Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Knitting - A Bathing Suit from 1935


Just the thing for your next cruise on Franchot Tone's yacht, from Columbia Minerva's Capri Book #42, published in 1935. There are two pages of instructions on my Flickr account.

15 comments:

FUZZARELLY said...

Bet it's lovely when wet.

There is a photo somewhere of Elizabeth Zimmermann wearing a swimsuit she knitted.

Shay said...

Yes, I think it's in her "Knitting Around" book.

I remember reading some knitwear designer's reminiscing about wearing home-knitted bathing suits in Germany before WWII and how you had to be careful they didn't sag right off you.

Packrat said...

LOL, you two are right. Also, wool? Scratchy. Isn't this a little risque for 1935? I can't remember.

Amanda said...

What a fun little suit. I would think you would need really soft yarn. I've seen many craft books from the era, and just about every one had a swimsuit pattern. Someone must have worn them.

Pat aka Posh said...

I think sagging would be an issue but I keep thinking they would be hot too.. like wearing a sweater in the hot sun.

Iris said...

Perhaps the knitted swimsuits were for sunbathing, not swimming. After all, a good knit would show the figure better. I'll bet it was cooler in Germany and New England than the Midwest or Texas!

Anonymous said...

After my mother became familiar with her new KnitKing (circa 1958-60) knitting machine, she made me a swimming suit of wool. It wasn't at all scratchy, and unbelievably it didn't sag out of shape. I was about 7 or 8 at the time.

Anonymous said...

My Aunt knitted a bathing suit for my cousin when she was young (early 50's?). It was made out of wool and quite beautiful. One dip in the Atlantic Ocean and it was off!

I have sewn my own bathing suits, but never knitted one.

Atelier 31

Eileen said...

It's quite a normal suit for the times. You'll find any number of patterns for knitting a bathing suit in 20s and 30s pattern books.

Bathing suits were wool for a long time. At least by the 30s women were not required to wear stockings and shoes while they bathed!

Jen said...

not a swimming suit, but I'm sure I remember reading something about the problems that George Reeves had with his wool knitted Superman costume when he was filming The Adventures of Superman. Full wool body suit and hot studio lighting. Gee that must have been fun!
Jen in Oz

TypsTatting said...

I think that it would have been hot as well!!!!!!! Just imagine if it sagged!!!!!!!!! or worse LOL!

Zaz said...

if it sag or worse, well the lycra men bathing suits do pop up too.
on wool, in bretagne (atlantic) you find kids with long sleeves and full legs bathing, like you were in the 30s maybe (no idea) because of the very cold water even in the summer. i think it's better than not letting your kid bathe.
as for now bathing knit suits they recommend viscose because it dries fast. there's this book that has modern bathing suits "sexy little knits", never knit one though.
there's also this very cute bikini on rebecca.de for free, you just have to register to download it free. i knit it for a friend for her yoga, she loves wearing it.
see the shape of this one here and all the passes the straps go through? i bet it's well made.
on not swimming, yes probably just a quick dip then under an umbrella as women loved to NOT suntan.

Anonymous said...

.. that reminds me of my first knitting project in school..pants.. the swimsuit looks great..
all the best from Switzerland..
Christa

Shay said...

Someone familiar with vintage yarns needs to tell us if "Modeen" was a very fine, tightly twisted yarn that shed water, or what.

Zaz said...

if Modeen is anything like today's Modal then i have seen this in the composition percentage of some machine woven garnments sold istores, shops. Modal is a man-made "fiber" just as acrylic is.
i am not sure but i think that it is lightweight unlike wool.