Yes it’s been a long time between posts…that’s what opening a vintage shop can do. Now that I’m open six days a week time to blog is rare! I thought, however, that I’d take ten minutes to share a few articles and ads from the December 1946 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly, about the first real Christmas after the end of the war…..Merry Christmas everyone 💋Deb
Tag Archives: vintage
Hello, again, I know it’s been a while…but I have busy working and setting up my new online vintage store (still hoping for bricks and mortar one day). If you have time please visit at. http://www.kittenvintagemackay.com/
Anyway, it’s gray and cold and wet here in usually sunny Mackay, the perfect day to read old magazines and cuddle up with a cat or two.
We only get a few weeks of winter here, but on a rainy day like this I’d love to be sitting in front of a fireplace. I usually put the fake fireplace on the television (through YouTube) but the television blew up this morning after a severe thunderstorm…Well a chance to make the living room more vintage perhaps!
We hear a lot about ‘Make do and Mend’ during Wartime, especially when clothing rationing was in effect, but maybe you haven’t heard about sewing bees. Quilting Bees were popular in America in the early 1800’s, as a way for women to meet others and tackle large quilts that would be cumbersome by themselves. They provided socialization, friendship, wisdom and sharing of supplies and tools, and basically involved a group of women getting together and sewing.
The first mention I have found of a wartime Sewing Bee is in this article from December 1939 –Red Cross Sewing Bees see to become popular in Australia. Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) was probably the one who began to make Sewing Bees popular in England and Australia during the War, forming a Red Cross Sewing Bee for the women of the royal household at the palace each week from as early as November 1939. You can also watch a little video her Great Sewing Bee of 1939 here.
This article from the American Woman’s Weekly in March 1942 is a little different, as rationing is not really mentioned, and the ladies are sewing more for themselves than the troops, but it is interesting to ‘see’ these ladies in action at their sewing bee.
Sewing Bees are obviously meant to be a cooperative event. There is a recent British TV show called ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ which is a reality TV contest type show, which to me loses the point of sewing bees, but you can watch it here.
Have you joined a Sewing Bee or thought of doing so? Tips for joining an online sewing bee can be found here.
It’s the first week of Summer here in Australia, and my thoughts have turned to swimsuits. We have a few beaches nearby (which occasionally have crocodiles, sharks and stingers) and a pool (which is currently getting renovated) so we swim every day over Summer. Usually we even put on swimsuits, although the odd skinny dip is not unknown!
What style swimsuits would we have been wearing during the war? Let’s have a little look –
1942 – clothes ratioing kicks in in Australia, and ads for swimwear are almost non existent. Elastic used in commercial swimwear would have used rubber, which was needed for the war effort. To keep itself in the public mind Jantzen cleverly told women how to care for their swimsuits so they would last longer.
Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, and by the next day Britain put Air Raid Precautions into effect and school children and pregnant women were being evacuated from London. Great Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September, and Australia followed suit.
By October 1939 American fashions were already seeming a lot more colourful and extravagant compared to English fashions, according to this article (Australian Womans Weekly 8 October 1939).
Quite a utilitarian suit –
These evening dresses are still quite frivolous too, with long full skirts and frills (as well as the odd midriff!)
To finish are these quite full skirts, in not so practical white.
Fashion was still important during the war, and underwent significant changes. I’ll continue next time with fashions of November 1939, and I’ll move on through the war so we can see the changes as they happen.