Friday, January 29, 2010

Butterick 1629 - Ladies' One-Piece House Dress

About 1920.

The design of the crossed collar which buttons into the waist belt is odd, particularly in a hue darker than the dress itself, but the sailor's collar is very common at this period, and is a first cousin to the collars found on middy blouses, commonly worn at this period for casual, sporting, or athletic use.

Outside of the peculiar collar, this is a nice design. The button front means that the dress can be opened out for ironing.  The tucks on either side of the front and on the back add some practical fulness as well as provide an attractive vertical line.

At this time, Butterick's instruction sheet, hasn't yet been titled "The Deltor," though Butterick has applied for a patent for it.

By 1921, Butterick was advertising the advantages of The Deltor with a full page advertisement in the February 1921 issue of Everybody's Magazine:

Friday, January 22, 2010

McCall 8232 - Women's and Misses' Back-Wrap-Around Smock


Sometimes you have to wonder if the illustrator was happy in her work.  Illustrating a severely plain garment in two different solids is sort of uninspiring, and that large windowpane check is probably not a good choice for a pregnant lady.

This garment has quite a long history.  We've seen it before, called different things: see Banner 131 Overall, and Pictorial Review 3783 Work Apron.  The garments called smocks that we see in the 1920's and 1930's tend to be front-buttoning.

No fabric recommendations are given, and yardages are offered for only 35" and 39" wide fabric.

This pattern does not appear to have been used.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Simplicity 1505 - Ladies' Nightgown

Mid 1930's.

A nice simple nightgown pattern.  The model on the left is clearly made of flannel.  The model on the right is probably batiste, with the puffed sleeves and lace trim around the neckline adding a little feminine fancy.

The advertising slogan "You are always in style when you dress with SIMPLICITY" represents a slight shift in Simplicity's marketing strategy of providing well-made patterns for making serviceable clothing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

McCall 1435 - Misses' Skating Ensemble


There are plenty of options here.  The outfit could be made of woven material or felt (back when good quality wool felt was still available.)

The decorations could be appliqued or embroidered, and the embroidery could be carried out in either knitting worsted or embroidery floss.

Slide fasteners were used for both the jacket and the skirt, using colors that harmonize with the decorations.  The jacket is lined, and consistent with the big-shouldered look of the period, pattern pieces are provided for shoulder pads.

View B shows how to put together a very sporty ensemble by making up the jacket on its own and wearing it with a hat and skirt made up in a tweed that harmonizes with the jacket.

I can't quite make out the inscription in blue ink found on the front of the envelope.

The skirt pieces as well as the transfers are missing.  I can imagine a young skater's mother making up a whole wardrobe of skating skirts in different colors, to be worn with a variety of jackets and sweaters.

Here's some lovely 1940's home movie footage of skaters.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pictorial Review 1438 - Ladies' Riding Breeches

Mid 1920's.

Given the proximity of the pattern numbers, my guess is that this is a companion piece to Pictorial Review 1435, the Semi-fitted Riding Jacket.  It's also clearly related to Butterick 4147, which is calling itself knickers.

Like the Pictorial Review Riding Jacket, the only layout given is for 54" material.

Part of reading clothing is observing it on the body.  Here's a wonderful photo from Shorpy of a young Louisita Wood in 1913.  Wood's family had money, so I suspect that her riding clothes were custom made for her and that this was considered a good fit.

And here she is seated.

It's not uncommon to find names written on the pattern envelopes.  There are several possible explanations for this.  One is that patterns sometimes had to be special ordered, and the purchaser's names were written on the envelopes by the store clerk when the patterns arrived from the supplier.  Another possibility is that the garment was made up by a dressmaker, and either she or her customer wrote the name on the envelope.

In this case, we have Mrs. Flora Grove, on Winchester Avenue.