Friday, April 20, 2012

Make Do, Mend, and Be Fashionable--April 1952

I have such an obsession with old magazines, I am quickly running out of room to store the ones I have adopted as my own. I've always had this "illness," one that runs in the family. I probably "caught" it when I was a kid and saw my great aunt's stash of 1930s/40s Life magazines. They were so tantalizing, but she wouldn't let me touch them. That's probably what set me off!

Then, when I was in high school, we moved in with my grandmother, who had an entire closet stacked high with 1960s Life magazines. I spent an entire summer reading every single page. Another early addiction came when our little local library was cleaning house and selling off stuff that no one seemed to care about anymore. I snagged, for 10 cents a bundle, an almost complete set of Horizons. I'll post on those some day...they deserve it.

I've discovered a "new" magazine that I'm in love with now. Thanks to Ebay, I now have a nice little pile of Britain's Home Notes. These are tiny little magazines, billed as being "For every woman in the family." Mine are all from the 1950s.

April 1952 brings us "50 Fashion Hints for the Easter Parade." Remember, Britain was still in rationing well into the 1950s, and they were hit much harder than us in the U.S, so the famous make-do-and-mend attitude was a way of life for so many for so long.

So, for spring 1952, here are the 50 fashion hints:

Oooh, and look at those shoes in the ad on the opposite page! Time machine, please!

If you can't make out the text, it reads: "Exclusive! We present six pages of new and exciting ideas from the leading fashion houses that will bring your wardrobe right up to date with very little expense or trouble. With odd lengths of gay material you can give a new lease of life to accessories. With imagination you can make one dress look like seven! And with these fifty clever ideas to guide you, you will look smarter than ever before--with top marks in the Easter Parade. Study them well."

Clockwise from top: "A scrap of bright suede gives a new umbrella; up-to-the-minute square cut for your jacket with boot button decorations. Elmoor 8 pounds (how to do a pound sign in Blogger??) 16 s. 8 d.; Casual but chic. A suit with new wide cuffs and big collar, worn up or down. Windsmoor 9 pounds 18 s.; It's high fashion to wear blouse, gloves and hat trimmings all in the same cherry and white polka dot; Striped ribbon for an umbrella case and matching choker scarf; The new shaped bag in calf grained plastic from  Selfridges 36 s. 6 d."

Left page, clockwise from top: "Seven-way sunbathing dress--it's fun, it's becoming. Here are just three of the ways it can be worn. With full skirt and huge pockets it is made in bright cotton prints. Brilkie model about 66s.; Spectacle case covered with wide end of a tie; The new Garbo way to wear a vagabond hat; Three-piece by Linzi, "Pasadena." Wear with kerchief like Mai Zetterling, or as sun dress, or with bolero for town, right. In genuine tartans, about 7 pounds 12 s."

Right page, clockwise from top: "1/2 a yard of gingham with knitted welts makes a sports blouse; knit your gloves in bright lemon with black forefingers and thumbs; Two-way sun dress in Paisley print. Slimuette, about 68 s.; Sunbathe in a top of candy striped cotton made in half an hour; Match your sweater and beret. Shroud the beret with a gay chiffon scarf; Glamorous waist petticoat in diamond check 13 s. Knickers to match 8 s. 6 d. Proper Pride; Frock in linen weave rayon by Blanes with lovely broderie anglaise trimming 2 pounds 17 s.; Shorten and narrow the legs of last year's slacks and bring them right up to date."

Left page, clockwise from top: "Checked suitlet with deep armholes, patch pockets and boot buttons. Dereta. Jacket about 62 s. Skirt about 50 s.; A blouse with a difference! Detach jabot and wear as in our sketch. In crepe from Peter French, about 28 s.; It's an old jigger coat cut away to give the new "Masher" look; Any little felt hat--it's the yard of gay chiffon, to match your blouse, that gives it life; Grey flannel suit with all-round pleated skirt. Grayson 9 pounds."

Right page, closewise from top: "Either suede or patent accessories can be worn with those smart Norvic shoes 63 s.; net scattered witih single orange blossoms; pique gloves and collar are a good looking pair; three for the price of one! A gaberdine coat with hat, separate cape. Alligator Rainwear 13 pounds 15 s.; A fur spring jacket at a price you can afford, in Tescan Leopard Lamb. 39 pounds 11 s.; Bolero and skirt in gay check. Dereta jacket 3 pounds 2 s.. Skirt 2 pounds 10 s."

Clockwise from top: "Fly-away coat in charming check. Donnybrook, 10 gns; A pretty dog collar worn under a shrit collar is new; Felt leaves sewn onto a ribbon belt; Make this blouse, perfect for square dancing, from our pattern, No. 12625, price 1 s. 9d.; Wear your posy right up under the chin; Make a gay skirt from two yards of striped or checked cotton gathered into a waistband; Wear a chiffon scarf instead of pearls with your evening dress; Sew flowers onto an elastic band for a new hair decoration; useful pinafore dress in check wool. Peter French, about 65 s."

So what can you do this spring to "update" or "back date" your wardrobe. Look to the past for some great--and inexpensive--ideas! I think my favorite one of these ideas is the dog collar. Punk in the 50s? There really is nothing new under the sun!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Make it at home--Frappuccino

I love it so much when I find an old way of doing something that most people think is modern. It always begs the question, Why did we stop doing that? Especially when it's so much cheaper than the "modern" version, and easy to do. What's not to love?

I recently picked up The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book (1945) at a local thrift store for a couple of bucks. It's a well-used book, missing its spine, with pages stained, and even a few recipes scribbled on cards and note paper and tucked inside. My very favorite kind of cook book!

I really enjoy this book, withs its huge number of every-day recipes, an extensive set of menus, of all...a whole pile of beverage recipes! Why do cookbooks rarely include such recipes? I love the surprise of a home-made punch or the like instead of just throwing out a bottle of soda. It's not difficult, and it's such a great touch. And a lot of drinks (alcoholic or not) can serve as a great dessert...for something completely different!

The recipe for "Iced Coffolate" (rhyme with "chocolate") looked intriguing. So I whipped some up (it will be dessert tonight, actually!). Well, I just had to have a taste (or two) to make sure it was OK to offer my family, and wow! It's a clone for a Starbucks Frappuccino "Bottled Coffee Drink"! But...unlike their expensive version (ranging from $1.25 to $2.75 a bottle, depending on where you buy it), you can control the sugar, and even the caffeine, if you use de-caf.

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

The little bit of flour and beaten egg really make this the nice thick and creamy consistency you want in a drink like this. While very rich and delicious, you really could probably cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup and still be great. I went ahead and poured the hot liquid over the egg, tiny bit by tiny bit, to cook it a little. Of course, I do use our own yard eggs, so if the idea of barely cooked egg bothers you, maybe add a bit of corn starch instead.

I have a glass quart milk bottle that this fit just right in (after I had my taste). In the fridge it went and ready to pour over ice tonight with a small dollop of whipped cream. If you're addicted to the store-bought version, imagine whipping up a bottle of this on the weekend and, after a quick shake, having lovely and rather healthier glass-fuls.

Lovely bits of chocolate floating throughout, just a hint of cinnamon and clove, and a creamy coffee-licious goodness. Oooo...with a scoop of vanilla? Now that's a killer idea!