different.) Because dyeing adds cost, plying dyed and undyed plies will eventually yield an economical fabric.  This contributes to an overall sense of the thrift of making work clothes at home.

Updated September 2015 with information from the Ladies Home Journal magazine.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Butterick 4258 - Ladies', Misses' and Girls' Martha Washington Costume

Probably the first half of the 1920s.

My town is too small to have a July 4th parade, but if we had one, it might feature a suitably costumed George and Martha Washington waving to the crowd from the back of an elderly pick-up truck.

This costume, which could also have been used for fancy dress balls, is a wonderfully inaccurate pastiche of eighteenth century styles.

And as an Independence Day bonus, if you're a fan of substantial fruit cakes, you might like to make Martha Washington's Great Cake.  This recipe comes from the web site for the Mt. Vernon historical site.
Take 40 eggs and divide the whites from the yolks and beat them to a froth. Then work 4 pounds of butter to a cream and put the whites of eggs to it a Spoon full at a time till it is well work'd. Then put 4 pounds of sugar finely powdered to it in the same manner then put in the Yolks of eggs and 5 pounds of flour and 5 pounds of fruit. 2 hours will bake it. Add to it half an ounce of mace and nutmeg half a pint of wine and some fresh brandy.
Forty eggs!  Lordy!