The Washerwoman

The Washerwoman

Monday, 24 February 2014

The suitcase. A 1940's time capsule.


Last year I was fortunate enough to purchase this rare collection of 1940's children's clothes and shoes......


Having been packed away in a suitcase for almost 70 years, the shoes are lovingly polished to a conker-like shine.


Scuffed sandles, some with holes where the toes poked through.... It is poignant to imagine who the case of clothing belonged to, perhaps an evacuee sent away from the bombings in WW 2?


Bertie, my vintage mannequin models some of the garments.


Many items in the suitcase have the CC41 Utility labels which are found on clothing issued in the the war.


A tiny pair of leather gloves would have kept a child's hands warm and dry during a bitter Winter.



There is something charming about old clothing labels?




Knitwear has been darned..button holes repaired.


This tweed pinny has been made from an adults garment. Make and mend was a way of life in the war years. In contrast to the much-worn shoes, several hats are in pristine condition. Obviously much hated and never worn!


The little shoes are my favourite items.







 Here are details of the charming embroidery on the dressing gowns and the beautiful smocking on the dresses.


There are even sets of reins, complete with a small bell!


I will be taking a selection of Vintage Childrens' costume to The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes on Saturday 8th March. Doors open at 9.30. Admission £2 for adults.


18 comments:

Pick and Mix Vintage said...

What a lovely collection..I can remember some of those types of things being around still when I was small..just about..probably hand-me-downs through the family. Certainly little smocked dresses and nightgowns, mended and darned knitwear and clothes cut up to make new garments. Love the shoes, and labels!

marigold jam said...

That lot certainly took me back on a trip down memory lane!

ted and bunny said...

oh Lizzie, they're so poignant. . .especially the little bell on the reins. . .

KC'sCourt! said...

That was a lovely find
Julie xxxx

Streetcomber said...

Just beautiful, thank you so much for sharing these. I love the little shoes, and the darns and mends in the clothes are just so touching.

Vintage Jane said...

What a wonderful find ... if not slightly sad. M x

BusyLizzie said...

Thank you for your comments. I agree that it is all rather poignant...finds like these certainly make you think. Lizzie x

Vintage to Victorian said...

My reins had a bell, and when I started Infants School I wore a green and white check Trutex blouse ;)

Rebecca said...

I too find it rather poignant - with a story and provenance, this could well be a museum exhibit - an evacuee's clothes, as you suggest, or perhaps clothes that belonged to a child who died in the bombing, packed away for ever because someone couldn't bear to use them again or part with them ....
Thanks for sharing it with us.

nilly said...

Like Vintage to Victorian, I too had bells on my reins and trutex blouses - AND a siren suit. I'll wager you know what that is!

BusyLizzie said...

Yes, Nilly I know what a siren suit is. I think this case may have contained clothing from a brother and sister, possibly twins as some of the little coats are identical in size, as are the shoes. I will be sad to part with this collection..but cannot keep everything! Lizzie x

Jane Jazz said...

What a fascinating and touching post :-)
I have been taken on a lovely slow wander through another era and part of me feels quite reluctant to return to the present...JJ

Jane the Booklady said...

What a wonderful collection, I do hope there's a happy story behind them. I did enjoy seeing you and being at the Vintage Bazaar fair on Saturday!

The Vintage Knitter said...

I found this little suitcase and clothes very poignant and quite sad. I hope their original owners lived long happy lives and were not cut short by the war...

BusyLizzie said...

I agree Vintage knitter. I like to think that they did live long and happy lives and the suitcase was just stored away as a sentimental gesture. Lizzie

Linda said...

Beautiful collection!

BusyLizzie said...

Hi Linda, thank you for your comment. Have a great week! Lizzie

Bodkin said...

thanks for sharing loved that post hx