Friday, February 27, 2015

Excerpts From the Past • 1940s Pattern Book

I can't believe it's already been a week since my first "Excerpts From the Past" post!
Today I am sharing a delightful pattern book that actually has no date on it, but looks to be from somewhere in the mid-1940s. It is a book showcasing "Laura Wheeler" Designs, which you could then order the pattern for through the mail. I wish the patterns were still available!

I am having a blast coming up with photo props for these magazine pictures! Today we have my little tomato pin cushion, which I searched for for days before I found it. I ordinarily use a little cupcake one that a friend gave me, so I hadn't seen this little guy in ages! He is pretty iconic.
The bird scissors is a gift from my dad.
The spools of thread are from a very dear friend who passed away last year. They sit up on top of our sewing room ribbon board, reminding us of her.
The needle case is actually full of sewing machine needles for my great-grandma's treadle machine. 
And last, but not least, is the doily made by the same great-grandma. We have bunches of them; I am determined to learn how to make them sooner or later and carry on the legacy!

Unfortunately, this book is in rough shape, but I tried to retouch the scans as much as I could. I hope you enjoy!

First off is a "Jiffy-knit" blouse, which looks very fun to make. And really, crocheted shoes/slippers? That's amazing! Especially when they look so cute!

This weskit is very pretty; someday perhaps I will conquer cables. Right now, however, cables have the victory over me.

This page showcases all kinds of doilies and embroidery patterns. I love seeing the pineapple designs! When we were on vacation, we visited a mansion in which we learned all about pinapples and hospitality. That mansion had pineapples on bedposts, chandeliers, chairs and doilies!
Pineapples hold so much more meaning after hearing that! Not only do they taste good, but they're friendly too. ;)

Ooooh! An apron! With ruffles!! I can't believe I haven't made a pinafore apron yet. That's definitely going on my "make" list right now.
I have never made a slip cover, but as the magazine says, they are "magic to a faded room - the answer to a housewife's prayer." That sounds like it could come in handy someday!

This is one of my favorite pages; the apron is of course adorable, but the hats are so lovely! I love those "fascinators" that they wore back then. So cute!
The pillbox hat on the left reminds me very much of Sense & Sensibility's Pearl Harbor Hat Pattern. I need to wear mine again!

Ahh. More aprons. The little girl's apron is just too cute!! What could be more adorable? The other pinafores are equally as pretty with the lovely rose, zinnia and "luscious fruit" designs.

I have to confess, this is my favorite page out of the whole book. These have got to be the cutest little dolls I've ever seen. And the neat part is, they're not all just for girls! Look at those soldier and sailor dolls! I always am pondering what sort of things a person could sew for a little boy, and this has most definitely made the list. I can't wait to make one (or two...) someday!

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  1. What a lovely book. I just adore those doilies and crochet slippers :)

    1. Thank you, Alecia!! I love those slippers too - they're just so cute!

  2. Everything in this book is so cute! I'm in love with the embroidery; the peacock designs especially! It makes me really want to sew now. :D

    1. Thanks, Milky Usagi! I love the embroidery as well! :)

  3. Oh my! Those dolls are so cute! And I love the rose apron. So delightful!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Aren't those dolls the best?! Thanks, Brigid! I'm enjoying this Magazine Monday trend, by the way!! :)

  4. Oh, I love that cabled sweater! I just bought a vintage knitting book with a really similar one that I want to make.
    I so want to learn to make doilies as well. My paternal grandmother, Mema, makes the most beautiful ones. She is the one who taught me to knit. So now she's teaching me crochet. :) She learned growing up\in Germany at school!
    Those dolls are too cute!

    1. That cabled sweater is very cute! You could definitely make one.
      Pretty much all I need to learn about doilies is patience - the crocheting part I already have down. ;)
      In fact, I'm actually a much more proficient crocheter than I am a knitter. But I'm trying to be equal. :)
      I can't wait to see your crocheting creations! They're bound to be beautiful!!
      Thanks, Miss Michelle!!

  5. Ester, a lovely post. I hope you have made an apron with "ruffles" since this post. I wear an apron all day every day (I work as a maid). However not such a pretty one in your post. I do however have what I call "hostess Pinnies" that I wear for special occasions, which are full length with shoulder/bib ruffles and a ruffled hem. a bit like this. Best Wishes, Kim.


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