Sneak Peek Week #2


Our next product line, explores the history of sewing and fashion in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.  With dress patterns and sewing being so prevalent in paper crafting currently, I would like to share a look into their history.  

In the late 1940’s, sewing became more of a necessity than a hobby.  While WWII was in full swing, the nation faced rationing and had limited production in the clothing mills.   Seamstresses were needed to make new military uniforms and repair old ones.  Many of the women would go to sewing shoppes and colleges to learn how to re-purpose old clothing, uniforms and household items or “upcycle” as we call it today.  It was their way to help with the war efforts and save money.  Due to this increase in sewing,  there were many skilled seamstresses and a whole new booming fashion industry, once the war ended..  Here is a statistic that I found interesting – in 1943, there were 70 million patterns sold over the counter.  WOW.  That might explain why we see so many vintage patterns now.

As we entered the 1950’s,  the economy was thriving again and there were many ready-made clothing shoppes opened. However, most women couldn’t afford the latest styles on the fashion scene.  Instead, they would buy the pattern for those styles and make them themselves.  The focus was duplicating the latest Hollywood fashions.  This was considered sewing’s golden decade.  In 1955, 52 million women and girls in the U.S. were actively sewing.  Amazing.

Along with that history I thought it would be fun to share and learn other fun facts from the 1950’s, like:

  • 1950 – the credit card system was introduced in the United States; the first organ transplant takes place
  • 1951 – Rock and Roll and color television begin in the United States; a new beauty pageant is introduced – Miss Universe
  • 1952 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected; Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister in the UK
  • 1953 – Queen Elizabeth II was crowned; a new regime took over in Russian when Stalin died
  • 1954 – US segregation was made illegal; 54% of American homes had television
  • 1955 – In England, the felt-tip pen was introduced; in the US 60% of Americans were considered “middle class”- having incomes between $3,000 to $10,000 per year
  • 1956 – IBM introduced the first hard disk drive; Velcro fastening was introduced
  • 1957 – Lasers were developed; Sputnik I, the first satellite to orbit the earth, launched into space by the Russians
  • 1958 – NASA was founded; stereo LP records first sold; Paris fashion dictated shorter skirts above the knee
  • 1959 – Barbie dolls were invented for children; Alaska and Hawaii join the United States; the microchip was invented
  • 1960 – Almost 60% of American families owned their own homes and most American households owned their own car and washing machines

A lot happened in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.  I hope you enjoyed another trip down memory lane and a little history lesson to go with it.  Sewing, dress patterns and fashion were a huge part of these decades and thus a huge part of our vintage-inspired product.  Look tomorrow for Michelle’s fashion inspired project.  We hope you enjoy and have a great day.

Keep learning and creating – Allison

This entry was posted in Sneak Peek Winter 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Sneak Peek Week #2

  1. thanks for the stroll!!!! it is always interesting learning new facts!! I can’t wait to play with the new papers!!!

  2. Donna says:

    What fun information, Alison!! I had no idea so many patterns were sold around the war and afterwards, but it makes sense and probably does account for so many surviving. I remember my mom and grandmother working on quilts when I was young and I also remember my mom helping me make my skirt in Home Ec class…..she was always a good seamstess and I treasure the quilts I have that two generations of women in my family worked on together. : )

  3. Tona says:

    Thanks for the interesting history lesson 😉
    I can’t wait to see tomorrows project.

  4. ellen s says:

    NASA was only founded in 1958? WOW. i love all these bits of history!

  5. Sandi Pressley says:

    Love theses new papers and thanks for all the “nifty” facts from the fifties!

  6. Jayne K says:

    Vintage embellishing is marvelous because the 40’s and ’50’s are my decades. Graduating from HS and going to college as the baby boomers were being born, I LOVE to add vintage tags and titles to my pages. It’s also fun to combine bits of older photos with new ones for comparison. These new patterned papers are going to be a super great hit!

  7. Linda Hahn says:

    I was born in 1946(the first year of the “Baby Boomers”) and I enjoyed your stroll down Memory Lane. In 1954, I remember my Grandfather buying the first TV in our neighborhood and in 1953 the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, since my grandparents were from Wales and we had English relatives. I also remember President Eisenhower as our President and wearing an “I Like Ike” button. My funniest memory of those days was going to a birthday party for a younger girl-I was 12 at the time-and she got lots of small dolls as presents. Id never seen them before. She said they were brand new toys “that had just been invented”—they were called “Barbie”dolls!! LOL
    So you can see why I like your new line—it brings back many happy memories!!

  8. Diane S. says:

    the 40′ and 50’s have always been my favorite for their fashion sense and classic timeless designs. When women dressed and wore beautiful hats; and men dressed and put on their hats too. My mom and dad’s pics from that era are just beautiful. thanks for the reminder of the greatest generation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *