I’ve had a pleasant day at the British Library looking at the very first years of Stitchcraft magazine. It began in October 1932. Normally I would be looking for patterns to scan for this website, but I have a dual mission now to spot a model I’m calling Jumper Jill (and spot jumpers with giant bows like Miss Lemon’s). Jill was absent from the first 3 issues, but appears in four issues in 1933, which I’ll add to the website along with my favourite patterns from all these issues.
Under the helm of “Editress” Norah Hadley (whose name doesn’t get mentioned until at least six issues in), Stitchcraft appears to be a Conde Nast publication, however if you look at the really, really small print it seems to be a Patons and Baldwins, Conde Nast co-production. The offices of the editor were in Halifax, home of Paton and Baldwin, who are still in business today as a wool manufacturer. Maybe this is where Jumper Jill was from? The back page of issue 1 says
Printed for the proprietors, Messers Paton & Baldwin Ltd Halifax, Messers Percy Lund, Humphries and Co Bradford. Published for the proprietors by Conde Nast Publications Ltd.
Instead of the entirely knitting and craft based Stitchcraft magazines of the 1940s and 1950s, these early issues have a wider scope – “Stitchcraft for the modern woman and her home” – with a free gift of an embroidery transfer, a cookery page, a two page spread in every issue on Paris fashions from their correspondent in France, Anne Talbot; plus the more usual knitting, rug making and so on. From April 1933 there were film reviews too. From May 1933, Stitchcraft sewing patterns for lingerie were featured over two pages. Readers could send off for the pattern (for a fee). A feature I really like, is that items similar to those from the Paris fashion report turn up as a knitting patterns a few issues later. I’ll be sharing two of these – a swagger coat with Raglan sleeves and a short jacket, later on.
Here is the first Jumper Jill appearance, from Issue 4. I wouldn’t describe these as “next to nothings” which is the caption under the picture, but then I live in a flat with central heating so haven’t really needed knitted underwear (I didn’t alway live here and my last place was so cold, I did knit myself a vest)
If you want to download this pattern here it is as a pdf – Underwear set knitted 1933