1910- Irish Crochet Trimmings for Dresses- AND the Sahlin Perfect Form

It’s time for a pattern freebie! Although this is quite vague, these lovely Irish crochet motifs are from the May, 1910 issue of McCall’s Magazine. And a bit of a rabbit hole into a few advertisements for bust shaping that originally appeared on one of these pages.

Click on the images for a larger version you can save and print. Don’t forget to save all three!

I added two advertisements to the last image, as it was only a tiny portion of a page. Both of these advertisements are from the same page in the May, 1910 magazine (though reformatted to fit). Both of these advertisements are aimed at women with a smaller chest and are marketing their product to help with the fashionable silhouette.

Here’s a closer look for those who aren’t interested in printing the pages.

“The only garment that, without padding or interlining, produces the stylish high bust, straight waist, and long hip. No pressure on heart, lungs, or stomach. Braces the shoulders, expands the chest naturally. Ask your dealer for “SAHLIN” and look for the name, which is your guarantee. Order from us if he cannot supply you. Money refunded if not satisfactory.

For medium, medium tall or tall figures. Made in white or drab coutille, also white batiste. Give actual waist measure, bust measure desired, length from armpit to waistline.”

If you’d like to see an extant Sahlin Perfect Form and Corset Combined, you can see it here at the Underpinnings Museum. And another here at the Met.

If you’d like to make your own Sahlin Perfect Form, The Boudoir Key on Etsy has a downloadable pattern! I haven’t tried them, myself, but they look very intriguing. If you try one, do let us know how you like it!

For more reading on the Sahlin Perfect Form, read these articles:

RedThreaded: “What the Heck is a Bust Bodice?”

Witness 2 Fashion: “Steps on the Way: 1914-1924” (Psst- you can see my “Eliza” dress reproduction in one of the images in this blog post as shown in the same McCall issue).

Wearing History (me): An earlier example of a Sahlin corset cover advert.

Nature’s Rival is an air form corset-waist. Yes, you read that right. It’s an inflatable bra, essentially.

“A Perfect Bust May be Had By Wearing Nature’s Rival Air-Form Corset Waist. Designed especially for flat-chested women and for those who are not fully developed at the bust line.

It is a comfortable garment, slipped on and worn like an ordinary corset waist, with or without corset, delicately inflated and giving the full rounded bust form of a finely built woman. Even your dressmaker can scarcely detect it by touch or sight. Absolutely natural; easily adjusted; light; cool and sanitary; laundered like any waist. It will give perfect bust lines. Write today for illustrated bookless with full information. Send dealer’s name. If not fully satisfied after 30 days’ trial your money will be refunded. Agents wanted. Weighs only 4 ounces.”

For more reading:

Witness 2 Fashion: “The Rapidly Changing Corseted Shape: 1901-1910”

Witness 2 Fashion: “Steps on the Way: 1914-1924” (also linked above).

These two bust forms perhaps deserve their own blog post. I may just do that later, with the same information (and maybe a little more).

As always, if posting elsewhere (including Pinterest), please credit back to Wearing History, as I scanned these from my antique magazine archives. Thanks! And happy crocheting or researching!

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