1930s Sew-along with Norma: Coffee Break for 4-6-2016

Progress Report on my project for 1930s Sew-along with Norma

I’ve cut out a new toile for the dress and am in the process of thread tracing the grain lines on each piece.  I’m going to take my time with the sewing because the practice will do me good.  In “Paris Frocks At Home”, published in 1930 by Butterick Patterns, the recommended finishing for necklines and sleeveless tops is a double faced bias tape.  Since the neckline of my dress is now lower and the intended fabric is light-medium weight crepe I think this will be a good finish.

Another reason why I will finish the neckline and armholes is because, once the toile is finished, the jacket will be draped over the dress.  I think this is the only way I will be able to gauge whether or not I’ll have enough style ease for the jacket.  I’ve not read this in any book, but from thinking on it this seems a good way to go, especially to gauge how much ease I need for the jacket armhole and sleeve.

I have a travel day for work this Friday and then another busy weekend.  I don’t know how far my actual sewing will go but at least the preparations are progressing.  I find that if I have time in the evening and am not fatigued, it’s best to do pinning and basting of things like darts.  I don’t do too much else because I’ve made some really silly mistakes when I’m tired such as basting a sleeve in backwards.

I thought I’d share an advertisement, along with close-ups of the illustrations it contains, from the Sunday, April 6th, 1930 edition of “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle”.  The fashions were sold by a store called Loeser’s located at Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn.  The lovely, fluttering sleeves and skirt insets would flatter many figure types, don’t you think?

The ad is at http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/59886270

I access “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle” through the online database, Brooklyn Newstand, at the Brooklyn Public Library’s website.


Each dress cost $39.50 which, according to the CPI inflation calculator, translates into $553.73 in 2016 dollars.







4 thoughts on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: Coffee Break for 4-6-2016

  1. What lovely clothes! I guess you would have to save up quite a few weeks pay to buy these – no wonder more people made their own and took care of clothes very carefully.


  2. You’re right on all points, Norma. The average salary for a secretary could range from $10-20 a week and an executive assistant coiuld make about $35-40 a week. My Uncle and I have noted the ranges of salaries quoted in some Pre-Code Hollywood movies we’re watching as part of our family history project. Those films are very gritty and up front about many details that were not treated after the censorship of the Hays Code went into effect in the mid-1930s.

    I’ll post some of the illustrations of sewing patterns created and sold by “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle”. The styles of these patterns were quite lovely and the prices very affordable. I’ll also post ads for fabrics sold by some local department stores like A&S. Silks could be had for $1 to $1.49 a yard.

    You are correct about people taking care of their clothes. There is a lengthy chapter in “Paris Frocks at Home” that is dedicated to the finer details of hand washing lingere and women’s clothing.

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