Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Teen's Petal-Skirted Party Dress

If you need a 1920s-style party frock for a teen girl, this tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears describes how to whip up a lovely petal-skirted dress.  Just get a few yards of crepe de chine in a lovely color and in no time you can have your girl looking chic for a summer party! The simplicity of the design amazes me - Ruth's techniques require no pattern and allow you to fit the dress to wearer. Don't be held back by the idea that this is a young girl's dress - I think it would work for any age!

As an interesting aside, girls remained girls much longer in the 1920s. Note how Ruth Wyeth Spears refers to "young girl" and "young daughter" in this sewing tip, but defines that as 16 to 18 years! Of course, back then sizes were defined in "years" as well. :)

Miss Lillian's Vintage Postcards: With Affection From Lizzie

Postcard 36

Sender: Lizzie Mulvey
Addressee: Miss Lilian Maguire, 1902 G Terry Av, Seattle, Wash.
Postmark: St Louis, MO
Date: Aug 24, 1908
Image: Reproduction of painting - outdoor scene labeled "Late Fall"

You can just barely see the title of this scene at the center bottom of the postcard - "Late Fall". It certainly looks like winter. The small figure in the lower right corner is most likely a person bringing in the harvest. It is a chilly scene for a postcard sent in August. :)

Dear Lillian,
Your postal
was received and more
than glad to hear from you
hoping to hear from you real
soon again. We certainly 
did have nice times
together. With much love,
Lizzie Mulvey

This is the first time we have heard from Lizzie, who is apparently a long-time friend of Lillian's from St Louis. Lizzie penciled this message in reply to a postal from Lillian. She recalls the nice times they had together, and signs it affectionately. How very sweet. :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Upgrade a Plain Dress to a Plaited Frock

I just love the way Ruth's mind works! In this tip for her 1920s audience, she solves the problem of wanting a pleated (or should I say plaited?) frock when all one has is a plain dress pattern. The solution? Pleat the fabric first, and then lay the pattern pieces! So clever. :)

Ruth Wyeth Spears is such an inspiration!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Scraps from the Past: Sunny Summer Wartime Frock

The pattern: Du Barry 5791 (1944)

I love how the original owner wrote her name on the pattern, and drew an arrow to the version that she sewed. Someone also wrote in very faint pencil vertically next to "This view": "no geathers will bring back" - a somewhat mystifying statement, I can only guess at what was meant. The handwriting is different from the writing in ink, so it may have been someone else.

The scrap: This floral cotton print is just a smidgeon of a scrap that was tucked inside this vintage pattern from the war years. But it is still enough to let us envision this frock in a summery print of blue flowers with pink and green bits. It paints a very pretty and sunny picture!