Tag Archives: sewing

How New was the “New Look”?

In many fashion histories, the “New Look” introduced by Christian Dior in 1948 is portrayed as nothing short of a revolution.  With his famous collection featuring soft shoulders, nipped waists, full skirts, and longer lengths, he singlehandedly ended prevailing World … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Who Was Mrs. Ralston?

If you have ever looked at issues of Ladies Home Journal in the early twentieth century, you probably have come across articles by one Mrs. Ralston.  She gave advice on current fashion trends for all age groups and answered questions … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s, 1920s | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Patterns of the Times

At the end of the 1940s and into the 1950s, the fashion editor of the New York Times, Virginia Pope, sponsored a series of patterns that were written up and advertised in the newspaper.  Published by the Advance Pattern Company, … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, 1950s | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Eight Hour Blazer, 1980

In 1980, McCall’s Patterns introduced a “working wardrobe” designed by Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch.  It included a blouse with collar variations (M7233), a skirt and pant pattern (M7234), and a blazer (M7263).  The fall 1980 McCall’s pattern magazine claimed: … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s | Tagged | 5 Comments

Home Sewing and Fast Fashion–Thinking about Waste

On the face of it, home sewing is the opposite of fast fashion.  It can take mere minutes to make a jacket in a factory; a homemade jacket takes hours if not days.  In the eighties, McCalls advertised an “eight … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s, General | Tagged | 7 Comments

My Homemade Travel Wardrobe

The internet phenomenon of Me-Made-May has once again got me thinking that I should show more of my own clothes on this blog. After all, I am an older (now 66) American woman who thinks a lot about clothes. Recently … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Book Review: American Style and Spirit

How do we know what people wore in the past?  There are many places to look—family photographs, letters, receipts, and of course the clothes themselves. Now imagine if you had all of these things and more, including pattern books, tear … Continue reading

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Lou Hoover at the Sewing Machine, 1932

A sucker for anything sewing related, I snatched up this ebay photo of Lou Hoover (1874-1944), wife of Herbert Hoover. I had never given Herbert Hoover’s wife any thought, but just a little research on the First Ladies website reveals … Continue reading

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The Embroidery Club of Orange, California 1914

It’s not all that easy to find photos of older women in costume.  Most of these happy ladies look young, but a few, center right, might be pushing fifty. Many have chosen decades past for their inspiration, but two have … Continue reading

Posted in 1910s | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mrs. Exeter in the Vogue Pattern Catalog

The stylish Mrs. Exeter never had her own pattern line—more’s the pity, I say.  But for older women who wanted a quick reference guide to patterns that might flatter their figures, Vogue pattern catalogs started to include a “Mrs. Exeter” … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s | Tagged , | 2 Comments