Saturday, October 13, 2012

Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder


 Take a look at this marvel of engineering!  My poor dress form is not up to displaying a brassiere of this magnitude.  This is a size 44 Camp fan-laced brassiere.  Made of sturdy, flat-felled, pink polished cotton, you can see that you can adjust your lift with the underbust slings and buttons.

Hooks and loops on the left side got you into this marvel.  Then. . . .

You pulled on the elastic garters to cinch it up and flipped down the catches, like a girdle garter.

You know I'm going to look up the patent!

Adjustment Buckle Structure
Samuel H Camp, Jackson, Michigan, Assignor to S H Camp & Company, Jackson, Michigan, a corporation of Michigan

Patent number: 2053600
Filing date: May 25, 1934
Issue date: Sep 8, 1936







Here is a link to a wonderful collection of fan-laced corsetry.  Fan-Lacing Corsets  I can't do any better than referring you to their pages to "read all about it".  There is one brassiere shown, though not like mine.  Here are some more fan-laced corsets.

Samuel Higby Camp was born 29 September 1871 in Jackson, Jackson, Michigan, the son of Henry N Camp and Ella M Higby.  He was single when he patented his corset closing system in 1908 and was 46 when he married Mary Margaret Hammond, age 49, on 29 June 1918.  He died in 1944 and his Find-A-Grave entry is here.  
Even though a bachelor, he paid attention to his mother's and sister's clothing needs and invented a corset stay improvement in 1896, an adjustable waistband for skirts in 1903, an abdominal support device in 1916, as well as other orthopedic improvements.  I must admit, however, that I was not able to find the 1908 patent referred to, above, which I found quoted in several places.

This is a page from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery by The American and British Orthopaedic Associations, in October of 1944.  (That back looks more like a front to me!)
Samuel and Mary Margaret did some world traveling after they were married and he put out another book about women's anatomy for physicians and surgeons.
The only other thing I could find about this inventor was that his company is still in business putting out support garments for injuries and back problems and there is a Samuel Higby Camp Foundation that makes grants, but I was not able to find a website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How To Pull A Pattern

Back in the dim, distant past I worked for Past Patterns when they were located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I started out sewing test garments, did pattern grading, made corsets, and eventually was the Office Manager.  I was able to indulge my love of vintage clothing, old patterns, bookkeeping, and flea marketing during this period.

Here is an article that appeared in a magazine called handmade #17, in Jan/Feb 1985.  Click on the image to make it larger.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Early Silver Screen

Some little aspiring actress cut these pictures out of a Photoplay Magazine and pasted them onto notebook paper long, long ago.  Photoplay Magazine was founded in 1911 in Chicago.  It started out featuring short fiction piece about the plots of current motion pictures and the featured characters, but by 1918 had evolved into a fan magazine that followed current stars and is credited with inventing celebrity media.
These photographs are from the early 1920's.


I couldn't find anything about Margarite Darke so I looked closer.  It's Clarke, and Google tells me it's Marguerite Clarke.  A very nice biography here.  She was born in 1883 and died in 1940.  She was the nation's top movie actress of 1920 and the model Disney used for Snow White.  Only 4'10", her brown hair and eyes were preferred by some over blonde Mary Pickford.



Alice Brady was born in 1892 and died in 1939. She was one of the few actresses who successfully transitioned from silent films to talkies.  She won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress twice.




Check out that wild hair!  Blanche Sweet was born in 1896 to a family of show people and began her career at 18 months.  She worked with D W Griffith and, though she was two years younger than Mary Pickford, she quickly began being cast in more mature leading roles.  She worked for many studios, but only made three talkies before retiring from the screen in 1930 to return to the stage.  She died in 1986.


What an interesting dress!  Mollie King was born in 1895 and died in 1981.  She had a short career from 1916 to 1921, so that can help date these photos.




Norma Talmadge was the only name that was familiar to me of all these actresses.  She was born in 1894 and died in 1957.  She started acting in movies to support her family in 1910, moving to Hollywood in 1915.  She was a promising young actress, but one flop can kill a career, as she found out.  A sister who was contracted with D W Griffith got her work which lasted for a few years, but she soon moved back to New York, where she married a producer and then her career took off.  They formed their own production company and she was riding high from 1917 to 1928, when her career began to fade.  Her voice was not ideal for talkies and she made her last film in 1930.  She divorced the producer and married radio personality George Jessel and worked with him on his show.  The show failed and in 1939 they divorced.  In 1946 she married a doctor.  She had been in over 250 films during her career.

I published these pictures for the look at what was considered fashionable attire in the early 1920's.  The dresses have wonderful details and the hair shows just how hard it was to pull off a bob after wearing long hair all your life.  I vote Marguerite Clarke for the best dress and hair, and Blanche Sweet and Alice Brady tie for worst hair!



Here's my grandmother, Evelyn Lucille Bethea Bedgood in her graduation photo from 1927 trying to look like a moody film star.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Magic Reversible Kimono

Here's the last of the "magic" patterns I have from a 1930's edition of Fashion Service Magazine from The Women's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences.  Looks like I need to get into that closet and start photographing again!


Once again, if you make this, send me a picture.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Magic Nightgown

I can't promise that this nightgown will make your nights magical, but it is attractive and relatively easy to make.  Look for a delicate, tightly-woven 100% cotton.  The back side of the lapels will show, so keep that in mind, or applique lace on them.
Originally published in a 1930's edition of Fashion Service Magazine, published by the Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences.



Friday, August 10, 2012

The Magic Bed Jacket

I wouldn't call this especially magical when you have a lot of curve hemming to do, but it is relatively easy to make.  Originally published in a 1930's edition of Fashion Service magazine (I don't remember which one), published by the Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences.


If you make one, let me see!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1930's See-Through Dress

I believe this is of rayon.  In beautiful condition, and handmade.  There would have been a matching belt, covered with the same fabric, or a solid burgundy to match the slip that would have been worn with this.


If you enlarge the photo you can see the crinkly fabric.  Aren't those tulips wild?  (That is not a worm, but a piece of yarn I didn't see.)


This shows the front drapery, which is attached at the neck and waist. 


The 3/4 sleeves are bias-bound.


The back has a yoke.
You can find patterns for dresses like these in my Etsy store and in the stores of many others on Etsy.


Although it looks shapeless here, it would look marvelous with a slippery rayon slip and a belt to gather it up.  If anyone is interested in purchasing this dress, let me know.  I also have a wonderful wool felt '40's hat that matches it!