1940s

Put Your Best Face Forward (Yardley 1942-43)

Put Your Best Face Forward (Yardley 1942-43)

Yardley ran this series of wartime adverts over 1942/3. Each shows a woman engaged in "war work" - Wren, factory girl, nurse - and a patriotic message encouraging women to "work hard and let no weariness appear". The superficial read of course is that a woman’s duty above all is to be decorative — but, if you look at it a bit deeper, what intrigues me about this campaign is the focus on a specifically feminine strength.

The "Bow-dacious" Dress

How long does it take to plan a sewing project? In the first picture I ever saw of Dita von Teese back in 2001, she wore a black vintage dress with enormous bows on the pockets and neckline - I’m guessing it’s a cusp late 30s - early 40s number. I fell in love with it instantly. Years later I came across the dress again on Pinterest, and saved it to my sewing inspiration file.

DIY Love letters Dangle Brooch

DIY Love letters Dangle Brooch

I love the novelty 'dangler' brooch styles of the 1940s and 50s - you often see them in Bakelite, celluloid and other old plastics, and in any and all kitschy themes you can think of. I decided to go with love letters as it seemed appropriate for February, but as far as I'm concerned hearts and love letters are year-round motifs.