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For your next step, we recommend the vintage patterns overview written by Vintage Fashion Guild members Karen Gray and Elizabeth Bramlett.It's an easily digested summary of the history of sewing patterns and a good introduction to the important pattern companies.Today, it’s possible to make full-color scans of old magazines (if you still have any), but the big, old, heavy, bound volumes of magazines are long gone; often black and white photos of their pages are all that libraries have. With all graded lenses, you’re expected to look down to read and straight ahead to focus on things that are far away. Some color combinations or seasonal colors may surprise us.When you can get your hands on a vintage fashion magazine, many of the illustrations look like this: Why I Became Witness2Fashion Originally, I thought I would write mostly about the 1950s and 1960s — because I was a “witness” to the fashions of those years. This works for driving — but not for reading a vertical screen one foot away! The library stores them in a basement off-site, but will bring volumes to the reserve desk with one day’s notice. .” If you’ve just started reading witness2fashion, it may seem like I hop around from era to era. To end where I started, here are several color illustrations from 11 Comments Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, bags, Dating Butterick Patterns, handbags, Hats, Musings, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Purses, Vintage Accessories Tagged as 1910s fashions, 1917 fashions in color, 1920s advertising, 1920s fashions, 1930s fashions, 70s Fashion Fiascos, accessories 1917, advertisements for costume research, art deco watches in color 1928, bag 1917, bound periodical collections value, bound periodicals for costume research, business woman 1924, butterick 10616, Butterick 6856, Butterick 6860, butterick 8782, butterick 8900, butterick 8904, butterick 8919 1917, butterick 8923 1917, butterick 8927 1917, butterick 8928 1917, butterick 8929 1917, butterick 8933 1917, butterick 8936 1917, butterick 8942 1917, butterick 8947 1917, butterick 8949 1917, Butterick 8956, Butterick 8958, Butterick Publishing Company, Butterick's Delineator magazine, camel cigarette ad 1928, changeable taffeta 1917, Chesterfield ad 1928, color in black and white photo, color research costume history, costume research, dating Butterick patterns, Delineator magazine 1900, Delineator magazine 1917, Delineator magazine 1925, Delineator magazine 1937 ceased publication, dress colors 1917, dress colors 1920s, dresses 1917, dresses 1925, dresses 1926 chiffon, Dynevor Rhys illustrator, Elgin watch ad 1928, embroidered bag transfer pattern 10616 butterick, embroidered dresses 1917, fashion colors 1910s, fashion colors 1920s, fashion colors 1930s, fashion history, fashion history research advertisements, fashion history research periodicals, Ford car ad 1924, Ford closed car ad 1924, full color illustrations 1910s, full color illustrations 1920s, fur stole 1917, handbag 1917, hat 1933, hat styles 1917, hats 1910s, hats 1917, makeup 1933, Maud Humphrey illustrator, Maureen Valdes Marsh, Mc Call 79811960s, microfiche disadvantages, microfilm disadvantages, old magazine color illustrations, orange chiffon dress 1917, pattern illustrations in color, purse 1917, red and green in black and white, suit 1925, twenties fashions, twenties' fashions in color, vintage advertising in color, vintage cigarette ads, vintage color illustrations, vintage fashion illustrations, vintage magazine color illustrations, woman's wristwatch 1917, women's hats 1910s flyers like the one above were given away by fabric stores, so it is possible to date Butterick patterns — roughly — by following the sequence of numbers that appeared on the cover of each issue.You may feel like you need a decipher to understand the markings.

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These first paper patterns were designed by Ellen Curtis Demorest.

No matter what your favorite style or era, eventually you may have questions. For an overview of practical matters, A Beginner's Guide to Pattern Collecting by Jennifer Warris is an excellent place to begin.

Here's a roundup of some of the sources we've found the most useful and reliable.

This is how a page from a 1925 copy of black and white — but the blouse is vivid yellow. most of those magazines are now only available as microfilm or microfiche!

The hem of the red dress “reads” as black when you can’t see the color. Bound Periodicals Replaced with Black and White Film There is a wealth of costume history and color information in old periodicals, but sadly, many libraries got rid of their bound periodical sections and replaced them with microfilm and microfiche about ten years before the digital revolution. Information Was Lost in Translation to Black and White . They’re preserved in black and white — Also, for the benefit of anyone under forty, I’ll explain that it is very uncomfortable for those of us who wear glasses with bi-focal or graded lenses to read a vertical microfilm screen. I Love the Colors of the Past There are fashions in color, as well as in styles.

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