After Edwina Ehrman's talk about London Couture at the V&A, I…
Marriner’s leaflet No.162 was originally knitted in Marriner’s 3-ply “Heritage” Shrink-less knitting wool in Light Grey, White and Cherry on No.10 (3.25mm) & No.12 (2.75mm) needles to a tension of 7.5sts/9.5 rows to the inch. Shrink-less yarn was another one of those great post-war ’50s innovations. Geek fact alert: out of the 25,000,000 US wired homes in 1940, 60% owned an electric washing machine. The war put the kibosh on washing machine production but when the humble appliance returned to take its place in the home, new techniques evolved to help clothes withstand the process. Shrinkless yarn was still 100% wool, but was treated to prevent shrinking and felting.
The ’50s also saw progress in the ladies’ bust department (helped along by the bullet bra): patterns finally had to admit that women came in sizes other than a 34″ bust and, what’s more, knitted fashion could actually still look stylish on those more shapely figures – this pattern offers a range of sizes between 34-40″. Having said that the waist is still pretty small by today’s standards, ranging roughly between 25-28″.
The simple shape (ribbed welt, increases out to the bust, set-in sleeves, crew neck) is a familiar theme, but makes a stand-out garment combined with the colours, contrast yoke and patterned leaf motif.
In true Maria von Trapp style, these are a few of my favourite things.