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Memory Book Monday: 1930s Fashion, A Formal Dance and the First Day of School

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hey guys! I haven't posted much this week, I've been crafting like crazy for Christmas! Chirstmas in August? Yeah, I know- too early to even be thinking about it. But, I'm working hard on a new ebook to release this November, which means I have to get an early start to finish it in time.

 Here's just a tiny peek, if you didn't already see it on my Instagram and Facebook page this week:


The house is covered in glitter and bottle brush trees but I'm hoping to have the crafts done in the next few weeks so I can start designing the pages and writing!


Anyway, on to a peek inside Great Grandma Alma's memory book. Today I thought I'd share my very favorite page- her 1930s wardrobe plans! I was so excited when I found this page in her scrapbook because this is the kind of stuff that I do all the time. Doodle an outfit and stick a piece of fabric on it for an idea of what I want the finished result to look like.

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

 I had no idea that she ever did these kinds of things. It seems like such a day-dreamer thing to do and the Alma I knew was not a day dreamer. She was very set in practicality and spending time studying. But there was obviously more to her than I ever knew.

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage


With 3 young girls in the family and especially during the Great Depression, I'm sure there was a lot of home sewn and not a lot of store bought clothes.

For my prom, grandma sewed a little wrap and matching evening bag for me and I remember sitting with her one evening while she worked on the tiny perfect little stitches. I asked "What did you wear to prom, grandma?" She said "Oh, I don't know if we had a prom exactly but we did go to formal dances sometimes. We didn't wear really fancy dresses because it -was- the DEPRESSION!" She always raised her voice when she said "depression" and she had this annoyed tone and eye roll every time.  This ridiculous, inconvenient time in history that she had to deal with. She might as well have said "The damn depression". And surely, it was a terrible time but from the way she told the story, it was just more irritating for her than anything. She smacked her lips and continued,
"I did have this real purty pink silk dress with a little flower corsage and this lace in the skirt. I wore it to quite a few dances because well, that's just what girls did back then. Back when I was a girl."


In her memory book, I found evidence of one such dance, a whole page dedicated to her evening at the 36th Annual Military Ball in Columbia, Missouri 1936. It includes her first corsage and card from the florist, given to her by her date, Paul- her dance card (which only includes Paul for the first dance!) and newspaper clippings detailing the event. Unfortunately, there are no photos to go with it so we'll just have to leave the beautiful details to our imaginations.

1930s scrapbook from va voom vintage




 1930s dance card via va voom vintage



1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card from va voom vintage


Alma continued....
"When I went to school, though...it was my first day of school. We didn't have kindergarten but it was like that. My mother made me the most beautiful little cotton dress out of flour sacks. You know, the old fabric bags that feed came in?"
I said "no.", not having any idea about flour and feed sacks at the time.
She said "Well, back in those days, mother and all of the ladies in town bought flour from the general store in cotton bags. The women would cut the bags up and make clothes for their children. Well, they were just awful, ugly dresses. My mother bought flour sacks with the prettiest little flower print and made me a beautiful dress and I went to school on my first day just so proud of that dress."

1924-1925 school children via Va Voom Vintage
Alma's Class, near Columbia, MO mid 1920s

1924-1925 school children via Va Voom Vintage
Alma in the middle


I hope that you all enjoy this class photo as much as my mom, grandma and I did. Just look at all of the sour faces! What on earth did the photographer or teacher say just before this photo was taken?! There's no date on the photo but since Grandma Alma was born in 1919, I'd guess it's around 1924-1925.



That's all for this week's Memory Book Monday. I hope that you enjoyed this look into the life of a teenage girl in the 1930s. Next week, we'll meet grandma's boyfriend before she started dating my grandpa and I'll share a hilariously inappropriate letter from their friend!


13 Responses to “Memory Book Monday: 1930s Fashion, A Formal Dance and the First Day of School”

  1. The littles deers are so cute! Are they in you Kitchmas e-book, too?

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  2. Yes! They're surprisingly easy too, just hand sewing and they come together in about a half hour!

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  3. This is such a wonderful thing to have! I love looking through my grandmother's old photos and diaries.

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  4. What a treasure to have! Makes me think about the fact that all of our things are digital these days so future generations won't have things like this.

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  5. What an amazing piece of history to have! I can just imagine what her formal dress would have looked like... So pretty!

    Brigid
    the Middle Sister and Singer

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  6. This is such a wonderful and beautiful post, Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I adore your Memory Book Mondays! That book is simply priceless, such a charming look into the real vintage world. I will look forward to the inappropriate letter. :)

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  8. Very interesting! You are lucky to have those priceless vintage items from a dear family member. I am excited for the holiday ornaments and more posts.

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  9. So immensely special! Dance cards and books are such wonderful pieces of the past. I've wanted one for ages now. Thank you for sharing this beauty from your own family.

    ♥ Jessica

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  10. That is really such a wonderful family treasure to have! I love the grumpy school kids. It's like they've been told that the photo time is coming out of their lunch break rather than Maths!

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  11. What a treasure! I really like the dance card and corsage. And your great grandma was so cute too! That little smile and short hair makes her look like a pixie:)
    Kristen.

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  12. Thanks for sharing this lovely insight into your family history

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  13. What a gorgeous book! Thank you so much for sharing.

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I read every single comment (even on old posts) and they make my day! If you have a question, please email me at brittanyvavoomvintage@gmail.com. Thank you for reading me!