I was looking around in the newspaper archive, trying to date a Pictorial Review pattern, and came across a fun little article. The week of July 14, 1931, was Cut-Ready to Sew week.
What was this, you ask? This was the week that Pictorial Review offered five different patterns that you could purchase, and the store would cut the fabric for you. Why, you ask? Here was their reasoning:
- Beginning sewists could just start sewing, without the intimidation of cutting the fabric.
- Experienced sewists who were hesitant to cut fabric could just sew, without the fear.
- Expert sewists could consult with the reps to learn shortcuts and new techniques.
Both the patterns and the fabrics were pre-chosen, so the fabric definitely matched the pattern, but also limited choices. I’d love to know how this went over. Personally, I hate cutting, so perhaps it would work out ok for me. I even buy my patterns previously cut, because I hate cutting so much. I’d think that this probably didn’t allow expert sewists to adjust the pattern prior to cutting though, so perhaps it was more appreciated by beginning sewists.
Either way, it was a great marketing technique to get people to use the patterns. Window displays were created with the five dresses and fabrics, to show sewists the final product. I’d love to know what the five patterns were, wouldn’t you?