Tuesday, March 29, 2016

3 Ways to a Girl's Party Dress

Three dresses, similar looks! Any popular fashion look can be achieved by any number of sewing techniques. The following three patterns (dating from the late 1940s to early 1950s) each feature a similarly-looking dress, but yet each uses a different method to achieve the look, in this case a scalloped yoke and scalloped lantern sleeves.

Hollywood 1616 (view 2, specifically) simply applies trim along the bodice and along the middle of the puff sleeves to produce a faux scalloped yoke and faux scalloped lantern sleeves effect. Cute and easy-peasy to sew!

Mail Order 3856 from The American Weekly magazine actually has a scallop-edged yoke and two-piece lantern sleeves that are joined with a scalloped seam! Seams are joined with a French, or lapped, seam, in case you were wondering! Lace trims the seams of the yoke and sleeves. Very cute! While not difficult to sew, the scalloped seams take a bit more effort.

McCall's 1654 is heirloom-quality and features a button-on guimpe (chemisette) to achieve the effect. The upper bodice and upper sleeves button to the scallop-edged bodice and scallop-edged lower sleeves. Dainty hand-embroidered roses accent the lower bodice and lower sleeves. Exquisite and takes careful sewing!

Now, which dress would you sew?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter, Happy Spring: 1926 Style Show Contest

Happy spring to all, and here is a peek at fashion from 1926 that I hope will help you forget about any unseasonal spring weather you may be experiencing.

This wonderful find, a "Style Show" catalog from the Sharood Company, a mail order house located in Minneapolis, features spring and summer fashion for 1926. The cover is graced with a lovely frock with ribbon ties at the neckline, cuffs, and hips.

Check out the new spring fabrics and colors for 1926!

Here are the prize winners in the style show contest! First prize of $500 is quite a generous prize for that time period. Well it would be a decent prize today! I find the number of prize winners very interesting - and generous. Imagine all those happy customers who won a prize.

And here is the grand prize winner - with her winning letter, and the response from Sharood's. 

To make it easier, here is an enlarged view of her letter. I love the details of the ensemble she chooses and her rationale for her choices of coat, dress, hat, hose, and shoes.


And here is "her prize winning costume". Totally lovely! I think the coat and the hat are my favorites. And the colors - "pencil blue" and gray - I really like the color combination. What do you like about the winner's ensemble? And any guesses on what color "pencil blue" actually is? ;)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Miss Lillian Goes to the World's Fair in the Summer of 1909

Such excitement! Opening on June 1, 1909, the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition was a world's fair hosted by Seattle to publicize the development of the Pacific Northwest, including Canada, Alaska, as well as countries of the Pacific rim. In Miss Lillian's postcard collection are 24 official postcards from the A-Y-P, sporting its official seal. Since personal cameras were a rare thing in those days, the purchase of official postcards was the best thing to commemorate a special outing. 

I can image Lillian taking the trolley to the fairgrounds, which were located on the campus of the University of Washington. This was such a huge event, with so many special events scheduled throughout the summer and so many fabulous things to see. I wouldn't be surprised if she went several times over the course of the fair, which closed on October 12.

 A series of official postcards featured scenic sights of Washington state and Alaska.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In Search of Style: Finding Inspiration for a 1940s Girl's Dress

The Pattern: This is a classic girl's dress from 1948, with a sweet yoke and short sleeves. It's perfect for every day and for party occasions too!

McCall 7366

The Clippings: Tucked into this pattern, though, were some interesting clippings and hand-made pattern pieces! Both clippings show a great use of contrast fabrics to add a bit of spark.

This second clipping is from an ad for a mail order pattern. Rather than simply order the mail order pattern, though, the sewist chose to use it for inspiration instead, Note the yoke's zig-zag detail.

And also tucked inside the pattern were the hand-made pattern pieces that would create the bodice front! So we know what she sewed. :)

Note the references to the holidays in the newspaper. I wonder if the dress was sewn for Christmas specifically. The ads for cars are interesting - all are for 1940s models, with 1949 the latest model listed!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - A Frock Trimmed with Self-Fabric Plaits

While this tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s describes a plaited (pleated) trimming for a "young girl's frock", I think this excellent tip would also apply to a frock for any age!

In her usual marvelous style, Ruth guides her home sewists with clear illustrations and precise steps. And note her tip for the novel feature of flipping the hem to the outside and trimming it in place with the plaiting (pleating). So clever and so simple - I love it!

Ruth recommends a crisp fabric as most effective, and says the sketch is of "changeable pink taffeta". I can picture this frock in pink taffeta - can you?