Vintage Workbasket gems

11:27 PM

In the recent batch of embroidery patterns and suchlike sent to me by my Mom -- as she was clearing out her craft space by shifting it into mine ;) -- there were a couple of old Workbasket magazines from the late 60s, early 70s. I don't know if you remember these, but I was addicted to reading my Mom and Grandma's old issues when I was a kid. I loved all the craft ideas, even if they were out of date even then.


I never really noticed the sewing content when I was young, as I wasn't yet an active sewist like I am now. But it was super fun to look through the four issues that were in my parcel and remember all the crafts I'd made from them...even if we might now label them as crafts of the "Pinterest fail" kind! Great memories of non-perfectionist fun in my childhood.

Something I noticed this time around, though, was the hilarious advertisements lining the pages. The delicious recipes. And of course, the sewing. While there are craft instructions, recipes, and knitting patterns included in the magazine, the sewing element are just line drawings of the latest dresses with instructions on how to order. Sadly, it seems none of the women in my family ever ordered any. But they are lovely to look at for inspiration, nonetheless. Take a peek!

Knitting for a sporty look

Important concerns...

No mincing words here

Delicious jello molds!

Who knew accordions were such a hot item?

Dial yourself a dress!

One look at the sewing tips and options for fashion
(more to come...)

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7 comments

  1. I received a box full of work baskets from my grandmother but they contain mostly knitting patterns. I did notice ads for the bust developer in all of them though. If you're curious the Wikipedia on that is really interesting http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Eden_bust_developer

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    1. That is interesting! Thanks for sharing it. I've been having a lot of fun looking through these vintage magazines.

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  2. LOL! I picked some up from the thrift store because I remember my great-grandmother having those. I ended up not finding any projects I wanted to do, but I also was amused (and horrified!) at some of the ads!! Also the letters to the editor: lots of talk about nervous breakdowns. That's not a term I hear nowadays but I remember adults talking about that when I was a kid.

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    1. It really does show a different world! I laugh, even if sometimes it's kind of a horrified laugh!

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  3. I have all of my grandmother's Workbaskets. Thanks for the reminder. I should pull them out.

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    1. I love looking through vintage magazines -- there are unusual inspirational ideas but also things that make you really happy that you live now instead of in the 40s or 50s!

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  4. Ha! It's so much fun to look at old magazines. Funny... even when I was a kid I realized that the "Mark Eden" thing was a cheat. I thought, "Why don't they show her in a bathing suit in the before picture?"

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