20th Century

Early 1950s fashions & fabrics in Japan, Part 5 of 5

This is it.  The last few pages of my catalogue of early 1950s sewing patterns and fabrics for the Japanese market.  No I guess I’m going to have to start making some of them up!

There is actually a little story to these photographs that I haven’t told you.  I went out one afternoon, bought lots of delicious things at the Asia Gallery, got given the patterns, was having an absolutely fabulous day.

Then I got home.

And realised I didn’t have my key, and the house was completely locked up.  Blast!

Mr D would be home from work in an hour or so, and it was the middle of summer, so light and warm, so I decided to wait it out.

Felicity came out of her cat door and meeped at me while she tried to work out why I wasn’t coming inside.  And I tried to find something to occupy my time.  I realised I had my camera (I always have my camera) and the catalogue to look at.  So all of these photographs were taken outside on my front steps on a late summer afternoon while I waited to get inside.  Irritating at the time, but a charming memory in retrospect!

I wonder what secrets the two on the left are sharing?

Love the massive flowers and cunning belt of the 2nd from the left!

Three charming but practical dresses

I think the one on the left is my favourite dress in the whole book! It's soooo darling!

Smart wear for shopping

More cute fabrics

Doggie and duckie stuffed toys for the little ones

I love this leaf fabric, and its in my favourite colours

Flowers? Seashells? Abstract squiggles?

Music and birds...this seems familiar!

Strawberries! Sometimes the vintage cliches are true!


  1. Stella says

    The leaf fabric is my favourite too. Interesting how the women’s dresses are fairly practical, and the little girls’ dresses are completely impractical.

    • Do you think so? In the line of little girls dresses, they look pretty practical to me: not a lot of extra bows or fussiness, no petticoats. And some little girls just really want to wear dresses! They are definitely summer attire though.

      • Stella says

        I tend to think skirts in general are impractical for small children because of how active they are, so in a way I see dresses of this era as a continuation of the “putting children in miniature adults’ clothes” trend – although of course these dresses are far more practical than the ones we see in 17th century paintings, I still kind of see them as being at the other end of the same continuum.

  2. Lynne says

    Love the green leafy fabric – and the story of how we came to have all these super photos!

    • Lynne says

      And I’ve just realised they are lime leaves and flowers! As in ‘Unter den Linden’.

      • Ah, yes they are! And thanks to this I’ve finally figured out what Brits mean when they talk about lime trees! In NA they are called linden!

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