Flapper Sewing Sample Books

  • Three evocative Jazz Age sewing sample books created by 15-year-old June Schroetlin for a school course in Portland, Oregon during 1929. Each volume is carefully ordered with an index, reading lists, notes (some are in manuscript and others are printed class handouts), fabric samples with information on their uses, and laboratory records including the lengths and costs of material used in projects. Each volume contains sewing exercises which Schroetlin completed and tipped-in, including examples of attaching snaps and clasps, a variety of stitches, buttonholes, smocking, pockets, and pin tucks. One assignment sees Schroetlin clipping contemporary fashion plates and assigning them to design categories such as "repetition", "opposition", "formal balance", and "gradation". Also of interest are Schroetlin's suggestions (based on fashion plates) for outfits for various "types", such as "a sport outfit suitable for a high school school girl who is a brunette [and] is short and thin in build"; "an afternoon dress for a tea for a large elder woman whose hair has begun to turn gray"; and "a dress for myself for an informal high school dance". The workbooks were graded by hand, with the teacher making notes in red pencil regarding Schroetlin's sewing work and her aesthetic choices. These books are a wonderful historical survival, recording the fashion interests and practical education of an American teenager during the late 1920s.
  • 3 sewing sample scrapbooks created by a schoolgirl in 1929. 33, 44, and 34 leaves. Original paper wrappers, 1 volume bound with metal rings. Fabric samples, original sewing samples, and magazine and pattern clippings tipped-in throughout. Wrappers rubbed, tanned, and spotted with some chips and short splits at the edges, leaves toned, fabric and sewing samples in fresh condition. A very good set.

Collections: Women's History




Related Items