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Never enough Perfection

February 11, 2010

It seems to have become my own personal mission to track down every copy of these Parisian pattern catalogues issued in the 1930s and 40s. I already own one copy of Perfection from 1937, and one from 1941. And today the postman delivered, all the way from France (which was strangely exciting), more Perfection. A copy from summer 1938!

I’ve mentioned before that I think these catalogues were for patterns by a company called Editions Bell. They offer to send you a pattern of “impeccable cut” drafted to your measurements within 48 hours. (This seems to have been a service aimed at professional dressmakers rather than home sewers.) Interestingly, they seem to offer the choice of a paper pattern or one made of fabric (presumably so it could be fitted as a toile?)

Ah, those classic 1930s colour combinations! Dark blue with pink contrast, and brown with light blue:

The catalogue is filled with so many intricate styles my brain almost short-circuited. (I got a little carried away with the camera.) Wouldn’t it be fun to recreate one WITHOUT a pattern? What a sewing challenge that would be.  (I’ll have to take myself sternly in hand-  I should really make something I would actually get some use out of….)

Update: This catalogue is now available as an instant download here in my Etsy store!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2010 9:47 pm

    They are gorgeous! I found a couple of pattern magazines from the late 30’s in a second hand shop where I was a volunteer. They weren’t for sale, but nobody seemed to realize how much they could be worth for collectors. I think they just ended in a drawer in the basement. Such a pity.

  2. Lindyhopper permalink
    February 15, 2010 3:16 pm

    Ah, what happened to the age of elegance? We found jeans!!! Even so, sitting here muffled up against winter, I can’t imagine anywhere in their era being warm enough to wear them after you’ve taken off your fur stole.

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