Wednesday, May 29, 2019

CQJP 2019 - April Block



Completed my April block.  This is my take on the 1940s decade.  It was a time following the Great Depression and a time of war, WWII.  More women entered the work force, filling in for those serving the country.  Early in the decade there was rationing of many materials and women made do with what was available.  Felt was readily available and popular for jewelry similar to the felt flowers I created and used on my block.  I also went with poppies as they relate to soldiers whose lives were lost during war.  It was a very patriotic time and everyone willingly pitched in to do their part.  I chose my color palette based on that patriotism - red, white and blue along with army green.   My dad served in WWII and my mom trained as a nurse for military though she never was called.  Would love to hear your family stories, military or otherwise, from the 40s!

Friday, April 26, 2019

1940s Century Lady Painting

A little behind on my crazy quilt journal project.  I actually have my 1940s lady painted and finally pieced.  The problem I have been having is printing the images onto fabric.  They are losing color when printed onto cotton fabric even though I have boosted the color.  They look fine on paper.  I first printed this one on cotton fabric and then tried silk.  The silk had better color but when stabilizer was ironed on it rippled.  I ended up using my Inktense pencils and adding color to the cotton printed image.  I will be experimenting with other printable fabrics but this will do for now and for use on my Crazy Quilt Block.

The 1940s lady is very feminine and put together yet practical even though this decade was a tough one.  Patriotism was foremost of importance, deep in everyone's heart!  It was a time of WWII as the United States was drug into the war.  Hitler had taken power in Europe in '39 and on December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor forcing President Roosevelt and Congress to declare war on Japan.  Americans dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.  The term 'Wartime Glamour Girl' and the phrase 'beauty is your duty' were coined as women were expected to look beautiful to keep up the moral of the troops even though at the same time they were forced to step in to the roles of men to help fill the vacancies left by those leaving to serve the country.  Rosie the Riveter was one such woman whose image  became an icon of the women's role in the war effort.   They were expected to stay optimistic, strong and charming yet elegant and tastefully dressed as 'the girl next door'.

Makeup was soft with full red lips. Hair was generally styled in a pageboy or when working tucked into snoods or bandannas.  Off duty their hair was often styled into a sausage rolls on the crown or neck, referred to as Veronica Lake hair.

Fashion magazines were now in color.  Most women made their own clothing as a matter of practicality.   It was not uncommon that some clothing might have been made from curtains, tablecloths and other such items due to rationing and restrictions during the war.  There was a 'make due and mend' mentality.  Aprons were often worn at home.

Small floral prints in Crepe du Chine fabric and other printed fabrics and solids in fabrics such as cotton, silk and wool were popular for lawn dresses, swing dresses and other clothing.  Hemlines moved up again to just below the knee.  For evening wear fabrics included taffeta and satin.  Wool suits including the L-85 suit, influenced by mens' military uniforms were more utilitarian in appearance.  Shoulder pads were used to give the look of broad shoulders.  Fitted suits or dresses though practical were also figure flattering and sometimes had a peplum to enhance the waistline.  Baggy long yet feminine trousers gained popularity in the 1920s and 30s but began wearing them in public in the 40s but they still weren't really accepted until the 1960s.  An interesting side note, women weren't allowed to wear trousers on the Senate floor until 1993.  We've come a long way baby (as the saying goes).

This was a decade of rationing, including food, clothing and metals reserved for use by the military.  Nylons were scarce so many women used leg makeup and even used eyebrow pencils to draw a seam up the back of their legs to give the appearance of hose.  Head-wear included wide-brimmed hats, lace mantillas, snoods, adorned hats with veils including bird hats, bow hats and bandeaux hats.  Other accessories were non-priority furs, crushed cotton gloves, and clutch purses.  Metal was in short supply so sterling silver was used for jewelry instead.  Large round button earrings, felt flowers and brooches which were cheap and easy, crocheted detachable collars, multiple bracelets and bangles and beaded necklaces completed the look. Bakelite plastics were developed around 1907 and during the 30s and 40s became popular for jewelry due to its low price and bright colors.  

Footwear was back to practicality, they typically had chunky heels and ankle straps, also 2-toned.  They were similar to those of the 20s and 30s but without the flare and color.  Espadrilles in summer, loafers,  and for the younger females, saddle shoes.

Popular dances were the Deb and Lindy-Hop, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie, Jive, Rumba, Samba, and Swing; for the 20-something the Fox Trot.  Entertainment included Gone With the Wind and Little Women.  Influential and Iconic People were the Andrew Sisters, Dina Shore, Rita Hayworth, Dorothy L'Amour, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Rosy the Riveter, Oveta Culp Hobby, Mme Chian Kai-Sheck, Bing Crosby (I love his voice), Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Scarlotte O'Hara.

Fine art was at a standstill to ads and fashion.

Postwar years of this decade was marked by a return to decadence which plunged us into the styles of the 1950s.





Tuesday, March 26, 2019

CQJP 2019 - March Block and Watercolor Painting

March is finished.  There was a definite contrast between the 20s and 30s.  While the 1920s was frivolous and almost rebellious the 1930s brought with it economic, political and social turmoil.  Leading this was the 1929 Wall Street crash which resulted in what is referred to as the 'Great Depression'.  It was also the decade Hitler took over Germany.  This was the period in our history of the infamous couple Bonnie and Clyde.  Most lived practical lives with some women going to work to help support the family during the hard times.  The ideal woman was mature, efficient and reliable but there was also the spunky working girl.  Think of Greta Garbo and the chain-smoking Bette Davis.  There was a mood upswing later in the 30s decade which brought on gathered and shirred dresses, amusing jewelry and hats.

The 1930s was also a very innovative time.  Inventions during this decade included frozen food, all-color movies at the cinema, jet engine, FM radio, photocopier, ballpoint pen.

Popular dances such as the Rumba, Jazz, Jitterbug, Breakaway, Air Steps, Conga, Lambeth Walk, Chestnut Tree, Hokey Cokey and Samba were performed to the beat of what was referred to as Big Band music.  Entertainment besides dancing included the Cinema, horse races and the still popular today Wizard of Oz.

Influential people during the 1930s (and some beyond the 1930s) included Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Jean Arthur, Rosalind Russel, Barbara Stanwyck, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Shirley Temple, Katharine Hepburn, Scarlotte O'Hara, Ann Rutherford, Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers.  Several of them were stars of the Cinema and had a huge influence on fashions of the day.

2019 CQJP - March - 1930s

Speaking of fashion, the 1930's took a turn from the razzle-dazzle of the roaring twenties to a more glamorous, unfussy and ultra feminine mature style.  Even young college-age women looked more mature with their long skirts and practical working shoes.  Hems went longer, about 10" from the floor or some even to the ankles.  

Hair was styled into long soft 'finger waves', plucked arched eyebrows and rococo curved lips were also on trend. 

The silhouette was more natural, slinky and sculptural, showing off their feminine curves and natural waistline.  Waists were often belted.  The look was glamorous, elegant and refined yet casual.  

Everyday styles were created with fabrics such as rayon, linen, crepe du chine, chiffon and cotton cleverly cut on the bias.  Floral prints and solids were common.  Printed flour sack fabrics were still commonly used.  Removable collars and cuffs, veiled hats, gloves, costume jewelry and other accessories were often used to change the look of an outfit.  

Silks and satins and laces were reserved for intimates and evening wear, some with a train on the skirt.  Backless dresses were common in evening wear.  Tank vests were often worn instead of brassieres.  Luxury fabrics and expensive beading was not readily available so designers had to be creative.  Styles emphasized the waist through use of color, necklines and pleating.   Shimmering fabrics, ethnic embroideries and amusing jewelry finally emerged in the late 30s.

Common trends included furs, monograms, Jabots, Dirndls (late 30s), gored dresses, penney loafers, Oxford shoes, T-strap heals, baroque shoes, slip on pumps, bandeaux hats and trumpet skirts.  All shoes had a heel.  Many shoes from this decade had perforations (tiny holes).  Bracelets and a watch was often worn over top of gloves.  Hats might cover one eye or large picture hats were worn.  The ideal figure was tall with a small bust and narrow hips.

Pants and blazers, shirt dresses for daytime, and Peter Pan collars inspired by menswear were worn for the first time.


1930s Decade Lady - Copyright Connie R Eyberg

Popular art of the 30s was abstract, expressionism, Bauhaus school of Art, and by artists such as Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky.

In my crazy quilt block I included collars which might be added to a dress or blouse, simple cotton lace, vintage buttons and some pearl beads.  The fabrics are all reproduction 1930s.  I tried to keep it fairly simple for this period of practicality.  Hope you enjoyed learning a bit about this decade!