NeedleCraft Magazine, August 1920

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I have one last vintage sewing magazine to share with you, before I get on to the really really good stuff. It’s an August 1920 NeedleCraft magazine, with a sweet golden green cover.

This cover is my favorite one because of the colors and the intricate crochet work on the model’s blouse.

By the way- blouse? I hate that word. Anytime I hear it I immediately picture it being paired with heavily pleated “slacks” (ACK! Another terrible word!). Good thing that those are nowhere to be found in this magazine!

A tutorial for making the model’s shirt (nope, I can’t type that word again) is inside. It uses Irish crochet and gives the entire history and a very in-depth lesson on making the lace pieces.

I would like to get my hands on some of these snaps. I wonder if the fact that female end has no front or back affected its ability to stay closed. And the word “hump”? Yeah, I sang a few lines of that Fergie song too.

The fashions are most definitely different from even two years earlier. I like the wide dropped neckline on the housedress in the bottom right. I’m sure you’re eyeing the peg-top skirt to her left, aren’t you? I won’t judge.

There aren’t many flapper styles in this magazine- the images portray what women wore when they were at home. Momma couldn’t get her iconic fringe dress dirty, now could she?

And can you believe this advertisement? Addictive laxatives must have been a real problem!

In all of these magazines there are small sections dedicated to items you can buy from them with so many subscriptions, or issue purchases. I can tell you what I would never be buying- this terrifying baby doll with human hair. She gives me the creeps from this picture alone. I assure you that her “unbreakable head and jointed limbs” came in handy while she walked around your house in the middle of the night.

The back page of the magazine shows that they were starting to use more ink in the publication at this time. A Lux advertisement has some great copy and color to it.

The back cover has eight different products promoted on it, all made by the National Biscuit Company. Lorna Doone cookies really have been around forever!

Overall, this magazine has a lot of great information about embroidery methods, patterns and linens, tatting, crocheted collars, gifts, baby sets, recipes and more fashions. I can certainly understand why someone would hold onto it!

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  • Kelly

    FYI- My sis creates & remakes Dolls , and her favorite hair to work with is human hair. All 4 of her now adult children have been ,and still are donors. She has lots of family & friends that contribute, (Bonus: free haircuts) Yes, my Sis is qualified to do hair, If someone she knows or is related to, has the color or texture of hair she admires, she’s been known to ask if they would like a free cut , and is always up front about wanting their hair “leftovers” for dolly’s domes. She creates some beautiful dolls, some with long straight locks, some curly headed cuties too. Not a single person has been harmed in the process,
    I hear you about “creepy ” looking dolls. I think its in the eyes & expression though, not the hair. Just sayin’. Kelly

    • I agree with you that it’s about the eyes and the expression of the doll that makes it creepy. I was just being facetious the day I wrote this! 😉

  • WryBread

    1920 was certainly not the flapper era, so no surprise that the fashions were – old fashioned. 🙂 The word blouse, I think, came from the idea of the fabric spilling over the waistband. It’s interest to see that victorian dresses were two piece often, having a fitted (to the corset) top and a skirt. Then came “shirtwaists,” which were seen only to the waist and were often neat and tailored like a man’s shirt. Then came “blouses,” which to my mind herald a new attitude to women’s clothes with softness emphasized. Even though early 20s fashions are linear, they are lighter and softer than what came before. I enjoy silent films and one part of my enjoyment is seeing these fashions in movement in the filmed images.