Today I’ve got some fabulous inspiration to share from one of my favorite vintage finds ever! This comes from a scrapbook kept by Eva Kaplan- Class of 1927 from South Philadelphia High School.
Here’s some terribly adorable photos taken in August, 1926, with handwritten captions by Eva.
And on the back of this last photo, it says:
Ah, the good old days! Just goes to show you, our perspective of photos of ourselves hasn’t changed much in the last 80+ years!
I keep finding darling ideas of gifts to make, but now with just a few days before Christmas I don’t think anyone has the time! Ah well, next year I’ll be a bit more prompt with those posts!
Instead, here’s two pages of ideas from Dennison’s Christmas Book. This booklet is undated, but a New Year’s girl in one of the images (which I will share later) is wearing a dress decorated with the year 1927, so I can only assume this book is from 1926. This booklet was originally intended to both give ideas for holidays and be a sort of catalog for Dennison products, however, with a little ingenuity I think you can accomplish these to a similar effect with supplies bought or crafted today. These two pages are full of ideas which could be tackled in enough time for your festivities, if you are lucky enough to be on top of your Chistmas prep to date! Click on either image for a larger version you can save or print.
I simply adore these creative ideas of gift giving! Even if you don’t use these ideas for Christmas day, they would be charming for a holiday themed party the week following Christmas. Make sure you enlarge the image so you can read the fun gift giving suggestions.If you want more fun 1920′s Christmas ideas, Google Books has a free e-book of the 1922 Dennison’s Christmas Book available here.
Today I’m sharing a freebie knitting pattern! This pattern originally published in The Modern Priscilla magazine in the November, 1922 issue. The pattern is for size 36-38 bust, and includes the jumper, knickers, cap, cape-scarf, stockings (size 9), and gauntlet gloves (size 6). The pattern says:
“Clad in trim knitted togs from her bonnie head to her twinkling feet is the jaunty lass who queens it over this winter’s carnivals. Don’t envy her smart, comfortable top-to-toe sports outfit just- make one like it.”
If any of you are knitting whizzes, please share what you make from this pattern! I’d love to see! Click on any of the images for a larger version to save or print.
The second group of drawings from Anna’s Notebook are these bodice sketches. Or at least I think they are bodice sketches, since they are not labeled! These were probably the base for blouses and dress bodices, and could probably be adapted to jackets and coats as well.
I suppose in the last post I should have been more clear- her sketches in this notebook are all for pattern drafting. As she progressed in her studies we have some fashion sketches with patterns, but most are of the type here below.
If you’re interested in 1920s fashion design, these are quite fun and could be adapted for your figure by enlarging them. One of the easiest ways to do this is to enlarge them based on a grid. A little math is involved, but if you figure out your general proportions and then draw a grid over the image you can enlarge it in inches. For example, the easiest would probably be to go by bust size. If you’re 36 bust, figure out that you’ll need to split this in 4 (as you need a front and back, and each piece should be mirrored). If that’s the case, you’ll need nine squares across the bust to make this work, then draw out a grid of 1″ x 1″ on a large paper and sketch it out. For more information follow this link, although a star is illustrated it can be adapted to sewing patterns. Of course I haven’t tried this and have simplified it as much as possible, so details above in terms of proportion are just a guess. You will have to play around with it and will have to make mock ups, but it may be fun to try! Also, remember that no seam allowance would have been included so if you try to enlarge these you will need to add seam allowance after you enlarge.
Have a good weekend!
A wonderful blog reader was so generous as to sent me a treasure! This is a binder from a fashion student from 1925 named Anna Stratmann. I hope to post sections of this notebook, so this is the first installation in a series called “Anna’s Notebook”
>I admit I’m an adventure dork. The Golden Age of travel and exploration is overly romanticized in my brain (many thanks to Indiana Jones for that). One of the things I just love is the influence of Egyptomania.
With the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 the world exploded with decorative arts and fashion inspired by the Egyptian mode. The world went Tut mad! Although I don’t own any items myself with neat pharaoh heads or scarab beetles or hieroglyphics, here’s a few of my treasures I’ve collected over the years that are somewhat in the fashion of Egypt-o-mania for show and tell
This headpiece is one of my most favorite things I’ve ever found. I believe it’s made of brass and has faux pearl accents. There are lotus flowers decorating the sides and a little lotus flower that hangs that is accented cloisonette style. The piece is adjustable, and in the third photo you can see how it can adjust by sliding at the centers of the three straps. You can also adjust those to be wider or narrower on the head depending on preference.
I found this little hand crocheted purse hidden in a midwestern antique store. Although I was initially drawn to the lace, I gasped out loud when I saw the plastic handle decorated with camels and palm trees! Whoever made the purse didn’t put much thought into how to get things out from inside, though, because the sides of the purse are sewn up and a zipper was put in the top. There’s no slits to make the opening wider to get at your goodies inside! Sure is pretty, though.
My most recent little find is this crocheted purse with camel decoration. Isn’t it too cute for words? It brings out the adventurous lady in me. I think I need a 1920s adventuress outfit with jodhpurs and a belted linen jacket!
For more links on Egyptomania, check out this one from The Cat’s Pajamas, this slide show of Egyptian inspired theatre design, and this post at Tea with the Vintage Baroness. Jill of the Vintage Baroness blog also wrote a great article that you can read in PDF format here.
If you’re interested in a little DIY Egyptomania the Vintage Pattern Lending Library has a pattern for embroidered Egyptian dress trims. Although it’s not very period I also spotted some Egyptian print silk fabric on this website.
Hope you’re all having a lovely week!
>Though not both together or at the same time
I finished my crocheted sweater! Well, nearly- all it needs are snaps at the shoulder and it’s done. I have tried it on and it fits! Hurrah! I will need to snap a few photos for the old blog soon
So I’ve moved on to another crochet project. I can honestly say I’m hooked (heh, get it?). I’m honestly not sure which I like better- crochet or knitting. I always thought I would prefer knitting, but now I have to say that crochet is in the lead. For some reason I find my brain wraps around the technical aspects a bit easier, and I like how quickly the projects come together! I am finding it difficult, however, to find vintage patterns that are for yarn and not crochet thread. This is from this free pattern at A Good Yarn and there’s lots of very lovely free knitting and crochet patterns from the same era on this same site.
I’ve been slowly working on (read: procrastinating working on) the Bustle dress. I was a bit distracted over the weekend by nice friend visits and laziness. We had rather nice weather here, so spent part of Saturday outside in a sunhat reading 1940s Ladies Home Journal magazines and drinking Coca Cola and eating ice cream. Now, really, I think that’s a fair trade for sewing time.
I did get this mock up together last night. The dress form and I are *ahem* differently shaped, but for a first go it’s not so bad. This is a combination of two Truly Victorian patterns (one Natural Form and one Early Bustle) with a bit of fiddling to get them to line up correctly and shorten the back peplum, but I think I want to fiddle with the line of the peplum a bit more, as it still has a bit too early of a look for what I wanted to go for. I’m planning on swooping up the sides a bit and probably shortening the back peplum. I also haven’t even really tried on this muslin. When I previously made TV patterns I shortened them two whole inches- one around the waist and one across to shorten the armscye, but I wanted to give it a go again and see if my figure has changed a bit (which I think it has- I don’t believe I’ve made one in over three years). I’ll pull out the corset, put on the layers, and give this basic bodice a go after I fiddle a bit with the hemline/peplum.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! And if you haven’t seen it, make sure you check out Casey’s blog for a giveaway of the Sailor Playsuit Pattern!
>I discovered this cute little needle case hidden in a box I had put away of other vintage paper goodies. Notice that although the case was meant for women, the back cover says “Men Prefer the Times”, although women will find it “an accurate and dependable guide and aid in setting the new home in order.” What a little thing like a needle case can do… (bonus points if you know the context of that little spoof).
In other news, contacted a few times recently about having issues loading my blog- I know you probably can’t comment if you’re having issues, but I’ll be looking into it this week and see if I can figure something out! Maybe removing some pictures or links or background will help, and while hopefully I don’t have to change it too much expect a little change visually over here while I sort it out next week
Hope you all have a great weekend!
>Off and on the past few months I’ve been trying to pick up crochet. I started with little swatches, moved to an entirely overly-ambitious sweater which I will be lucky to finish, and have now been going through my vintage magazines and booklets looking for simple little projects I think I could tackle. I’m not sure, but I might be able to make this up It reminds me of Irene Castle!
This little cap has a darling caption for the photograph- “A fairy web of a cap to keep the hair in order when motoring to the country club dance.” Too bad some little munchkin thought their pencil would make the lady better looking!
Click on the image for a larger version to save or print
This pattern comes from The Modern Priscilla, July 1924.
Enjoy! If you end up making it up please share pictures
>My mom gave me a lovely vintage magazine yesterday! I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from inside- and could possibly make rosettes to decorate dainty lingerie, evening gowns, or even pretty pillows and accents for the boudoir! This dates to 1922. Enjoy!
Click on the image for a larger version.
For instructions to do hemstitching and picoted edges, check out this article on VintageSewing.info