Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Mid - Century Japanese Kimono — Easy To Make Pattern from Woman's Day

From Woman's Day May 1956

Several years ago I met a woman who had served as a WAVE in occupied Japan after the bombing of Hiroshima. She was a seamstress in Evansdale, Iowa, and due to her failing vision was purging her pattern collection and she called me. During our visit she made a trip to the spare bedroom and emerged with kimonos. A few were those she purchased while stationed in Japan in the 1940's. The rest were those that she had made herself. They were all beautiful and her fascination with the culture was evident in more than the kimonos. Her entire 1960's ranch style house was furnished in the spare, Zen-like manner and her sense of peace and presence reflected that philosophy.

The fascination with Japanese culture dates back to the 1850's when Commodore Perry ordered Japan, under threat, to open its harbors to trade with the West. The cultural tsunami that ensued has influenced generations of artists, writers and designers to this day. 

So it is no surprise that in 1956 Woman's Day Magazine published this easy to sew Kimono pattern for the whole family. I have reproduced it HERE for you to download and recreate for your family.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

1930's French Paper Dolls

Mid-1930's French Paper Dolls from

Paper dolls have always seemed more interesting to me than dimensional dolls. There is so much more imagination that needs to be applied when playing with the flat form. And perhaps my fascination with paper dolls has been a contributing factor in my love of vintage pattern illustration. These 1935 - 1936 paper dolls were spotted in an online archive by my husband. Aren't these garments fabulous?!! They are available as a public domain free download HERE. Introduce your child or grandchild to the wonderful world of paper dolls with Les Robes De Suzy.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Make It With Towels - Cannon Towels Pattern For 1950's Playsuit

The Educational Department of Cannon Mills produced booklets with sewing patterns and decorating ideas using Cannon linens such as towels and sheets from the mid 1940's to the mid 1970's. This late 1940's booklet features clothing and accessories for women as well as toys, baby items and this fabulous playsuit pattern for a stole, shorts from a 1948 Simplicity pattern and a tutorial for making a washcloth bra top. 

Download the entire booklet for slippers, apron, drawstring bag and more made with towels HERE!

Visit my CynicalGirl shops on Goodsmiths and Etsy for more vintage and newer patterns.