Monday, November 27, 2017

Knitted Suit for Autumn Thrills


vintage winter wear


As of late, leaves, rain and snow have begun to fall and there has been a distinctive chill in the air. The kind of chill that reminds me that is now here to linger for a while. When the weather begins to settle into this set, I long for cozy woolen dresses and skirts, tailored suits and coats, and trim sculpted hats. I also have a desire to look for knitted goods to add to me vintage look that tends to lean towards the 40s more than anything else. A few months back, I can across the ultimate vintage knitted kind in the back of a closet at an estate sale: a knitted suit! Fashioned out of blue with a vibrant trimming of geometric shapes in teal, white, red, yellow, black, and an assortment of greys, I think this suit is really incredible. My mom on the other hand does not agree too much but that this the beautiful thing about vintage, it has a beauty all its own in its own unique way.
vintage winter wear

vintage winter wear

vintage winter wear


This truly incredible ensemble is, I think, form the 30s or 40s and although somewhat faded along the jacket shoulder, is in incredible, very wearable, condition. I cannot knit or crochet so when I want that knitted garment, I have to find it and I most certainly did here. Luckily for me, this suit fits me beautifully and was right in my budget (even better yet, yes?). This is also another great find for me too because I have a distinctive soft spot or suits, and here is a knitted suit! The best of two worlds really.
vintage winter wear

vintage winter wear

vintage winter wear


So far I have not really worn it too much because I have been working on getting that famous “estate smell” smell out and although it was a bit of an uphill battle, I think I have the bulk of it out. Reflecting on it. That really is the only flaw, besides the fading, to this little outfit. The buttons are all there, the loops are intact and the belt is there too (although it is stitched in place). As a whole, this is possibly the best piece of vintage knit wear I own because it is so large, is in three pieces: the skirt, the jacket, and the belt to tie it all together. How often does one find something like this?
vintage winter wear

vintage winter wear


vintage winter wear

vintage winter wear


So far, I am quite happy with this find and have worn it here and there. It is quite warm too I will add and looks well with most of my white blouses. I think in the future I may try to pair it with some other colored ones like a red or even a yellow. As for hats, for this time, I paired it with a small navy one and I have plans for a more fitting one I found in my copy of “Made and Mend for Victory”. Other elements, a red beaded necklace and red screw back earrings.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fur Jackets, 1941


1940s Lutterloh patterns German WWII fashion


As the cold begins to really set in, we begin to gravitate towards warmer layers. Today, I offer you some jacket patterns from 1941 that can be made in a fur like illustrated or even a nice winter weight wool. The patterns themselves are really not that simple and what makes them complex are all the darts within the pattern that really make the jacket fit and tailored. If anything, the top one, B is less of a challenge to get right than the bottom one, A, but that really is all up to you and your own skill set.  I think to make one of these in wool to show case the darts and lines would make a fascinating one. Each jacket closes with buttons and has pockets. The pockets are patch pockets with no pattern given, they are free handed drafted using the dotted lines below as a rough guide.  Below, the pattern card:
1940s Lutterloh patterns German WWII fashion
Need the ruler? Let me know!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Sweet Pea Skirt



Well, here we are, Thanksgiving and I hope you are all having a very happy holiday out there. I know that it is November and the chill is certainly setting in but did you know that there are still flowers out? Roses are one of them and did you know that they will blossom and bloom until the first frost? It is true. I fondly remember a Thanksgiving day when we still had roses out and there was snow on the ground. For this look, I was still playing with the idea of a jacket paired with a contrasting skirt again  and here is another interpretation. Although last time I used a dress, this look uses only separates and still has that same feel.




Anyway, that takes me to today's look with a simple cotton skirt in a very colorful floral print which, I think, are sweet peas in an assortment of blues, purples, pinks, and reds. For the skirt pattern, I used a Lutterloh dress skirt pattern that I had great luck with in the past. I knew I did not want anything fancy in the skirt so that is why I picked a very plain pattern. Besides, the print was so busy that anything else would have been too much.


To complete this look, I layered it with a blouse, a cherry red suit jacket and my classic coat. The blouse was one I made a long time ago from a 30s pattern and features a ruffled jabot which peeks out of the jacket so charmingly I think. Since there is some nice red and pinks in the skirt, I wanted a red jacket to play that color up a bit. The jacket itself is a late 40s piece and has a matching skirt. Now that I look at the pictures, I see that the reds go in a diagonal . . what a nice detail . . .It is funny  the things you see after the thought. . . .
To top of this look, I chose a black hat, my corde bag, and a pair of modern shoes that still have that vintage look to them. . . .


Monday, November 20, 2017

Quite a New Look . . . A Dress and Jacket

I have been wanting to play around with the look of a dress and a jacket worn on top because it looks so easy and classically 40s. For this attempt, I chose to try my floral square necked dress and my basic black jacket on top from my black suit. I thought that these two garments harmonized reasonable well together and worked well to make a whole new outfit. Personally, I think this is a lovely fall and early winter look. The colors of the dress say fall and the extra layer of the jacket says autumn warmth.  Putting this outfit together, I was stumped on the neckline. You see, the square neckline of the dress I thought did not work too well with that of the jacket and I needed a solution to that. Enter, the silk scarf.
1940s Lutterloh outfit

1940s fashion
The silk scarf was an idea that I liked from my Der Goldene Schnitt books and you can see it worn in many coat neckline and even in the neckline of some of the dresses. I think this is an excellent winter and fall item as it look so charming and is nice and warm too. The other elements to complete this look were a quirky cat pin, my first ever 40s tilt hat, spectators, and pearl drop earrings.
Now on to documenting the scarf . . below I have two examples from my Der Goldene Schnitt books each from 1941. Although the look of the scarf is documented to the early years of the war, the look I made with the jacket and skirt is a mid to late war look based on fashion magazines and photographs.

1940s German fashion
Here is another example with a dress . . .

So far I think I am going to like this scarf thing and it even adds a touch of authenticity to making a German look. Comparing American, French, and German fashion ads, photographs, and the like, I see this look of having a scarf tucked and fluffed into a neckline in more German sources than I do anything else. Why this is I am not too sure. . .

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Winter Suit, 1949





A suit for the upcoming winter season? Well of course! Today I offer to you a charming suit that can be made for any season but I love how in the illustration they made this a winter suit with the fur collar, trimming, and muff. This pattern goes from simple to elegant with very little. This is a very simple pattern consisting of only a few main pieces. The bodice is princess seamed, an interesting feature, creating a fitted look with no straight waist line seam. For this look, the skirt makes use of possibly a side zipper or even poppers while the bodice or jacket portion uses buttons. I think for this look, if one wants a winter suit, velvet and wool would look beautiful and for any other season a rayon or even a linen. For winter too, try a fur collar and if adverse to a fur, try a wool suit with a velvet collar. This look is a more youthful look with the princess seaming so I think this look would work very well for a teen girl or a more fashionable young lady. Need the ruler, let me know!
For this pattern, I would guess that the back was done on the fold and the font was faced to allow for the buttons. One option that I think is worth considering is that if you don't want buttons, you could do a zipper. The sleeve does use a dart to make this a fitted sleeve but if you want a more roomy option, then simply omit the dart. These tight sleeves made with a dart like this were really popular in German fashion.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Eclair Coupe Paris: A French Pattern System

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s


It is not hidden object here that I have a soft spot for German patterns, to be most specific, those found in Der Goldene Schnitt. But, that is only half the story because I have an interest for pattern as a whole. How they come together, how they made fashion more obtainable, and how each country had their own unique pattern development system for the average woman. In France that pattern system was called the Éclair Coupe Paris. Like in the German version, the Éclair Coupe Paris has patterns for any kind of garment you could imagine from day dresses to town dresses and from evening wear to sports wear. There was even men's wear and children's wear.
Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s


This system was developed in the very early 30s and even the late 20s so I believe that it does predate the German system but only by a couple of years. How this system works is incredible similar to the one used in Der Goldene Schnitt in that it allows you to scale out a pattern to fit your size using your bust measurement. With is measurement, you cut out a specially developed tape (not exactly a ruler) with numbers on it. Using that special tape, you scale out the pattern you want. Sounds quite familiar yes? Yes, it is. Once you have your special tape cut out, you place that on the edge of the pattern. Following the numbers, you scale out the pattern. Once the pattern has been scaled out, you must cut it out and separate the pattern pieces. The pattern pieces are clustered together and once separated, add your seam allowance.
Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s


The differences? One major difference between the French and German system is that I think the French system does a much better job of saving paper than the German one. In the French one, you place the pattern on the edge of the paper and not in the middle. These patterns are also set in a half circle (the half circle edge goes on the edge of the pattern), are more clustered together, and are incredible basic and simple in shape. The skirts also do not scale out to the complete length, you must add in the rest and also add in seam allowances. One flaw that I have noticed with this system is that the patterns do not fit well off the bat.


In my early attempts with this pattern system, I tried a simple dress and the bodice fit very uncomfortably even with many adjustments. Same to the sleeves. The shape of the sleeve head was very underdeveloped and poorly fitting. In scaling out the patterns, the numbers were difficult to decode at times and to determine which number went to what point. .  . . What do the patterns look like: Take a look below:
Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s
To fully elaborate on how to use this system, lets take an example. This lovely blue dress here looks like a really nice one to play with . . So, we study this dress and do you see that number there at he bottom between her feet? That is the pattern number. Remember that number.
Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s



With the number in mind, go to the back of the book where all the patterns are kept and find that number on the pattern pieces we need. Found them? The number 1530 is in three half circles so we need to have all three of the half circles to scale out this pattern. As you can see, it is in French. "Devant" is the front, "dos" the back, and "manche" the sleeve. Do you see the little dots and the little "x"'s? THe dots on the lines are for cures, the "x"'s are indicators of points or corners.

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s




Captivated by this pattern system and want to try it for yourself? You can find reprinted copies of the book on ebay. Remember to but the tapes to actually use the systems because you cannot use the Lutterloh ruler (I know because I tried). You will also want to have the master book to access many of the patterns. One interesting thing I noticed about his system that also sets it apart form the German one is that the Éclair Coupe Paris released many books throughout the fashion season to keep their readers fashionable current. In these seasonal books, sometimes only half a pattern is given while the rest of the pattern must be retrieved from the master book. Interesting sales gimmick too, yes? I thought so. So, if you choose to try these patterns, but the master book before you try the other ones.
Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s


Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s
The Master Book
So far in my collection I have the ones from the early 30s and they are a wealth of fashion history and information. The designs evoke the glamor of the 30s through very simple patterns and offer some hints on popular accessorizing trends like elaborate collars, large fur cuffs, collars, and stoles, intriguing dressmakers techniques and much more. One thing that I find interesting about these books as a whole is that there are none that I know of that over the war years of the 40s. I believe that is due to the Nazi occupation trying to suppress the French fashion industry and to bolster their own German one. The soonest they do reappear is the late 40s. The Éclair Coupe Paris ran well into the 50s and b then the system must have lost popularity or else could bot compete with the German Der Goldene Schnitt which is  still in operation today. Why this French version did not last longer I am not too sure but I feel it be because the patterns were simply not as easy to use and required a great deal of time and skill to execute well.
Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s


Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Eclair Coupe Paris, French fashion 1930s

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Winter Skirt in Plaid

At times we all have very good intentions of doing something and sometimes those intentions do not materialize like planned. That is what happened with today's look  . . .or to be more specific the skirt. I had intended this material to be a 1949 Lutterloh dress but it was not going to happen. The pattern did not look like I thought it would on me and the wool was simply too heavy. I think my poor fabric choice was the main culprit. But, all is not lost as the skirt portion of the dress turned out great.
So far I have been able to pair this skirt with two of my suit jackets to get two really different looks. This was really possible because of the colors in the plaid itself being black, navy and dark green. I have mixed and matched this with a black jacket and navy accessories. A green jacket and green accessories and the list goes on and on.


In some ways, I think it really turned out better this way only having the skirt turn out. I can wear this and maximize my suit and blouse wardrobe in way a dress simply could not have done.  . .


 So far this skirt is a great addition, an accidental one, but a great winter one. The weight of the wool is nice and warm and I think the coloring lends itself nicely with the colors of fall and winter. I have a feeling that this skirt will get a lot of wear in the future and will surface many more times on this blog as I go and show off some of my Lutterloh blouses and blouses made form some printed patterns.. . . of which there are many now.