Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sew French: 6 November 1949

I'm back from vacation with epic jet lag and a head cold, but I've hit the ground running anyways. With my first post back from vacation I'd like to start with a new segment I'll be doing here on A Few Threads Loose called "Sew French".

I have an amazing collection of vintage French sewing magazines and patterns and since I get so much enjoyment from them, I thought I would share bits of pieces of them with you.

Today I would like to share some lovely images and sewing patterns from "Le Petit Echo de la Mode." This edition was printed November 6, 1949.

It has lovely fall fashions and focuses mostly on really beautiful coats (and dresses) like these:

Sewing patterns for all of these fashions were available to order by mail. They are harder to find but I just love French patterns from this era; the styles are so timeless.

My favorite image from this edition is below, showing the latest style of accessories in suede.

Translation: "Suede in your adornment."
And of course, I have for you the two patterns included in the issue which I have given a "digital bath" as I like to call it.

 The first below is "Paniers et Corbeilles" or "Baskets and Trays." The measurements given for these are in centimeters.  If you don't read French and need the instructions, you can use Google Translate to make some sense of it.

This second pattern translates as "The baby area" and includes a "sleeping sack," "bags for hot water bottle and bottle" "a mat" and most interesting of all, a "walking belt" to keep the wee one from wandering too far on your daily promenade. Essentially it's a toddler leash.

Are these as fascinating to you as they are to me? Would you make any of these things? I would love to know! I have so much fun digging these things up.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.


  1. I have to say, those toddler leashes are definitely necessary on some children ;) My son needed one. My daughter was fine! We called them 'reins' when I was a child! I also like the sleep sacks. When my babies were small, this kind of thing was so necessary for those nighttime feedings and changes- because it meant Mama (or Daddy) didn't need to be completely awake ;)
    Since I like all things French, I think I am biased- but yes, very interesting :)

  2. It's interesting to see how long the baby sleeping bags have been around, since they seem to be sold as an almost revolutionary new idea these days. Knowing the price those things sell for after shopping for them, I'd definitely make them in future if I needed to. They would make lovely gifts for a newborn too. And yes, the toddler reins are definitely essential! I love these magazines too, though I only have a couple myself as yet.

  3. Ceinture de promenade sounds so much better than leash! I use one with my girl. In fact, one day I had to take her up to the hospital with me and had the leash on her. A lady around her 80's stopped me and said she was so glad to see someone using one, and how she had used them with her children (hers probably looked like the above picture), and how kids nowadays were so unruly!

    I love looking at all the dresses, but always wonder how the ladies stayed warm when they went outside in the winter. My need for warmth keeps me in jeans all winter! Maybe using wool fabric for the dresses?

  4. Wow! These are so cool! Love these illustrations!

  5. Awww no! Can't look at all these beautiful coats when summer is just kicking into gear here!

  6. My mother had a harness-and-leash for me and Little Sister - she LOVED it. My husband and I had a booth at a Renaissance festival over about 8 years; we sold leather goods, including belts. RenFaires, even family-friendly ones, are _incredible_ sources of child-distractors. At least once a year, a couple with a young kid would come in and buy a long (6-8 ft) narrow belt, to put on the child and hold onto the other end as a leash, with the intention of it becoming part of the child's or Mom's costume later!

  7. I so much agree with you about the French Patterns, indeed, they are timeless.
    Yes, I would make them up for my self. In fact, yes, I WILL be looking for some similar patterns TO make up for myself. I've spent the better part of the last 2 weeks shopping for some new clothes, and I have found NOTHING flattering, in my size, of a quality for which I'd be willing to spend my money.

    This morning I ordered some lingerie patterns from your Etsy shop. I have to start somewhere.

    If you offer them, we will order them. Thanks, I always enjoy reading your blog.

  8. Oh my gosh, those dresses and coats are amazing! :) I would totally make the tie-belt dress on the second image, and the beautiful fitted coat in white and black on the third image! :)