Vintage Notions Monthly Club: February

Vintage Notions Monthly Club

Thanks for joining me in my second installment of our monthly club, where we are revisiting our second issue of the Vintage Notions Monthly magazine issues. The timeless wisdom and inspiration that are found in the pages are a joy to explore. I filmed this video explaining more about this series.

The February issue found Mary & the Institute celebrating their 4th anniversary. One of my favorite reads in this issue is an article titled “The Spirit of Greatness” by the editor Gustave Weiness. Here is a short excerpt that rings true of how I feel about Mary being my muse and speaks to my aspirations for my business.


“Often, when I have heard of the success of persons who have had visions of great things, I have wondered how it must feel to have won. But my almost daily association with Mrs. Picken has taught me how I should behave. I should try to cultivate the modesty she possesses and to become saturated with the spirit of service for my fellow beings which she constantly displays by word and deed, for I know that genuine greatness consists in modesty and service. Then as she does, I should try to instill these same qualities into my associates, for I now know that “‘Tis the spirit of greatness which builds institutions that deal with humanities.”

Department of Cookery

This issue has a funny article regarding the “Extra Day of 1920″—it was a leap year— and how on this day conjures up thoughts of “reversed” Cupid’s arrows (flying from the ladies to the man’s heart!). It proposes a special Leap-Year Dinner which I wanted to share with you! This is a suggestion for a Sunday “Birthday” celebration for the anniversary of the school’s founding on February 29, 1916. Click here to download the entire article for FREE!

Leap Year Day Dinner

Also included are articles on millinery work, keeping pace with growing children, and several testimonials and questions/answers from Institute students.

Each issue also includes amazing illustrations of 1920’s fashion! February’s issue features some beautiful dress styles, including the long-waisted dress, tuxedo scarf dress, and kimono-style dress variations.

This section titled Fashion Service provides the artistic renderings of these fashions and a detailed description of the garments, including materials, alternations, and other interesting details. 

And don’t forget, we do include a separate print at the end of each issue suitable for framing.

Magic Pattern

Each issue contains our simple Magic Pattern! A magic pattern is a stylish sewing project that does not require a printed tissue like modern patterns. You use your personal measurements and the guides provided in the magazine to create your fashion. This month’s project is the Sleeved Cape.

Sleeved Cape

Each issue also provides a helpful chart with guidelines on taking accurate measurements, so you get a good fit!


For PDF versions of the Vintage Notions Monthly Issues, click here. If you would like printed copies, they are available on my Amazon Page. To purchase an instant PDF download of Issue Two click here.

Dressmaking Made Easy

Dressmaking Made Easy old and new

Pictured is the 1916 version of the promotional pamphlet the Woman’s Institute published. I have 15 different versions of this publication in my collection of Woman’s Institute ephemera. This one is extra special since it was published when the Institute was based in New York City, only for a short time. The school moved to Scranton, PA, where the parent company, the International Correspondence Schools, was based. This is a treasure of information filled with photos and illustrations. Buy the PDF version here, or if you would like the printed copy, find it in my Amazon store here.

Dressmaking Made Easy

This is an instant PDF Download.

This ebook is a reproduction of the Dressmaking Made Easy promotional booklet from the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences which was founded in 1916 by Mary Brooks Picken. It is a very early edition of a guide to the school’s coursework and provides a synopsis of the lessons in sewing, dressmaking, tailoring & millinery. It also includes interesting articles explaining the value of the education the women would receive in terms of saving money, creating a profitable business, and improving their style & fashion sense. The booklet is 66 pages and includes over 25 delightful vintage illustrations and photographs. If you would like a printed version of this book, find it here on Amazon.


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