Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Slight Detour into 1938

I've been out of school for two weeks. I think I was supposed to have six outfits sewn up and at least one book written according to my ambitious plans made on the first day of freedom.

I have cut out the first dress--the black and red rayon Vintage Vogue. It's a fairly
simple dress, but travel has kept me away from my sewing machine and my computer. I went to visit my mom. It's an excellent way to start a vacation--by actually going on vacation.

While there I went to the world's best swap meet and purchased three Stanford Yearbooks, 1938, 1939 and 1941, for $1 each.

I've had a ton of fun with these yearbooks. My husband and mom and I spent an evening going through them together. My mom was born in 1937, so this was before her time, but she had some excellent insights. She particularly  remembers the painful metal hair rod rollers the women wore at night to achieve a particular type of curl--I'm guessing that this is because she probably wore them herself as a child.

My favorite yearbook was 1938. There was an entire section on women's fashions:

And a section on concerts and performances. I found the gowns fascinating. Love the low cut front on the black gown.

I thought it was interesting that most of women's hair was all approximately the same length and in the same general style.

There also seemed to be quite a few curly headed men--several on each page. My husband, mother and I had a rousing debate about whether or not the men might have finger-waved their hair. I said they didn't, but was in the minority.

The neat thing about finding these books is that I'd already decided that after I get my backlog of projects sewn and written, I was going to concentrate on the years 1937-1939. These yearbooks fit into my scheme perfectly.

But, before I can plan any more projects, I have to finish the six I started.

And write a couple books.


  1. I love these photos. Aren't those gowns gorgeous? Those hairstyles look like quite a bit of work though.

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thanks for stopping by! I looked into these hairdos after chatting with my mom. Pin curls, metal curlers and finger curling techniques were used. Women slept in hairnets and tried to get the style to last as long as possible. I don't blame them one bit. Naturally curly hair would have been a blessing.

  2. My eldest daughter has naturally curly hair that has always given her a very old fashioned look. She wears it in a bob at the moment and looks straight out of the 1920's. It's the bane of her life though -the complaints I hear about how awful it is having curly hair!

  3. I've always wanted curly hair. I'm sure your daughter would warn me against wishing so. :-) I wonder why people with straight hair want waves and people with waves want straight?