April 22, 2017

Cataloging Catalogs: Ever More from Montgomery Ward Spring Summer 1943

It is time again for another installment of Cataloging Catalogs! Today we have some more pages from the Spring Summer 1943 catalog that I scanned recently, and wouldn't these frocks be wonderful now it is truly Spring!

I just love imagining how I would draft the patterns for these styles were I to try and copy them. I would like to sketch out some of the styles as technical sketches (as we called them in fashion school) where each seam and sewing detail is noted. Making a copy of a dress from this catalog would be such a fun project, but finding a similar fabric to the lovely textiles described could prove difficult!

Shall we take a look?

The first girl wears no hat! The girl next to her no gloves! All of these styles would be relatively easy to recreate now, though the mini polka dot dress from the top row looks very 80s to modern eyes doesn't it? It would not be out of place in the 1980s at all!

The gingham dress is my favorite from this page, but that is no surprise as I love gingham! The floral dress is also lovely. I always like prints!

More designs here that are good styles for using up scraps of fabric from other projects. The bows and stripe along the skirt and sleeve hems in the middle top dress seem to be done with bias tape and the dress in the bottom right has wide stripes in contrasting fabric! I love this last wide striped dress, the buttons are a nice touch <3

Very nice hats here on page 41! How nice to have a matching dress and long jacket for cold spring days. The large flowers down the front of the polka dot dress are fun and add something fresh to such a classic print.

Jackets over dresses, mix and match ladies! Fun hats again, and classic pearl necklaces, worn with light shoes and gloves. You can see here how popular large collars were, though now they may seem a bit 70s sometimes.

This is one of those pages where I really do want one of each dress! The first dress has wonderful self fabric details, the second is an embroidered jacket, the third is such a wonderful print, the fourth has amazing deco lined pintucks, and the last amazing lace! Anytime these want to magically appear in my closet I would be glad to receive them :) Notice too how dress G is styled with a single dress clip at the end of the V neckline, a good use for individual dress clips! 

More great suits! I should love to order the one in the bottom left with the fun trimmings. The last suit in the subtle stripe is also very nice with all of the pleats and seaming.

This page is labeled casuals, imagine what they would think of modern "casual" clothing! More great details as usual, here by way of fun pocket styles, contrasting cuffs and collars or trimmings, or even just well places pin-tucks like a yoke at the neckline.

View A!!! I need this dress! The thin white trimming, the cute little bows, the gathering to create such a nice shape! I'd like one in both the dusty blue and navy please <3 The striped dress labeled view D comes in a color called "redwood tan" which sounds most lovely as well, and the last floral dress is great with the wrap front. Notice the trimmings on view E as they are done in what appears to be polka dot ribbon.

More unique pockets on view H, but the collar on view G unfortunately again reads 1980s/90s to my modern eyes. I much prefer view L again in "redwood tan"! (and for only $2.59!)

These are some of the dresses recommended for plus sizes as well, and aren't they lovely! I especially like the last two, the floral and the last with pin-tucked details. Perhaps I must practice pin-tucks more!

More suiting again! And more wonderful hats, I just love all of the hats!

Notice how the plus sized designs have many vertical design elements like tucks or trim to slim the overall look. All are beautiful but the second dress in rayon jersey is my favorite, especially as it comes in black which is perfect for me!

Such wonderful styles! The sheer dresses with slips underneath are gorgeously light, the first being such a stunner! What a great style to wear with different slips underneath for a new look. Notice how both sheer dresses are styled with corsage brooches, on made of what looks like looped straw or raffia, and the other fresh flowers. I wonder if they used to sell fresh flower corsages at the florist for such a purpose? Perhaps they were always silk flowers and these just appear real to me!

More great details again in the form of bows, contrast trimming, and swirled applied trim. The gathering and cord closure on the center front of the first dress of the bottom row is interesting no?

View J not only shows off a lovely way to wear dress clips at the neckline, but the clips came with the dress! What a deal! All lovely dresses again and all with matching covered buckle belts. View G is great with that striped bias trim!

Most wonderful plaid suits! I'd like one of each again!

And here we have wonderful plaid and checked dresses in color! The insets on each show another available fabric choice. The styling information here is super great, the brown accessories with the brown and white check dress are especially nice  <3

Here is an image I have seen before on Pinterest and it is easy to see why many people find it inspiring! The gingham dress with the thick white rick rack is so chic and the suit has cute little eyelet trim around the jacket! The suit comes in "City black, aqua or red" and the dress comes in 3 qualities and many colors!

And on the page opposite the quilted jacket is so different to anything I have seen before! In cotton too, great for summer! 

Last for today (those who have stayed to the end here were rewarded with color pages!). These dresses are sooo pretty, I can't wait to make a white eyelet dress! They look so fresh and crisp with dark accessories. 

I hope all of you still enjoy seeing these catalog pages! I love pouring over their details, dreaming of what things I can incorporate into future sewing projects. Feel free to save these images and zoom in on the text and Pin them to your heart's content <3


  1. Utterly charming. They look so fresh-faced and young too, wearing far less makeup than before the '50s hits and all the models suddenly look uber-glam and womanly.

    I could go for a white eyelet dress too.

    1. I really need to start a white eyelet dress, I bought fabric already and everything!

  2. Oh, thank you for sharing those lovely images.It was really nice to see some plus-sized stuff - and it doesn't look frumpy, either. That coatdress with the vertical embroidery is a smasher.

    1. The plus sized fashions in all of my 40's catalogs are just as gorgeous as all the other offerings! If only we could all still place orders for these frocks right? I need to go shopping in the past ;)

  3. Replies
    1. I know! I need to step up my details game, pin tucks and piping and more!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...