Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Gloves and Gathered Shoulders: a Selection of Knitting Patterns from 1940 to 1949
Today's post is the fifth in my series of 20th Century knitting pattern posts (you can see the other posts in the series here), and offers a selection of patterns from the 1940s. As I move forward through the 20th century, these period patterns that are wearable by today's standards become easier to find with each post, until it's reached the point where the only challenge is finding patterns that look period instead of looking too generically classic and too much like the designs of the present. This was especially true of the forties because its fashions reflected the austerity of the war and post-war years. I've chosen not to include any of the patterns I found that were designed specifically for the war effort because they were simply too utilitarian to be attractive to modern knitters.
The pattern above is the Bolero Bed Jacket of the late 1940s. Of course these days it would not be considered a bed jacket but a spencer, and it's quite similar to the spencers that are very much in style right now. I like the graceful shaping of it and the ribbon tie and think it would look very pretty over a simple empire-waisted dress. It's available on Subversive Femme as a free pattern.
This Lady's Evening Jumper pattern is from Jane Waller's Knitting Fashions of the 1940s: Styles, Patterns, and History. The empire cut was very popular in the 1940s.
This is the Gwen Cardigan design, and is a Patons Australia pattern that is available for free.
This is a knitted dress pattern that originally appeared in Alice Carrol’s Complete Guide to Modern Knitting & Crocheting, published in 1942, and the pattern is available for free. It has the gathered shoulders that were so typical of forties women's wear designs.
The Keryn pattern is another free pattern offered by Subversive Femme and that dates from the late forties. It's meant to be knitted in angora, which was all the rage for women's sweaters from the late forties through the fifties.
Here's a Fair Isle beret and glove set that is another free pattern from Subversive Femme. In the 1940s a lady always wore gloves on the street.
I just had to include this pattern for Fishnet Stockings. In the 1940s fishnet stockings seem to have had very different sartorial connotations than they do now. One wouldn't wear fishnet stockings with such sensible shoes these days. This pattern was originally published in From Stockings and Underwear: Vogue-Knit Series No. 35, and is now one of the catalogue of free 1940s patterns offered by the Victoria and Albert Museum, and you can view and print the PDF here.
The Biscay design is another free pattern offered by Subversive Femme. Most of the 1940s men's patterns I saw while researching this post were just too generic to include, but I thought this one had a bit of style. Apparently the pattern mentions knitting a "tie-keeper" on the inside neck edge.
This child's Tin Soldier Jersey is also from Jane Waller's Knitting Fashions of the 1940s: Styles, Patterns, and History, and is just too cute.
Speaking of too much cuteness, this pattern for Tim the Tiger and Leo the Lion definitely fall into that category. These toys were designed by "Finella" for Wife and Home Magazine, and the pattern is is now one of the catalogue of free 1940s patterns offered by the Victoria and Albert Museum, and you can view and print the PDF here.