Tag Archives: textile patterns

Gramie and Grampi Cut the Cake, 1960

“Gramie and Grampi with the cake Annie made for you,” reads the message on the back of this photo.  At first I thought this might be an anniversary celebration cake for the older couple, but the caption tells a different … Continue reading

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Mother and Daughter on a Windy Day

What a difference in style between mother and daughter!  The mother wears either a shirtwaist dress or a shirt and skirt combination in a conservative polka dot pattern.  From this angle her boots look almost flat.  Maybe she had problem … Continue reading

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Bolero Style, Late 1940s

I know better than to comment on women’s style choices, since we are now in the era of “anything goes.”  If I’m honest, however, I think this woman is dressing a little young for her age.  Everything about her outfit … Continue reading

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Pattern Mixing, Early 20th Century Edition

A quick glance at fashion pages these days shows that pattern mixing–combing gingham with florals or dots with plaids–is on trend right now. You might think it is all part of the “anything goes” style philosophy of the current era. … Continue reading

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Sewing and Chatting, 1970

Home sewing can be an isolating activity, but not if you take your work outside.  I wonder what the woman on the left is doing.  Darning? Hemming? Making a couture outfit by hand? Whatever it is, she has a friend … Continue reading

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Sewing Classes in Chicago, ca. 1960

September is National Sewing Month, and I’m happily turning my attention away from our fraught political climate to find photos of older women practicing this craft.  The American Sewing Guild, of which I’m a member, calls sewing “an art and … Continue reading

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

Polka Dots or Stripes?

Let me make a confession—I don’t like polka dots.  Delving into fashion history has made me realize that I have very strong opinions about textile patterns in general.  From the outset I knew I didn’t like flowered patterns. Geometric designs … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s | Tagged | 4 Comments

Lucy’s Navy Blue Polka Dot Dress

In her memoir Don’t Sing at the Table (2010), the best-selling author Adriana Trigiani tells a wonderful fashion anecdote from her childhood.  When she was about eleven, in the late seventies, she noticed that her maternal grandmother, Lucy, only had … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Summer Outfit, Mid 1930s

When I found this photo on eBay, I originally thought the pattern was dots—and I was about to launch into an essay on the love of dotted fabric in the 1930s.  However, once I enlarged it the pattern looked more … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, General | Tagged | 2 Comments

Pola Stout in Pola Stout

Since Lizzie Bramlett of the blog The Vintage Traveler has been covering the fascinating work of Hollywood designer Adrian, I remembered an old post I wrote about one of his main textile designers, Pola Stout. I accidentally eliminated it some … Continue reading

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