Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Inspiration from the archives

I bought these 2 books ages ago; Children's Fashions 1900 - 1950 and Everyday Fashions of the Twenties thinking they would make great source material when I get round to doing a bit of pattern cutting.

I think I may have gone too far back in time and probably should have focused from the 40's onwards, but I was thinking about 1920's Chanel dresses at the time, in hindsight, these wouldn't have been found in a Sears catalogue. None the less, they do make for fascinating (and very funny) reading. Here are a few of the highlights...

quite like a Christmas cracker

These are some of the oldest children's clothes in the book from 1910, there is so much to them, I can't imagine a child putting up with something so bulky these days - look how wide the shoulders are. The dress is almost symmetrical top and bottom.

yuckity yuk

Imagine dressing a child in furs? it gives me the creeps seeing the nose and tail of the animal.

what can he hear? the sound of his friends sniggering maybe?

I love the idea of dressing my son in Rufplay Rompers. They are for the Little Fellows. And are apparently, famous.

These girl's dresses are cute though, I like the peter pan collars and dropped waists.

More dropped waists, and some lovely pleat action. I'm not convinced how flattering these are though, maybe it's just the way they are drawn but they look quite masculine (if a man were to wear a drop waisted 1920's dress).

fun fun fun - do real kids look this jolly?

I love the middle outfit here on the bottom row, the polka dot blouse has a pretty tie.

no sunscreen in the 20's, so perhaps not that healthful

And if you are looking for "Gay sunshine clothes" which are so healthful (who isn't?), then here they are for 49c. How cute is the one of the left with the bubble skirt and ruffle sleeves?

Loving the jump suit on the left, if I wanted a suit to jump in, I'd be picking one of these up for $1 (or $1.98 in corduroy).

spade, pitch fork, pig pen - country chic

The pleats in the middle are so sharp, the lady in the crazy trousers on the left had watch out. Her trousers have hot rural buzz words on like 'spade' 'pitch fork' and 'pig pen'. I think I may include this idea in the next thing I make, but make them relevant to living in a city like Brighton. How about 'bus lane' 'pot hole' and 'Grubbs burgers'. It will be a new craze and remember you heard it here first.

my little fellow would put up the mother of all fights 
not to be dressed in a wash suit

More fashion for little fellows, this time rompers and wash suits. It would be great fun to dress my little fellow in something like this, but I can only imagine the fight he would put up. I have documented his criteria for getting dressed here. His rules haven't relaxed much.

M & S undies have nothing on these...

Phew, avert your eyes ladies, some cool athletic underwear on show.

Look at these gorgeous dresses, they are heading towards the Chanel I had in mind.

More cuteness in the form of Bob Hats. Such a shame we only wear hats for weddings these days. This could solve my bad-wavy-hair days. I miss being able hide my bird's nest under a woolly hat like I did in the winter.

My eye is drawn to the polka dot dress on the right, it reminds me of the dress from my pattern cutting course.

Finally some elegant ladies undies. Is the silhouette on the top left the end result? Then transport me back to the 1920's and I'll snap one up.


  1. I have Everyday Fashions of the Forties from the same series, and it's wonderful! The pages of shoes are a favourite of mine. I also have 'Blueprints of Fashion: Home Sewing Patterns of the 1950s', by Wade Laboissonneire...if you want to add more to your collection! Both are so fun to look through.

  2. Wow, those kids outfits are hilarious! I'm guessing not very practical for on the climbing frame... And I agree, kids in fur? Eeeewwww.

  3. I love the jumpsuit!! I think those pleated fronts and wide legs are very flattering, makes the waist look tiny (and who doesn't want that)!!
    P.S. Thanks for getting my order out so promptly. :)