Friday, February 7, 2014

Young Seamstresses and Their Creations 1930s-1950s

I thought it would be really interesting to share these photographs of lovely young ladies who have made their dresses and entered into a competition at the annual Indiana State Fair.   The period of time is really interesting to see the changes in fashion.  These ladies all did some marvelous work creating these garments.  How fun that the Indiana State Fair had such an event.  The photography is fantastic as it is rare to be able to zoom in for the intimate details.  For some reason when I upload these images they take on more of a tinted look, you can click on the link below and see better images of these wonderful creations.

Images below are from the Indiana Historical Society, JC Allen collection.  These photographs are very detailed and you can zoom in on them at this weblink to take in all the details.

 1930 dress winners of Indiana State Fair

This lovely lady won and was 14 years old.

These lovely young ladies made their dresses in 1933 and were blue ribbon winners.

1934 winners

1935 winners

1936 winners

1937 winners

Winning dresses from 1938 state fair.

1939 winners

1940 winners

1941 winners

1947 dress winners 

Some young girls who won for baking:

1949 dress winners

1950 dress winners

1951 dress winners


  1. What fantastic photos, I really enjoyed looking at these. If only I could make dresses like these ones.

  2. So many drool worthy outfits and such clever ladies! Fascinating.

  3. thanks for sharing. what a great post. so inspiring!

  4. This is absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing! I really love the 1939 winners! Especially the dress from the second girl from the right.

  5. What wonderful photos! That they made their own dresses is amazing; it gives depth to the displays of fashion.

  6. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments. Wouldn't it be interesting if I could find some of the patterns these ladies might have used for their outfits? Might try and see if this is possible.

  7. These photos are amazing. I really enjoyed looking at them. I would love to be able to sew as well as these competitors.

  8. Fantastic post!! I am in love with the dress in the 1933 winners group on the girl thats the 5th from the right. The lovely white dress with the little capelet. So cute!

  9. These were some seriously talented young ladies. When I think back to home ec classes of my youth (often the only place anyone of my generation was still taught basic sewing), I can't picture anyone who, with the degree of skill we were taught, could have whipped up a garment as skillfully made or detailed as these awesome 1930s fashions. It really makes one wish that the timeless art of sewing was still handed down to more children (of both genders) from their parents and also learned in school nowadays.

    ♥ Jessica

  10. It's amazing to see how many women took part in this competition. If I had to make my own clothing, I'd be in a lot of trouble .. lol.


  11. I am in LOVE!!! I used to participate in the 4-H sewing competition at the Kentucky State Fair, and that made these pictures even more fun to look at!
    Also, I nominated you for a Liebster Award! You can find more information here:
    Have a wonderful day!