“We spot the trends. You make them.” These ads for Simplicity dress making patterns date from 1971-75
“Goes where I go.” These ads for Simplicity Fashion News, Simplicity’s new monthly mini-magazine, date from 1967-70.
“If I can sew, you can sew.” These ads for Simplicity dress making patterns date from 1965-67 and featured actresses, models and singers of the day.
“The first totally new fashion magazine in a decade!” These ads for Simplicity dress making patterns date from 1960-64 and feature the new Simplicity Magazine.
“How to dress as if money were no object.” These ads for Simplicity dress making patterns date from 1959-59.
“A galactic collection to knit and sew!” The Doctor Who Pattern Book by Joy Gammon was published in 1984 and featured all kinds of weird and wonderful things to knit and sew.
“It’s you – to the last curve!” These ads for Singer Form dressmaking body moulds date from 1941-43.
“And you’ll love how much it didn’t cost!” These ads for Singer Sewing Centres date from 1947-48.
“Elegant. Sporty. Excellent.” This edition of Machine Knitting Chic was published in 1990 (no.5, £1.75) and included 30 over-ornamented jumpers with such wide shoulder that getting though doors must have taken some consideration.
“Handknits for all the family.” This small, A6 magazine by Patons & Beehive was published in 1963. It included instructions for nine designs as well as images of a selection of their other patterns. There was also hints and tips on various aspects of handknitting.
“A new art for today’s homemaker” If having bold coloured toilet paper only in your bathroom wasn’t enough, Kleenex published a 36 page booklet in 1971 full of crazy crafts to spread around the home too.
“For fun and profit!” These ads for Northwestern School of Taxidermy date between 1910 and 1953. They are all from Popular Mechanics magazine.
Last Christmas I bought myself a large pile of vintage Blue Peter annuals. It was never one of my favourite programmes on telly, but I did enjoy the craft items they made out of toilet rolls and sticky back plastic! Here’s a few Christmas crafts from various annals dating from 1965-82.
“In the mood of yesterday, today and tomorrow, in colours to blend with a mood, to accent a quite scene.”
Columbia Minerva knitting leaflets for various gifts household items, including rugs, toys and cushions. They date from 1971-77.
“Decorate your body with all sorts of things… Make a headband… wear it as a dog collar… wear it as an armlet… make it longer… wear it as a belt… Express Yourself!”Columbia Minerva knitting leaflets for various fashion accessories, including, bags, belts and slippers. They date from 1970-77.
Columbia Minerva knitting leaflets for ponchos, cloaks and shawls. They date from 1967-77.
“Bright touches to warm gay spirits from top to toe.” Columbia Minerva knitting leaflets for scarves, hats and mittens. They date from 1967-77.
“Tiny togs for tiny tots to knit to crochet.” Columbia Minerva knitting leaflets for childrenswear, dating from 1970-77.
Columbia Minerva knitting leaflets for men’s fashion. They date from 1968-75.
“Get with fashion’s newest rage. These handknits fly off your fingers with supersonic speed.” Columbia Minerva knitting leaflets for Women’s fashion. They date from 1967-77.
“How to design and create beautiful garments on your knitting machine.” The Machine Knitting Book by John Allen was published in 1985 and featured a wealth of highly dubious jumpers.
“As recommended by the medical profession.”Health vests were obviously quite the thing in England in the 1950’s, and after looking over these knitting patterns you’ll wonder how you ever survived without one.
“Things to make for pleasure and profit.”
Various sewing patterns clipped from 1970’s magazines.
I came across an amazing book of knitting patterns by Columbia-Minerva recently called “Fables and Fabulous Yarns: Knit Fashions for Boys & Girls” (1970). Not only does it the most fabulous photographs inside featuring floral backdrops and slightly creepy stuffed animals, but it also has a short story and poems written by Christie White Dauphin. Concept, photography & lithography by Low’s Inc.
During the 1980’s-1990’s, Intarsia (a UK based company) produced over one hundred super cool knitted jumper patterns of cartoon TV characters (plus a few non-cartoon characters too). They are out of print these days, but still circulate on the second-hand market.
Here are a few vintage Christmas sewing machine adverts from 1950-70’s.
“Recycle old pantyhose into dolls, wall hangings, musical boxes, holiday decorations, and much more!” The Great Pantyhose Crafts Book by Ed & Stevie Baldwin was published in 1982, followed by it’s eagerly awaited sequel, More Great Pantyhose Crafts, in 1985.