Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thrifty Acres: From The Ridiculous To The Sublime - Part One

Hello! I've said it before, and I'll say it again now: vintage magazines can be inexpensive history lessons - and they can also be a source of cheap entertainment as well, in the form of head-scratching, "what were they thinking back then?" when read today. (btw, when I say "inexpensive", I mean anywhere from a dime to fifty cents).

When the vintage magazine is the fall-winter 1965-66 McCall's Needlework & Crafts, the ads and projects shown range from the ridiculous to the sublime. I'll show off some of the "sublime" ads and projects today, beginning with:

This quartet of sweaters, made with imported Danish wool yarn, would still look great today. And see that rectangle in the upper right-hand corner? Its purpose was to inform the would-be purchaser of this:

Not sure why a French airline was used to fly a Danish product over, but still quite the jet-setting yarn!

From another yarn ad, this outfit:

According to the ad, Shan-Isle was "an exciting fleck tweed wool yarn in nine highland-fashion colors". Although it's hot and humid as I write this, I must admit that this sweater set is very nice. 

The Scottish look continues with:

The above outfits are "Scotch Miss" sweater/skirt kits, which included yarn to make one of the sweater styles shown above, plus a skirt that only needed one seam sewn to complete the project. I remember having plaid skirts like these when I was a little girl (I was almost six when this magazine came out in the fall of 1965), so that must have been the thing then. 

I like the "shaded diamonds" pattern in these sweaters and sweater vest; that is the pattern name according to the ad. Again, I think these would look pretty sharp today!

Of course, it wasn't all ads in this magazine; there were plenty of projects included as well, like this:

These "Swinging Separates", we are told, "go where the fun is!" And as for how the outfit is constructed: "Close-fitting knit top from Paris (they're referring to the designer here) has a shoulder zipper; flaring skirt is crocheted in wide bands of lace stitch, worn in the short, short style loved by the very young."

Upon reading that last statement, I looked closely at the magazine photo to see exactly where the skirt's bottom edge fell on the model - and it appeared to be just a few inches above the knee. "Short, short style", eh? In the near future, the fashion world would see mini skirts, micro-mini skirts and short shorts. Those garments had what I'd call "short, short style"!

But the writers of this magazine didn't know this yet - nor did they know that decades later, I would alternately be amused or appalled at the some of the crafts they had created for the issue. 

And the ridiculousness of such projects will be the subject of my next post!


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