HOW ABOUT A LITTLE MORE HISTORY –
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