Thursday, 30 August 2012

Vintage haberdashery adverts.

As well as the glorious patterns for all manner of crafts in my old magazines I also really enjoy looking at the adverts. I could talk about all manner of adverts, those for reducing (in size), tampons (as they developed), custard, shoes or bleach. Perhaps one day I will as they are a fascinating insight into the way people lived, product development and the gradual evolution of ideas and ideals. Because my latest magazine haul was Needlewoman and Needlecraft I want to focus on haberdashery adverts as, obviously, that is the most fitting product to advertise in that type of magazine. Plus, I love haberdashery. It is pretty, its is functional, it is interesting and most of all it is full of potential; just waiting for you to come along, make a choice and produce something gorgeous with it.

It is worth taking a look at the Woolworth's Museum site (random I know), for its 1950s haberdashery displays . Woolworths stores all had a large haberdashery department selling buttons, wool, knitting and sewing patterns. The site has pictures of these plus pictures of store windows showing a display for wool week or for making do and mending.

I think this is brilliant. The bonkers curtains, the lovely
colours, the shapes, her beautiful dress and hair.

I like Anchor adverts. Great colours again and a fancy
cross stitch tablecloth is always good.

I'm not convinced that she would do her own mending
but she does lend an air of glamour to the proceedings.

Same with her, I think the wonderful hair and make-up
would not leave enough time to personalise her dainties
with embroidery. I think a maid is lurking in the background.

What a fabulous display of threads. Spoilt for choice!

Janet, Alison and Enid. All three of them give great jumper.
And hair.
Enid is 'striking the happy medium between primness and
Alison is 'all for cosiness so this long sleeved style is more
suitable for me'.
Janet says ' how do you like the bright little idea I'm wearing

Wool snake. Wool snake charmer. Magic carpet.
Great colours. Can't beat it!

Showing you the 'smartest ways of using the best bias
binding of all'.

I would like to think that she is called Melody as well
as the wool. I love the cardi, I'm not sure I will ever
have the patience to make it.

'These little folk are happy all day long, at the seaside,
in bathing suits of Crocus wool. They are warm and
comfortable and do not shrink or loose their shape'.

Featuring a' backless suit for sunbathers, a fancy
pattern for two bright colours and knickers and
a brassiere to make a novel two piece bathing suit'.

Colour. Beautiful.

Good to have a reliable zip for all situations.

Excellent. Women can crochet and be intelligent. Quite

Little boxes of colourful delights.

Anchor had to feature an anchor at some point really.

I agree that the women have glamour.
The thread though?

Lovely embroidered tea cosy.

Nice to see how the transfer and stitching work.

I realised that I have had my own small connection to haberdashery for many years as I went to school in London at Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Girl's School. It was the longest name of a school in the country at the time but it has changed name now. Whilst it sounds ever so posh it wasn't at all, the name is due to the founder of the school, a Robert Aske, who was a Haberdasher. In 1689 he died and left £20,000 to the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers (of which he was a member), to buy land and build a school. The Haberdashers were founded in medieval times by a group of traders who all lived in the same place in London and all worshipped at St. Paul's Cathedral. They sold ribbons, pins, gloves, purses and beads and were joined by the Hatmakers in 1502. They were like the trading standards of the day in charge of checking quality, training apprentices and setting wages amongst other things. They controlled the haberdashery trade in London until 1650 when the population of London grew too large for it to be practical. They now exist as a City of London Livery Company and concentrate on education and charity work.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Latest vintage magazine finds.

When I go out and about I am always on the lookout for charity shops, antique centres, vintage fairs and quirky little places where I might find some treasure! Most often I look on my own as the people I am with tend not to have the same capacity or desire to sift through piles of 'junk' - as they see it! So each to their own, I have a very happy time! In the Lake District last week I stumbled across a mini treasure trove. I expected my week to be full of walking, looking at beautiful mountains and trying various tea and cake establishments. All of that happened too, but the randomness of my find added to the delight of finding it! I think I let out a little squeal when I found a pile of Needlewoman magazines from the 1930s and some Needlewoman and Needlecraft magazines from the 1950s.

I love old craft magazines for a variety of reasons. Obviously they are a marvellous source of patterns for garments from past eras. Most of them have knitting patterns and I have found some beautiful jumpers and cardigans to put on my list of things to make. I like seeing the ideas for household items, it gives a real sense of what a period home would have looked like. Sometimes I am amazed at the array of embroidered tablecloths, chair backs, table runners, place mats, napkins, stools, firescreens and pictures. I wonder how anyone had time to produce such things. I enjoy the physical feel of something old in my hands. I like to think about the previous owner - what did they make out of it?, what did they wear?, where did they live?, what was their house like?, what have they lived through? I particularly like the connection that is made when the magazine has a surname and address on the back, for a subscription delivery.

The following pictures are of the front cover of each of the magazines, starting with the oldest. From these alone I think that you get a real feel for the wealth of needlecraft projects contained within, from embroidery to crochet to tapestry to knitting to cross stitch to applique.

Highlights the free transfer available in this issue,
featuring 'four lovely little flower sprays arranged in a
surrounding border of single Forget-Me-Not
flowers'. The suggested use is for a drawing room or
boudoir blotter cover.

This cover features the design for a cushion that
is part of a garden tea set. Other ideas in the set are
a firescreen, a pouffe, a tea cosy, a chair back and
a table runner.

A bowl or roses in cross stitch - 'a beautiful theme in
a favourite stitch, rich and luxurious to behold'.

An embroidered wall panel.

An applique market scene.

The most beautiful cable and fair isle peplum jumper.

An applique bowl full of silk embroidered anemones.

'Like all good traditional designs, Jacobean embroidery is
very pleasing to every generation and it is perfectly
suitable in our modern home'.

A firescreen featuring a 'distinctive design with a quiet
blending of colour reminiscent of the English designs
of the Regency period'.

An autumnal luncheon set of six, featuring oak, elm,
mountain ash, beech, chestnut and sycamore leaves.

An embroidered Kentish scene.

Cross stitch design for chair and settee backs.

Embroidered spring posy tablecloth.

Alpine beauty picture - to 'retain your happy holiday
These magazines have an interesting background. Needlecraft was first published in 1904 by Manchester School of Embroidery. In October 1907 it had a change of title to Needlecraft Practical Journal. In 1940 this title amalgamated with The Needlewoman magazine. This had been running since 1919 and continued until 1940. At this point the title became Needlewoman and Needlecraft. It changed back to Needlewoman in 1970 and then was incorporated into Stitchcraft magazine in 1977. Throughout all its name changes the magazine continued to feature a huge array of needlecraft patterns, tips and ideas. The magazines also changed size, particularly during the Second World War to account for paper shortages.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Fashion Scrapbooks 1968-1969

I'm going to feature my favourite outfits and pictures from my mum's final scrapbooks in this post. It was very difficult to decide what to include and what to leave out. If you enjoy wearing 1960s vintage or 1960s style clothes these pictures provide great reference material, like a look book. They can be used to get ideas for accessorising, to make sure your shoes are right and don't forget that they show many different hair and make up ideas. It is not meant to be a complete history of 1960s fashion, just a taste and a glimpse as experienced by my mum at the time and seen by me forty odd years later!

I love these coloured line drawings of knitted dresses.

The middle outfit is referencing the Bonnie and Clyde look.

Accessories! Perspex angular bangles and earrings, coloured tights,
buckle details and two tone shoes.

A page from the Biba mail order catalogue.
The theme of the collection was pirates and gangsters.
The predominant colours were black, cream and oxblood.

Styling ideas.
White lace tights, neck scarves, paisley, playsuits.

A variety of skirt lengths.
Long gillets or waistcoats were common.

A beautiful array of shoes, including brogues and Mary Janes.
Coloured shoes, either two tone or multi coloured were very popular.
The square toes were comfortable and prevented bunions whilst still
being fashionable!

In 1969, partly due to The Beatles and Sergeant Pepper
there was a strong Indian, exotic and Harri Krishna influence
to fashion.

From the Biba catalogue, featuring skirts and long,
wide trousers. Tunic tops and blouses are worn with them.

The top centre picture features a gypsy style look which
was becoming popular.

The black bikini is influenced by Dr. No.
The black and white images are Biba bikinis.

Another Biba spread.
The clothes were long and fluid, with wide leg trousers
and 3/4 length tunics.

Two ways to wear knitted tank tops.
The pages of the Sunday Times magazine that mum used as her scrapbook
base are visible in this spread.

This picture represents the Eastern influence on clothes.
It is also a time of recreational drug use and flower power.

Autumn colours and lovely shoes.

A good selection of typical 1960s mini dresses.
The black, white and red one is Mod in style.

This spread is all about big patterns and big hair!

A range of underwear, interesting because it shows that writing
slogans on knickers is not a modern phenomenon.
It reads 'I'm all behind today'.

Satin underwear was becoming popular. This features underwired
bras and boy shorts. Scarves tied around the head were very

Again, scarves tied around the head feature as the main accessory.
This shows a good range of maxi dresses and long boots.