Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Video: Hints for Making a Quick Evening Dress, 1926

Friday, March 13, 2015

Isabella reporting,

Thriftiness and making-over aren't traits associated with modern fashionistas, but in this silent clip, a resourceful mother and daughter from the 1920s demonstrate exactly how to remake a morning dress into one fit for an evening out. Of course, they're helped by the straight lines and simple constructions of 1920s fashions; I can't imagine many at-home seamstresses would have been able to achieve the same speedy transformation with a dress from a generation or two before, like these from the 1870s.

The clip is from a 1920s British how-to series called "Hints and Hobbies" that offered quick suggestions for everything from driving etiquette to ballroom dancing to amusing your guests at dinner with sugar cubes. These were shown in movie theaters as entertaining information (aka filler) along with more general newsreels before the main attraction. I wonder if anyone in the audience actually thought the hints offered useful, usable ideas, or if they were viewed strictly as amusement. I find it hard to imagine a woman watching this and going home to take her scissors with such vigor to a perfectly good day dress for a dinner party. Or am I being too sensible?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I do something like that it ends up looking like a tacky half- baked obviously chopped and sewn dress.

Hels said...

Young women of the 1920s seemed very daring, in their dancing, clothes, cigarette smoking, drinking habits, use of cars etc etc. They had worked in full time jobs during the war, got the vote and were up for anything!

I am more surprised that the mum is actually helping the daughter be a bit naughty :)

Jan O said...

See it done well by Clara Bow in "It" - 1926

Caroline Clemmons said...

I especially love your Friday videos, but that dress is ugly. Plus, there are unfinished seams where the fabric was cut away. This one is puzzling. LOL

Anonymous said...

I think "I Love Lucy" used this idea for an episode or two...

Georgie Wickham said...

Plus, the pins would keep away unwanted suitors. Result.

AuntieNan said...

I don't think it was too much of an improvement on the original, but it was fun to watch. Yep, I would never have had the guts to cut those sleeves off willy nilly, leaving ragged edges in the knit! And the one-sided lace is just too much. One serious question tho--i see the daughter still has long hair, pinned up, but it looks like Mom has a bob! Wow. Maybe she's the adventurous one here,
Best and thanks for this!
Nancy

Anne Westcarr said...

This is neat. I've seen a smiliar instructional video from the era for how to make a handbag.

I'm not if a more experienced fashionista would try these particular instructions but I can imagine a young lady new to fashion might have tried it. Not sure if Mother would have approved though haha.

 
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