1930s

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Ah, Easter. That delightfully confusing time when parents gloss over the potential question of what a giant rabbit and ovomania have to do with Jesus by plying their children with sweet, sweet sugar. Until the hippie revolution, Easter was also a time of Great Hats, with a venerable tradition of ridiculous haberdashery in the Easter Bonnet, a frivolous bit of headgear that welcomed in Spring with lighthearted silliness. Excellent examples can be seen below, tossing aside the dour seriousness of winter with increasingly goofy bonnets almost completely abstracted from the concept of ‘hat’ save for their placement upon the head:

EASTER HAT PARADE


(click to play)

In this tradition, here is a delightful pagoda hat, with or without tassels, sure to perch perkily upon your head with Deco charm:

Not coincidentally it sort of vaguely resembles DEVO’s famous engery dome, itself based upon a 1930s light fixture.


(yes it was an excuse to post this image.)
Happy Easter!

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For this week’s pattern, I had a tough time deciding between something versatile and wearable that’s faddish at the moment (a basic sweater with stripes on the sleeves and across the upper chest), or something sort of ridiculous that’s put together strangely and involves a bit of geometry (also sort of faddish at the moment). Then I remembered I post a pattern every week and would get to both. On with the ridiculous geometry!

The 1930s tunic pattern comes courtesy of Minerva Vol. 40. Its assembly involves points meeting at the neck and shaping comes courtesy of a belt. The sleeves, hem and belt stand out from the body using nubbly moss stitch. While it looks very classy in white, might I also suggest cardinal red, forest green, or perhaps a bright jewel blue?


(Seriously, just picture her with a feather in her cap.)

A black skirt pattern is included, but really, why put in all that effort when we’re moving towards a pantsless society? In about 5 years all anyone will wear bottomwise are tights, leggings, jeggings, and probably some new portmanteaus like sleggings and bleggings. I say beat the fashion industry to the punch, pop on some tights and prance around with your band of merry fellows (codpiece optional).

Hey Nonny Nonny and Away We Go!

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I’ve become particularly enamored of 1930s patterns for all the delightful reasons the fashion industry recently has: a winning combination of elegance and clean lines with feminine detailing. Of course, it really helps make the look if you’re a tall, slender, small-chested young lady who has nothing better to do all day but drink and drape herself over sofas.

If not, no worries: the styles are surprisingly practical in economy and design as they are fanciful in attention to detail, adding a bit of polish and charm while remaining versatile and comfortable to wear. This week’s pattern is an excellent example: a 3-piece suit for summer designed to keep the wearer cool and looking sharp.


The blouse’s open-back design is alluring without being trampy, cuts down on yarn use and prevents the wearer from overheating while wearing a jacket.

The pattern provided knits up the entire suit; unfortunately there’s not an available picture of the blouse front on its own, but I think you get the idea that it’s adorable.

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Ah yes, another week, another ridiculous bit of headgear proffered. This week’s pattern, from Minerva Styles and Stitches Vol. 4, resembles nothing so much as the offspring of a 1930s golfing tam and a large doughnut.

How did women of this era, on heels and with a large cantilever sitting upon their brow, not go careening into store windows left and right? It’s not even like this hat’s the most ridiculous example in the book, forget at the time period:


Sort of reminiscent of Alexander McQueen’s ‘The Birds’-inspired hats, don’t you think?

In any event, enjoy this tauroid headpiece.

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Living in the city, surrounded by remnants of its past glories, I occasionally long for the past. The Good Old Days, when men were men, and women were only interested in shopping and having babies. A time when the streets were filthy with the refuse of a thousand tenements and horse poop dried and pounded into brown dust blew into your face. A gentler time of youths in silly short pants and wild all-night boozers at illegal speakeasies sponsored by vicious gangsters. The Past. Sigh.

Well, while I continue tinkering with my Time Machine (currently a fax with a toaster strapped on top), we can all take a trip to that glorious past when women showing any amount of skin openly encouraged sexual harassment with this summer charmer!

lookit them gams
Red and White Striped Maillot Suit

From the notes:
If you like to be rushed, do your swimming in this hand knit suit. Even the buttons say “Rich Man!” Fits like a charm, is happiest when in the water and of course retains its shape always. Make it of Red and White Riviera yarn – or your pet color combination.”

I think they had a different definition of ‘rushed’ back then. They also had a definition of ‘rich man’; today you’d probably fall for the first Euro-guido with a trust fund that sidled up to you, but back then they taught ladies to hold out for serious wealth. I offer this brief guide to help when wearing the above outfit:

Rich jerk
A good start, but with that gauche display of expendable cash, he’s probably just Nouveau Riche. Keep going.

duke of windsor
Sharp dresser, titled, definitely a step up. But we’re looking for rich here, not just wealthy. Hold out a little more.

robber barons
Better, better! Guiltless smiles, stepping on fellow man in pursuit of even more cold, hard cash; DEFINITELY on the right track.

The Ultra Rich
BOOYEAH! Straddling the symbols of liberty and freedom with a disdainful sneer? HE’S A CATCH GO GET HIM LADIES!

Enough with the funny, make with the pattern already.

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