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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1939 Pattern Book, 1941 Fashion Booklet, and Paper Ephemera · Estate Sale Findings

Since my last post on estate sale findings was well-received, I've decided to make a "first Wednesday of the month" habit of sharing some of my latest finds. :-)

I have a strong draw towards old paper ephemera- something about old snap/button cards, needle books, advertisements, and news clippings just give me a thrill!  It's a good thing that I'm naturally a "no clutter" type..... because I'm already getting bad enough. ;-P  Consequently, my paper finds were top on the list to share for this new series!  I've saved you the pain of looking at every last piece of old paper that's passed into my hands, and I limited myself to 2 of my most interesting recent finds. ;-)

First up: a Spring/Summer 1941 Fashions and Fabrics booklet.  Advance patterns teamed up with JC Penny fabrics to produce this informative, inspirational piece.  The pages are perforated, so I guess you were supposed to tear out your favorites to.... take to the store with you? hang on a bulletin board? etc??  The result is that almost all the pages are hanging on by threads and I'm not really sure how many are already missing!  But it holds together sufficiently, notwithstanding. ;-)



The booklet starts off by introducing the colors of the season as well as featuring a rather in-depth look at hosiery.


Wow, I didn't realize there were so many variations on hosiery colors!  Each is recommended for particular clothing colors.


The featured colors are Old Glory Red, Old Glory Blue, California Sun, Nassau Pink, Colony Brown, and Limestone Beige.  The following page discusses shoe and heel styles, tips for picking a purse, notes on gloves, and info on different kinds of leather!


The main portion of the booklet shows a double-page spread of dress styles including information on the patterns and swatches of fabric that can be purchased at JC Penny!  Sadly, this is the only page with all of the swatches intact, but many pages still feature some of their fabrics.


I wish you could still buy all these wonderful fabrics!  The cotton on the right has a ribbed weave and the cotton on the right features sheer stripes in the weave.




Of course, tapping into my love for random ephemera.... my favorite part of receiving things like this are finding what odds and ends get tucked inside over the decades!  This booklet was chock full of random clippings from the former owner!

They range from other flyers about patterns (Hollywood Patterns, June 1942) to random catalog pages and clippings to a "Sewing Tips for Success" article to a newspaper clipping of a poem written by a mother for her 23 year old son serving in the military to advice on how to get rid of silverfish.  Yep, you never know what you'll find! ;-)



I especially love the clippings of dresses that echo the styles already in the booklet- it was obvious that the owner made good use of this book!
Also interesting was the 1950s clipping I found.  It was the only anachronistic item- makes me curious about the back-story of how it got included!


Another fun find- someone's custom pattern pieces!  I'm guessing the pieces on the left are for tap pants (they're only marked "front" and "back"), and the pieces on the right are for a bodice back and (very puffy!) sleeve.  Too cool!

The second item is one of my favorite purchases.... ever.



Does anyone else have serious, serious issues buying things?  Please tell me I'm not the only one who agonizes All. The. Time. and  rarely buys anything of her own volition....  Judging by my blog, you might think I buy lots of things. And all the time.  But let me tell you- I have *such* a hard time biting the bullet and purchasing anything! Truly, ask my friends- I live my life as though my official title is The Queen of Agonizing. :-P
My mom usually joins me on shopping trips, which is a good thing.  I probably wouldn't buy anything if I didn't have her there saying "just buy it already!!"  Well, on this particular trip, I was out of state and without my trusty Purchase Encourager so when I found this May 1939 McCall Pattern Book I did more than my fair share of agonizing.  I was *this close* to leaving it at the store.  So glad I didn't. ;-)



It's in pretty sad condition, but that doesn't bother me a bit. ;-)
I had no idea that they had pattern books just like the modern ones 80 years ago!  It's so fun to see how little has changed over the decades.








I loved these aprons!  So fun!  And the rust evening gown is one of my very favorites. :-)








I have a great love for folk-style embroidery, and let me tell you- apparently 1939 is a good year for that!!




Pre-teen/teen styles.  I love these....




Some of my favorites from the children's section.... oh, how I wish I could still order all these patterns!!  (isn't that "Seven Dwarfs" pattern cute?!)




While I love most vintage, I will admit that every era still has some "fails".  Case in point- these "bell hop overalls".  Just, wow.  Also, not a big fan of this style on the left!  I guess it goes to show that those 1980s/90s styles weren't completely original! :-P



Here's an idea of how cut-up some of the pages are.... kind of sad.  But! I like to think about how some girl probably got this book from her mom to cut up for collages.  Or perhaps some woman cut into it to put her favorites in a central location, much like the 1941 booklet! ;-)  At any rate, it's been well-loved over the decades, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon. :-)


If there are any details or other pages from either of these books that you'd especially like to see- please let me know!  I'd be happy to take more pictures. :-)  It was so very hard to narrow this post down to less than 50 pictures!

28 comments:

  1. What a great find! Particularly the 1939 pattern book. I would love to wear/sew the majority of the dresses. (In the passage with the featured colours I read 'nausea pink', oops :-) )

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    1. Haha! That's hilarious- nausea pink, indeed! ;-)

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  2. Beautiful - thanks so much for sharing! I've gotten a lot of inspiration for designing now!

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  3. Oh, yummy! I adore late 30s and early 40s fashions so this is right up my alley!

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  4. Oh my goodness that McCall's book! Such a find!

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  5. Both of these finds are positively stellar Lily! But how. on. earth! could you even THINK of leaving that 1939 McCall Pattern book behind?!? If I found that I would hold onto it and not let go until I left the store! :D
    I would love to see a more up close picture of the separates patterns. They look positively lovely! And all the dresses... sigh...

    Thanks so much for sharing dear!

    Brigid
    the Middle Sister and Singer

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    1. Brigid, yeah... I know, I can't believe I almost didn't buy it either! So glad I did! ;-)

      I'll make a note to put up more pictures of the separates- they might be a while in coming, but rest-assured it'll happen. ;-)

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  6. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I thought the first booklet was the best thing since sliced bread, but then I saw the second one!!! I could never pick a favorite - they're all SO gorgeous! (Except perhaps the ones you mentioned....;) )
    Thank you so much for sharing these pictures! They're so inspirational and fun to look at!!
    I'm on a vintage-kids'-outfit-sewing-kick right now, so I'll definitely be referencing these kids' outfit pictures. SO cute!!

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  7. Ahhh! SO FUN! And yeah. Picked out the rust evening gown even before I read it was your favorite. You already have a fabulous 30's evening gown - so I call dibs! 'K? ;-)

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    1. HA. Yeah, I don't think so. Sorry. ;-)

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  8. Ooh! Thanks for sharing! I loved getting to see these styles! I have to agree entirely about the love of old papers and such. :)
    And, the shopping dilemma: yes, that is me totally! :P I usually rely on siblings or my Mum to encourage me to go ahead and spend my money on something I love! My most recent victory was a small 1940's/1950's blue hat which thankfully was still at the store after I reluctantly DIDN'T buy it the first week. After a week of thought, I knew I had to get it if it was still there the next visit. And indeed, I'm glad I did because usually hats are too small for my head and it was only $4.00 and I love it. :)
    -Marjo

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    1. Marjo, oh wow! Yes, you should *definitely* pick up any hats you find at that price! Sounds wonderful! :-)

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  9. These are the kind of finds dreams are made of! I would love to own pattern books from the 30's, 40's, or 50's! I have several Favorited on etsy for a rainy day in the future when I can hopefully afford them. This one you have from 39 is so amazing! What a treasure, thank you so much for sharing it!

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  10. WOW, those booklets are incredible! I could look through those pictures for hours. I'm glad I'm not the only person who keeps buying things like this. Although I can only hope to find something like you have found here. You have some truly wonderful finds there. The fabrics are just beautiful.
    Www.pearlsandpurlsvintage.blogspot.com

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  11. Oh my goodness, these are amazing! Just a thought, but you should totally scan the pages and make a couple of e-books from these. I know I would love to see the rest of the pictures, and I'm sure many others do too! Thank you for sharing these, they really are wonderful :)

    Naomi
    teenyboppinalong.blogspot.com

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    1. Naomi, that sounds like a great idea! I would be quite an undertaking as the pattern book is a couple hundred pages, but I'll keep it in mind. :-)

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  12. Such fun books! I love looking at all the pictures! So glad you did not pass up on that pattern booklet!

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  13. Oh wow!! What wonderful finds! That fabric book is a treasure! Thanks for the peek inside! It is so neat to see vintage fabrics and patterns with such bold, brand new looking colors!

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  14. So, so great! I love your estate sale posts; keep the pictures coming! :)

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  15. If such were literally possible, my jaw would be grazing the ground. What stupendously awesome finds, sweet dear. Lucky you!!! Thank you for sharing, I will be daydreaming about them for weeks!

    ♥ Jessica

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  16. Oooh, I am so jealous! I especially love the 1940s photo of the girl in the brown/brown check dress. Now I'm going to have to look through my patterns and see if I can find something similar enough to make a facsimile. Just lovely!

    ~Kristen - Verity Vintage Studio

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  17. What great finds! That pattern book is wonderful. Now you've got me plotting how I can steal one from the fabric store and lock it away for 50 years.

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    1. LOL! I know! You never know how valuable the "junk" of today could be in 80 years! ;-)

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  18. Thanks for your comments! I'm so, so glad this was a popular post! I'd love to share more, and I'm glad I have an eager audience. :-)

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  19. You are totally not alone in agonizing over purchases. My kryptonite is one of a kind vintage items that I may never find again.

    I wonder if some of the pattern book pages were cut up for paper dolls?

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    1. Oooh! Paper dolls- what a fascinating thought! I am now officially jealous of the little girl from 1939 that got free reign of this book to make paper dolls. ;-)

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  20. These are amazing finds and I am so glad that you didn't leave the 1939 pattern book behind. What a fantastic resource!

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  21. Oh, how have I not commented on this before! The deliciousness of these vintage ephemera is beyond me! The illustrations of the Advance and McCall booklets go straight to my heart, and the folk-inspired embroidery?! Oh my goodness gravy. Perfection.

    Thanks for sharing, Lily!

    xo,
    -Charlotte
    boyerfamilysingersblog.com

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