The “Roaring 20s” was a decade of tremendous change in the world at large. Women’s fashions echoed the lifestyle changes that were taking place during this time period. This was a time of transition between the Victorian Era and the Modern Era. The elaborate fashions of the Edwardian era became outdated as dress silhouettes slimmed down. The mass media portrayed the fashionable ideal of the 1920s as the thin, boyish “Flapper”.
When we look back at needlework pattern books and women’s magazines from the 1920s, we see an evolution in crochet patterns as well. Prior to this time period, crochet patterns had been more elaborate and involved; they progressively grew simpler as women became enamored with modern conveniences and the promise of “quick and easy”. It is interesting to observe how crochet patterns and crocheted garments, accessories and linens have changed over the years. This page will explore some of the trends from the 1920s in relationship to crochet patterns and other crocheted items.
Crocheted Lingerie in the 1920s:
Corsets had been popular prior to the 1920s, but several factors led to a decline in their popularity. Paul Poiret’s couture dress designs were one major influence. The rise of the “Flapper” was another. Fashions emphasizing a youthful, slim silhouette were trendy; curvaceous lines fell out of fashion. As a result, fewer crochet patterns for corset covers were published in the 1920s and thereafter. Crocheted nightgown yokes, however, remained popular.
Here are a few photos from the Star Yoke Book, which was published in 1921.
(You can click here to learn more about the Star Yoke Book, and see more needlework patterns from it, if interested. The book also featured a knitting pattern for an exquisite lace camisole, plus tatting too.)
1920s Beaded Crochet Bags:
Beaded bags were a hot fashion trend during the roaring 20s. It didn’t matter if the bags were knitted or crocheted; both techniques were popular. These bags remain popular with collectors of vintage clothing, and the pattern books for crocheting and knitting the bags are just as highly prized.Here are a few photos from the vintage pattern books I’ve been lucky enough to own:
Crocheted Linens & Home Furnishings in the 1920s:
Interesting lifestyle trends can be observed by studying crochet patterns. During the 1920’s, you would still occasionally see patterns for “carriage robes” (blankets used while riding in a carriage); as the automobile gained in popularity, carriage robes became quite outdated. It is rare to see crochet patterns for them that were published after the 1920’s.
Edgings and insertions for linens had been popular prior to the 1920s, and they remained popular throughout the decade. The photo above shows an example from 1926. The pattern for crocheting this pretty scalloped trim was originally published in the August 1926 issue of Needlecraft magazine. You can click here to see more photos and projects from that issue.