Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What Did She Wear To The Firemen's Ball? 1947

I came upon this very lovely scrapbook filled with a few pages of patterns and some brief explanations and fabric swatches of the outfits.  Some of the patterns have pieces missing but I wanted to buy this because of the overall thought of this scrapbook.  The pattern pieces are included in a sleeve in each section.

Care to take a peak?

Caption:  Made this skirt in the fall of 1947

Caption:  Made this blouse in the fall of 1947, to go with the skirt.  Had  bit of a hard time with the collar.  (Note: also fabric swatch included)

Caption:  Made aprons for Christmas 1947.  Each one was different in color.  There are quite a few of these patterns available on Etsy.

Caption:  Started out the new year right with a new dress.  Worked on it until 10 o'clock New Years Eve.  Must be dazzling.  I caught Alex's eye and got a lot of compliments.

Caption:  Had to have a new dress for the Firemen's Ball,  February 9, 1948.  Went with Kenny Anthony, another success got a very nice compliment from him.  Dress is trimmed with gold buttons and gold belt.

I do wish we would have heard more on these lovely pattern creations from this lovely lady.  But, she must have given up on the scrapbook idea after this.


  1. This is such a sweet, incredibly special find. I love that we get an instant peak into this skillful sewer's wardrobe without actually seeing any photos of the finished garments. Thank you very much for sharing this heartwarming slice of the past with us, dearest Joanna.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. Such a shame she gave up, I'd have liked to know what happened with the young men she mentions.

  3. What a great find! I love that she included a fabric sample and little notes about each outfit. So disappointing she gave up! There is a similar 18th century album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson, England, 1746-1823. It's in the collections of the V&A and it an amazing resource for those of us who make clothing from that time period. I should really do something similar with all my different sewing projects. One more thing to add to the "to do" list lol!

    Link for the Barbara Johnson album

    1. Thank you for this. It's so nice to get a sneak peak into the thoughts that also went with these garnments.

  4. Oh my goodness, I absolutely love this find! What a wonderful insight to women's life and sewing abilities (so envious of her talent). So great to see what fabrics she picked too. Thanks for sharing this :)


  5. What a treasure! I guess this is what I do with my blog, but the scrapbook makes for a much better find so many years later.

  6. I love the statement "I caught Alex's eye"! Of course she did because it is a stunning dress! Especially in those jewel-toned colors she chose! This scrapbook is such a cool, interesting find. It's a shame there's not more!

  7. Oh, I love this!! It's like the first version of what so many of our blogs have turned out to be; a way to keep track of your projects and how they make you feel. Stupendous!

  8. That is such a wonderful find. It's always nice to get a little peek into the mind and a life of the stylish woman of yesteryear that we're always trying to emulate. From the little that she wrote, she seems like an interesting and sweet person.

  9. This is a great idea!!! I may have to do this!

  10. Thank you everyone, it really does motivate me to photograph and take care to spread the word of these memorable vintage items. Thank you!

  11. This is so beautiful! I want to start a sewing scrapbook now! It reminds me of my mum's hand-written recipe books with comments like "Very sweet. Kids loved it."

  12. Such a mystery what became of the seamstress. I do keep a recipe journal, and my son has maintained a gardening journal for five years with the empty seed packets pasted into the scrapbook, but this is such a great way to keep your completed patterns, and a diary at the same time. I do wish she'd included a few photos, but I suppose that only makes it more interesting imagining what she looked like. Thank you for posting this-what a great find.

  13. Oh this is neat! I also keep a little 'scrapbook' of outfits I make, so just the thought of someone finding it in the future is amusing me.
    I also wonder why she stopped, one can only wonder if she just continued to make clothing, but got tired of documenting it.

  14. WOW! This is a marvelous peek into history! What a true treasure!


  15. This is just fabulous, what a slice of fashion history. I wish she had continued, I love the captions telling the story. I do something similar with my knitting patterns but a I am a bit behind. This makes me want to catch up!

  16. Amazing. I love the history behind each vintage garment.