Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Excella Patterns

In February next year hubby and I are moving house (downsizing, but I get a bigger sewing room - how sweet is that?!) and we have therefore been (very slowly) decluttering.  That has included going through some boxes that have remained 'unpacked' from when we moved into this house a few years ago.

Of course this has been great fun, and includes the discovery of some fabulous pink striped fabric shot through with silver - very silky - what to make?! 

I also came across three 1920's pattern catalogues.  I had bought them at least 8 years ago (probably from Ebay) and forgotten all about them.  These photos are from Excella and their January 1929 catalogue:

It appears that Excella were in business from 1922-1936 and were purchased by Simplicity.

The 1920's are by far and away my favourite time fashion wise.  Can you imagine how exciting it must have been for the ladies, having been confined to tight, painful corsets, practically covered from head to toe, to suddenly be able to wear clothes that are practical, sexy and comfortable.  Heady days!

I am interested to see that the patterns cover a large size range, mostly 36"-46" bust.  The description under the patterns states how much fabric is required for the 36" size - I wonder if that was a popular/common size?  It also talks about fabric being 39" wide and I wonder when we moved to 36", 44"/45" and 58"/60" wide fabric?  I may have to look into that.

Fabric suggestions are also given, and although that is something that we are used to today, it is fun to see what fabrics were available - the dresses can be made in silks, crepe satin, rayon moire (apologies for the lack of accents) and tulle.  It is also interesting to see how little fabric is required for a lot of these designs.  One of the dresses (E2853) only used 3 1/4yds even though it has a shaped flounce that is lower calf length at the back and a long tie at the back.


I have two more catalogues to share, and I am sure that I have some other color ones tucked away somewhere - hopefully I will 're-discover' them over the next few months!

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