The Modern Priscilla – June 1911

As my required sewing is nearing an end, I spent some time today cleaning my sewing studio. I haven’t yet unpacked my 1790’s bonnet for more photos, but I did unearth my stack of The Modern Priscilla magazine issue from 1911.


It only seemed appropriate to start flipping through the June issue.

I was lucky enough to find the entire run of issues for that year and purchased them on eBay about 18 months ago. According to The eNewstand ProjectThe Modern Priscilla was started in 1887 as a monthly magazine published in Lynn, Massachusetts. (That it’s only two towns from me definitely played a factor in my interest!) As far as I can tell from reading the 1911 issues, the magazine had since moved to Boston and was geared to women who had the leisure, the desire, or the need to have resources at hand for improving their homes and wardrobes. It’s similar in scope to other periodicals of the early 20th century with a mix of short stories, recipes, fashion plates, decor ideas, and of course, advertisements.

Perhaps what interested me most of all were the project tutorials, many of which I’ll be expanding on in future posts. The Priscilla Company also sold patterns and pre-marked fabric for making the dainty embroidered collars, waists, numerous unmentionables, and housewares. In many of the tutorial-like articles there is little more than an expanded set of directions – probably only slightly more detailed than what accompanied the purchased pattern. However, there’s usually at least one more in-depth look at constructing a garment, many with clear photos of some technique or another.

Peerless Patterns appear regularly in the magazine pages and this yummy duo caught my eye:

I’m pretty sure I’ll be going to be dreaming of embroidered grapes on a summery dress…. With a parasol to match of course! Which reminds me, I wonder if B.C., the all-knowing parasol princess, would have any recommendations for the right frame to copy this one?


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