September 20, 2012

Vintage inspiration for autumn

Have you started sewing for autumn (or spring, if you're in the southern hemisphere) yet?
I have to confess I'm a bit slow to start this year. Mojo issues, don't ask.
But that hasn't stopped me from looking through my vintage (sewing) magazines and dreaming about all those pretty things...

I thought I'd share one of those with you today. The following images are all 
from Modes et Travaux for October 1951. This was a French sewing and craft magazine which was sold in the Netherlands with translated texts. Unfortunately, all the sewing patterns were only available by mail order, so it didn't come with any patterns.

The magazine opens with fashion news. An update on the new fashionable silhouette. All the dresses pictured here were by famous designers and patterns were definitely not available. I just love the draped bits on that Dior...

Then, the patterns start. Coats, suits and dresses share a spread. What do you think about that furry (looks like Persian lamb) shoulder and collar combo on the coat in the center? It looks so elegant in the drawing...

This is the other side of the same spread. How about that raglan sleeved plissee dress?

Then, there are festive dresses. I just adore that sleek long one on the right.

It's funny. I think I've got some Dutch magazines (mostly Marion) from the same year and the designs in those are all proper, buttoned-up domesticity. These French ones on the other hand, display an obvious joy-de-vivre... and cleavage.

Of course, there are also hats for the new season. This glamorous beret even comes with a scaled-down pattern.

And then more dresses, coats and suits... Ah, must find source for plissee....

I'll skip a little bit, just to avoid repeating myself and/or making this post super picture-heavy. 

And we're on to the coloured pages. You just don't see coordinated three piece sets anymore, do you?

This luxuary magazine even has more than one coloured page inside. On this spread I love the chic suit in the center as well as that a-symmetrical dress on the far right.

After that, it's two pages of children's patterns, different embroidery projects, some recipes and some knitting. I'll just show you the most flamboyant example of the latter.

These sleeveless knitted tops. Were these for evening wear? The Dutch translation just speaks of using de-luxe yarns for them, with some sparkle for those gold lines. 

What do you think, is there any inspiration there for an autumn/winter 2012 wardrobe?


  1. These are gorgeous! I'm sure you can incorporate some of these elements into an autumn/winter wardrobe.

  2. So much fun to look at! I've been basically paging through my patterns and sighing, too.

    These are so lovely to look at---some really fun necklines. Those swing coats always look so fabulous in the 50s illustrations, although I'm never quite convinced I would look that glamorous---I can't help but think I'd just end up looking like an expensive potato-sack. I really like that fur yoke/collar contrast---it'd be lovely in a satin vs. a wool coating, or maybe a coordinating boucle or something textural... I kind of have coats on the brain right now, although I'm not convinced I have the time/concentration to actually tackle any.