Monday, 27 August 2012

AHJ - August, 1950

Recently, I have started a new collection, and it has grown alarmingly quickly!! It started with an Australian Home Journal magazine I found at the op-shop, for $1. Now, I seem to spend increasing amounts of time on eBay, snapping them up whenever I can find cheap ones!

In case you haven't heard of this magazine, it was published in Australia until around the 70's, I think, and it was a magazine for the 'average housewife.' Each issue contains recipes, crotchet and knitting patterns, fashion tips, and at least 3 sewing patterns! My earliest issue is from the 30's, but I think it goes back even further than that.

Rather than keep all this vintage inspiration to myself, I have decided to post some pictures here for everyone to enjoy! And, if you would like your very own AHJ, with original patterns included, stay tuned! I will be participating in the Patterns and Postcards Swap hosted by the Perfect Nose, and have a few doubles of issues that I would love to swap with someone who can give them a good home! :)

Ok, let's get to the good stuff! Being the end of August, I thought I would share one of my August issues with you, this one being from 1950. Since this is an Australian magazine, this is an end-of-winter/start-of-spring issue, which I know is out of season for you Northern hemisphere readers, but I can't please everyone! :)

This issue has a couple pages of ladies fashion:

Cute bows on that coat, above, right? They look like they could be achieved with the "Bows into Darts" tutorial from Sew Vera Venus!

Love the skirt and bolero combo! And those scalloped pockets!

Polka dot dress = awesome!

There's also some fashion for younger girls:

Can you imagine young girls today wearing those suits? I wish they would!!

I think I have a pattern similar to the one with the lace yoke, above! (In an adult size!) Hmmm...

Cute, cute and more cute!

And these are some of my favourite advertisements:

Makes me want to play with paper dolls again!

Let me know if you liked these images and would like to see more! And, if you are interested, there are a number of digitised issues of the AHJ available online at Trove.

Then, since I'm obsessed with drawing on my croquis at the moment, I decided to see how each of the free patterns featured in this issue would look on me! Here they are:

They look a bit weird at first, right? After looking at the pattern illustration, these sketches looked like they had MASSIVE waists, necks and legs! But the more I looked at them, the more I realised it was the illustrations from the magazine that looked strange. Completely unrealistic proportions! But it does help me realise that the longer skirts are a little dowdy!!

Now I can photoshop in some fabrics from my stash, and see how it might look! I made did a set in cool colours:

And a set in warm colours:

Cool, right?! Which ones are your favourites?


  1. You aren't alone! The old magazines offer an incredible amount of inspiration.

  2. Wow, absolutely gorgeous. You have a real treasure there. I really love your croquis versions with the realistic-sized figure and nice color/print selections.

  3. These magazines are lovely. I wish I could draw - I prefer the cool colours myself, but both look great, particularly the orange one on the right with the horizontal stripes.

    1. Penny-Rose, it didn't take much skill! I just traced my croquis and added the dresses on top! (I did do a lot of rubbing out at that stage though!) And I made my croquis by tracing a photo of myself... so it is just a lot of tracing!

  4. There are electronic copies in the national archives web site if you're interested just in the magazines (
    If you want the patterns too, you might want to invest in some pattern paper (very cheap stuff) and copy them from friends (don't forget to photocopy the instructions too). Home Journal patterns are unprinted and thus extremely easy to copy.