Today I would love to take you on a Fashion Illustration Appreciation Journey to the 1940’s!
In this article we will be taking a close-up look at my personal "Home-Sewing" pattern collection, specifically the fashion illustrations found on the front of my Vintage Sewing Pattern envelopes! The patterns I have selected to share with you today are straight from the 1940’s!
Whenever I pull out these gems, I am in awe! The condition of these paper patterns alone amazes me! And then... the illustrations!
Just studying the lovely fashion illustrations that grace the covers of these vintage pattern envelopes are sure to inspire! Hence, my desire to scan, and archive these treasures to share with those that may not have access to such historical fashion illustrations!
As of yet, I have not used these patterns for sewing, merely for fashion inspiration. However, I do plan on creating a few blouses using my vintage sewing pattern, Simplicity Pattern 4864 soon! I will keep you, Dear Reader, updated on that endeavor!
Following are the 25 Vintage Sewing Patterns printed in the 1940's, that I hired my two teenagers to scan for me!
Printed in 1940-1949: Pattern Numbers 2348-5370
Printed in 1940: Pattern Numbers 1929-1998
1941-1949: Pattern Numbers 559-2170
McCall Printed Pattern
Printed in 1940-1949: Pattern Numbers 3505-7867
Simplicity Printed Pattern
Printed in 1940-1944: Pattern Numbers 3264-4999
1944-1949: Pattern Numbers 1000-2715
I hope that you have enjoyed viewing this photo collection of my Vintage Sewing Patterns from the 1940's! 1940's Fashion has always been an inspiration to me, and after studying these illustrations it is no wonder that 1940's Fashion has continued to inspire so many, for decades there after!
If seeing these lovely vintage fashion illustrations, from the 1940's, are intriguing to you, I have a few more fashion illustration resources to recommend:
From my fashion and sewing library, I have the lovely book of sewing pattern illustrations: Blueprints of Fashion, Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940's, by Wade Laboissonniere. This book is laid out in a similar fashion as this blog article, it features scanned archived photos of the original sewing pattern envelopes from the 1940's, with a large collection of over 550 images! I also have the 1950's Volume of Blueprints of Fashion, which is just as amazing.
The book, Dress Design: Draping and Flat Pattern Making by Hillhouse and Mansfield is a pattern drafting book from 1948! That is a book I could do a whole article on alone! If that is something you would like to see more of, let me know! I am privileged to have several vintage design books within my library!
Another fantastic fashion resource regarding 1940's Fashion is this video by Vogue, narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker:
Lastly, I'd love to share with you a fun 1940's relic within my Sewing Workroom: this lovely 1944 Singer, with the owner's manual and desk! I hope to fully restore, or at least clean her up, one day!
Thank you again for reading my blog! I hope 1940's Fashion has inspired you as much as it has me!
I have plans to continue this Blog Series with a photo collection of more of my vintage sewing patterns from other decades, as well as fashion illustrations from patterns that are vintage reproductions! Leave me a comment below on your thoughts, what you like or do not like about 1940's fashion, or what decade inspires you?
Now, I'm off to start sewing!
Have an Inspired Day!
Britex Fabrics, located at 146 Geary Street in San Francisco's famous Union Square, is a historic retail fabric store, that has been family owned and operated by Martin Spector and Family, since 1952. Recently, Britex Fabrics has been declared A Legacy Business, by The Non-Profit San Francisco Heritage, in 2016.
On March 18th, 2017, my dear husband, and fellow creator, Javier Rangel, and myself, traveled from Hayward, California, to visit this iconic retail store. Javi and I had the special privilege of attending the FREE "Four Floors of Fabulous Britex Fabrics" Store Tour that is offered each Saturday. However, do to the popularity of the tour, and limited spacing, tickets are required to attend this weekly tour.
You can reserve your tour tickets through Eventbrite, by clicking this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/four-floors-of-fabulous-britex-fabrics-free-store-tours-tickets-23841887728?aff=eac2
Deena, was our tour guide for this trip, and I loved how informative she was about each textile, as well as her passion for fabric! Deena explained that Britex is truly a unique fabric store, because each fabric in stock is hand-selected, personally by the store's buyer. Many of the fabrics sold at Britex are truly unique and one of a kind. The fabric selection also can be limited in quantity, so Deena advises, "If you see it, and love it, buy it now, because once it's gone, it's gone!"
Taking our tour group, first to the back of the store, Deena pulled out some exquisite French Lace! The French Lace is stunning, and narrow in width. Deena explained that authentic French Lace, can be hard to find, and expensive, ranging up to $125 per yard!
Deena pulled out a beautiful Silk Tulle, that I had never seen before. The Silk Tulle was passed around so everyone could feel its soft, yet sturdy texture. Britex carries Silk Tulle in stock regularly in basic colors, such as Black and Cream. What a rare delight!
In addition to the beautiful French Lace, Wool Knits and Brocade fabric can also be found on the First Floor. Deena explained that Wool Knits do not wiggle the way other knit fabric might, it is also very soft. Britex Fabric also carries a Cashmere Mink blended fabric!
Next, the tour group moved onto the beautiful rows of Solid Silks (there is an entire wall dedicated to Solid Silk!). Deena pulled out beautiful Crepe Back Satin, that can be utilized showing either side, and then she directed our attention to the wall full of Bridal Satin! Some of the Bridal fabrics found on this wall are imported straight from Italy! Deena gave the helpful hint, that Silk can be hand washed with shampoo and then hung to dry.
Also on the first floor, are beautiful Silk Charmeuse and Chiffon, many that feature textile digital prints, that were made in Italy. I particularly loved seeing the Designer Couture Fabric designed by G. Rositani of Dolce and Gabbana (which can be purchased for $125 per yard), and the exquisite fabric by Gucci! When examining the Designer Couture Fabric, you can really see the quality of not only the fabric itself, but the quality of the print as well! Deena says, "These fabrics sell quickly!"
Another beautiful textile found on the First Floor!
Once on the second floor, the tour group immediately arrived in the Home Decor, or Furnishings Department. Deena explained how the textiles are organized, and then pulled out her favorite woven Turkish Upholstery Fabrics that are not only stunningly beautiful, but thick, soft, and luxurious. Deena pointed out that many upholstery fabrics are backed with a Poly-Blend for stability.
Also on the second floor, are a wide variety of printed textiles, including the world famous Liberty of London Fabric. These gorgeous fabrics are made using both traditional printing techniques as well as digital Italian printing, and are often inspired by nature, architecture, and heritage.
Deena also pointed out some magnificent Japanese Indigo, which is rare and difficult to obtain. Japanese Indigo is made with a unique layer waxing printing technique. Another rare find, stocked on the second floor, are Authentic Swiss Eyelet Fabrics. Deena explained that many European Fabric factories have been closing in recent times, limiting the amount of fabrics produced.
In addition to the printed Cotton, a wide variety of many other fabrics can be found on the second floor of Britex Fabrics, including (but not limited to); digitally printed Linen, printed Knits, Poly/Nylon Lace, Velvets, Flannels, Solid Knits, Sequin Fabric, Poly Satin, Poly Crepe Back Satin, Taffeta, Swimsuit Nylon, Oil Cloth, Laminate Cloth, Faux Leathers, Denim, and Cotton Velvet! Wow!
Next, the tour group was shown superbly made lace, rich in artistry and detail! Check out this Pink French Knot Lace Edging that took all of our breaths away! I also learned that there are several types of Lace, including Alençon Lace, as well as Chantilly Lace. Interestingly, both Alençon Lace, as well as Chantilly Lace are named after the French Cities in which the techniques originated from. Chantilly Lace Making dates back to the 17th Century!
Other notions located on the third floor, include every shade of zipper you could possible imagine, interesting elastic made in unique colors and various prints, as well as feather trims, floral accessories, and Silk Thread!
On the shelf housing the Leather Goods, there are also many Specialty Skins, such as Snake, and Eel!
Javi and I really enjoyed attending this tour, in which we gained so much valuable information, not only of the store layout and merchandise, but also of the fascinating history and stories behind the textiles themselves!
I hope you enjoyed my trip to Britex Fabrics as much as myself and Javi surely did! If you are in the San Francisco area, stop by this amazing store! You will not be disappointed!
You can also check out Britex Fabric's Website, www.britexfabrics.com, to stay up to date on store news, as well as classes offered!
Thank you for reading my Blog!
Ta Ta... for now!
In 2014, I ventured into a wholesale display store in Sacramento, California called Continental Display, located at 525 Display Way, Sacramento, California. I had heard of this store, that has been in business for well over 35 years, while I was in fashion design college. Although I myself do not own a store front location, as a Fashion Designer, I sometimes may need display materials for Tradeshows, Pop-Ups, or Vender Booths. As I arrived, I was surprised that Continental Display had so many items for sale. Display Cases, Hat Racks, Garment Racks, Shelving, formed huge rows in a warehouse building.
I walked through the rows and came to a separate area full of used mannequins. Hundreds of mannequins were pilled on top of one another, or arranged neatly on shelves or on the floor. Mannequin parts were organized by body type. It was all visually jarring. The human-like realness of many of the mannequins gave me an unshakable eerie feeling. Some of the mannequins have very realistic features, and are even decorated in what appears to be professional cosmetic make-up. Some of the mannequins are generic in appearance, with cartoonish faces and blunt hair styles. I couldn't help but see a grim beauty in the composition of these lifeless forms.
With camera in hand, I took a few pictures of what I was seeing. I hope you enjoy this bizarre photo collection as much as I do!
Thank you for reading my Blog, and viewing my photo collection!
Leave me a comment! I'd love to hear your thoughts on my post or on my photos!
Have a great day!
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!