I recently had the incredible good fortune to while away an hour or two looking through an original copy of the Vogue Pattern Book from October 1937. There was so much inspiration between the beautifully illustrated pages that I had to share some of my favourite things and takeaways for when I'm sewing my own vintage inspired wardrobe.
One of the most inspirational things from this Vogue Pattern Book were all the wardrobe capsule suggestions which isn't a feature in today's pattern books. A lot of the book was given over to putting 3 or 4 patterns together and showing you all the combinations of outfits you could create ~ such a fabulous idea and one that I will definitely be looking at when planning future makes for my own vintage inspired wardrobe.
The quality of the illustrations and the incredible colour combinations were super inspiring ~ I'm loving dusky pink with a deep berry combo!
VELVET OUTERWEAR/PRINTED FROCKS
I loved the dark floral tea dress with a dressier coat in velvet, even lovelier if you line the coat in the same fabric as the dress. This fabulous coat had wonderful caped sleeves ~ so beautiful. I'm going to have to make my own version of this dress and coat combo. And the Pussy Bow ~ this design feature ran throughout the pattern book designs for 1937 and it's a trend for 2023 too. Not that I worry about current trends at all!
Another version of dress with coordinating outerwear, this time a cape. I really like this idea of making a dress but cutting the skirt in a solid and the bodice in a print, creating the look of a blouse and skirt. I'm going to take this idea forward in my own sewing and how sweet to use buttons to create a sailor style feature on the skirt. Again the outerwear is lined in the same fabric as the bodice and I feel this really elevates the entire outfit. Those Thirties gals really knew how to bring the glamour to the game!
There were so many delightful blouses, but if I had to choose just 1, it would be this one above. Purely because she looks like a 1930's witch and that is my idea of style perfection! I'm adding a witch style tilt hat to the list and a back buttoned blouse of some kind.
To see more blouses and pages from this beautiful piece of fashion and sewing history you can head to my Pinterest board ~ the 1930's Seamstress.
I'm sneaking in another blouse blouse here but I thought this folk style blouse was lovely and it inspired me to use my Greta blouse and dress pattern to make a version with smocking ~ the pink version with pink smocking is especially effective. You can find out more about Greta here ~ The Greta Blouse and Dress.
I've been saying forever that I don't have many jackets to wear with my vintage inspired and thrifted wardrobe, so a jacket or 2 is much in need. I love the simplicity of the thirties jacket and these beauties caught my eye.
A jacket for the day...
And one for the evening...
I think that the 1930's Tea dress really is dress perfection and there were so many beautiful options available to the 1930's seamstress. There's a whole video over on my YouTube channel focusing on the dress options. Click on the thumbnail below to watch ~
Shirt dresses are a real classic of the era and still perfect for today ~ I really liked the use of a contrast fabric to trim cuffs, hems and to make pussy bow collars. Such a fabulous way to use up precious scraps! The black version using lace is perfection and reminds me of one of my favourite literary and film characters, Mrs Danvers in Rebecca.
Bow fastenings appeared on both jackets and dresses and this contrast detail on the dress above is so pretty. I always wonder what to do with ribbon and here's a wonderful solution. And sometimes one really can't face the buttonhole ordeal!
The thirties was all about the statement sleeve and although this dress is fairly simple, it has a wonderfully voluminous sleeve. I shall be adding sleeves of fabulosity to everything!
There were so many design details and styles of garment that I found in this 1930's pattern book that I assumed came into fashion later, but the biggest, and most delightful surprise was this PINK leopard print! I have some sitting in my fabric shelf and I will be sewing it into a tea dress asap.
There were some fabulous coats and capes available as patterns to sew in 1937 but I really loved this illustration as it made me think of Marlene Dietrich. I often come across 1970's versions of this style coat when out thrifting as it's such a classic style. I shall be keeping peepers peeled for 1970's does 1930's patterns from now on and a coat style like this one is on my wish list. You can see more coats and capes in Part 1 of my YouTube videos about Vogue October 1937!
It has been such a joy, time traveling to a haberdashery in 1937 and perusing the sewing patterns and seeing what I might be sewing for October and the coming Winter months. And it's been lovely to share the experience with you. I hope you have found as much to love and be inspired by in these beautiful pages of the Vogue pattern book from October 1937 as I have.