Buttons were VERY popular in the 1940’s!!!

There’s a new show on TV called “Wisdom of the Crowd” where a computer program sends out messages to people and they can give their opinions to help solve the crimes. It’s sort of like “Asking the Audience” on Millionaire. There is a good chance that when lots of people think the same thing, it might be right.

That’s what I did last night. I looked through my 1940’s catalogs and saw lots of buttons and tiny bows, but “thought” Molly’s dress needed a fancier front, so I showed all those pictures of “brooches” (which I actually only saw 3 of in the catalogs.) SOOOOO… what did I do? I asked for the “wisdom of the crowd” on my blog… the ladies who lived in the 40’s and remembered what was popular. Linda started it and said, “If you really want my opinion, it needs a tiny black bow or maybe 3 buttons on the front.” She mentioned more, but as soon as I saw those words, I knew what I had seen in the catalogs were right… little buttons and tiny bows… Then it seemed like EVERYONE seemed to agree with Linda…. Hence, we had “Wisdom of the Crowd” right here on I Dream of Jeanne Marie’s blog! :o) So I thank you all for your help…

I found some of the tiniest mother of pearl buttons in the right shade of cream to match the lace and added them to the tucks on the front of the dress. When I stood back and looked at it, as Marilyn said to do, I realized everyone was right… 3 little buttons was all it needed!

I didn’t set up my lights on both sides of Molly, so the pictures aren’t the absolute greatest, but I think you can tell. I added some tiny glass buttons on the back too… The 1940’s may have put an extra button in between the ones I’ve already sewn on, but I can easily add them if I want to.

The slip was finished and I added a tiny purple checked bow for decoration. (it looks like it needed to have been pulled up on her body just a little bit… but that’s the nice thing about my slips… you can!)

Molly was in a tizzy over which shoes to wear with her dress… I told her ANY of them would work… She told me she’d decide by morning! :o)

The catalogs I looked at were filled with SO many pictures of buttons sewn on dresses and coats and I thought you might like to see some of them…I think the button manufacturers were QUITE busy back then.

I LOVE all the buttons on the little girl’s coats…

I saved ONE final dress for you. I think it should be called “Buttons Gone Wild!” EEK!

The description for this dress called it “The Bow Tie Check.” It was made from Baby wale Sanforized cotton pique. It had a “sleek” built in midriff and there was more white dazzle on the puffy sleeves and at the throat. Those are “pockets” attached to the waistline. It sold for $4.98… but I bet those ended up “repurposed” the next season! :o) Wouldn’t it be unreal to find one of those today?

Well, that’s it for today!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Charlotte Trayer says:

    Oh, I do like the look of the buttons on Molly’s dress, Jeanne! I did comment on yesterday’s post, saying essentially that I agreed with everyone on the buttons, but that if I were doing a dress in this fabric and with this bodice style but for a more “antique” looking dress (long skirt, etc.), then I’d go with the very first brooch you showed or else the next-to-last one, both with pearly centers.

    You know, buttons were used a lot to trim dresses and things in the 40s and early 50s because they were relatively inexpensive, so you could really “dress up” a garment for not a horrendous cost. Even the wonderful mother-of-pearl buttons, for which we pay premium prices these days, weren’t all that expensive! In the 40s, I’m sure some buttons were Bakelite, but by the time I started sewing (1956), Bakelite had become rather passe’ in favor of the new plastics.

    I’m so glad you are feeling better. Be sure to make note of that medication you reacted to, Let. Your. Pharmacist. Know. as well as any doctors you come in contact with–it could be very important at a later date! I have several drug allergies as well as some other conditions, so I wear a Medic Alert pendant, just in case. (Of course, my drug allergies include some Very common, general-purpose things, like sulfa and penicillin, so it’s especially important that those things are known.)

  2. Oh my gosh, Jeanne, I’m still laughing at that last dress! Who in the world would be caught wearing that get-up?? Well, come to think of it, Halloween is coming up!
    What a sweet transformation the three little buttons made on that dress! It is just perfect now! Everything just “clicked” , and when you let Molly’s hair down, it turned the dress into something “special” for her to wear. Now she needs “something” up there in her hair!

    Oh, the shoes, yes, black patent!! I have all but the ones on the right, and I think those would go best, not that you asked………..!

    Thank you, Jeanne, for the trip down memory lane from those catalogs! Oh gosh, I can see the dresses my mother, grandmother, neighbors, and many others wore in those pictures. Women always wore dresses everywhere, picnics, church, shopping, cleaning, traveling, etc. Now I’m singing “Buttons and Bows”!!

  3. Charlotte A. says:

    Love, love, love the button pictures!
    I also love the buttons you chose. They look perfect.
    Glad you are feeling better.
    Hope you have a good day.
    Take care.

  4. What an interesting subject today. Searching “History of Buttons” revealed “In the post–World War II world, where lab-synthesized plastics have virtually defined a way of life . . . ” Part of that world was the ready availability of plastic buttons. Many creatures including elephants and rare turtles were driven almost to extinction in the quest for materials for buttons. Thank goodness for the invention of cheap plastic materials. I have my mother’s button box and will find it today and take a trip down memory lane. We used to have fun looking at the buttons left over from her sewing dresses for us.

    When I was in college I reluctantly took an elective class called “Small Group Communication.” It could have been called “Two Heads Are Better Than One.” It’s surprising how useful that concept is in so many areas of life. As for teachers, Jeanne, you are one of the very best, using your lovely dress for Molly to get the group together to come up with a great solution. My favorite childhood dress was a purple one so I love the new Molly dress.

    My mother Margaret (b. 1915 d. 2003) bought a pair of slacks only once in her life for a ship tour to Alaska. Suits, dresses and housedresses ruled.

    • Charlotte Trayer says:

      My mother (1920-2007) never wore slacks, either, Susette. She did borrow a pair when we went “camping” (in a truck and camper, borrowed from the same couple) once, and she wore the borrowed slacks then, but of course had the wrong shoes (she wore mostly lace-up shoes with chunky heels at that point in her life) to go with them (plus the slacks were brown plaid! Ooh, ick….), and my dad and brother walked half a block in front of us! (THEY said they went on ahead to check something out! LOL) That was the last time Momma wore slacks!

  5. Those buttons look so familiar, but mine are human sized. Everyone must have some in their button box. Even I have a button box, inherited from someone. I started sewing in 1959, and before that my mother sewed for me.

    All those pictures of adult fashions show a lack of fabric (short or cut in sleeves, small or no collar, relatively slim skirts) but are amazingly varied and pretty for all their limits. Molly’s is a very pretty version — anyone would envy her that dress. It looks hand hemmed for authenticity. Tomorrow it will be done — maybe. Deb arrives today.

    Have a wonderful time together. I’m so glad you feel much better.

  6. HI everyone,
    I just heard from Trish, a reader of my blog, and she said Joy, another subscriber here, lives in CA and the fires are near her home. I haven’t seen any comments from her the last few days and after the email from Trish, decided to ask everyone to pray for Joy’s safety and her home to be spared. It’s a small thing that we can do, but very needed right now!
    Thank you for letting me know Trish!
    Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Thanks for sharing the beautiful continuation of Molly’s dress, Jeanne. I sense that your choices are just perfect for the dress/era.

    And, thanks for sharing of the situation with Joy. Prayers….


  8. I couldn’t respond yesterday but I thought the very same thing and then started reading and just had to smile at how we all thought the same thing🙂
    The white pearl buttons were exactly what I was going to suggest too. Adding the collar lace to the back of the dress was perfect too. You are going to make a purple lover out of me yet!
    Glad you feel better! Get plenty of rest now!

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