Sewing machine advertising posters

These French vintage advertising posters for sewing machines, dated from 1866 to 1907, are not only a feast for the eyes but also reflect the lifestyle and customs of that time and the identity/philosophy of each brand.

Of course these posters being for sewing machines sold in France at the time, you’ll find brands like Singer (which has been the most popular brand in France for a long time) and Peugeot (which is not making sewing machines anymore). But I also found several brands (French and foreign) that I didn’t know of : New Home, H. Vigneron, Avrial, W. Jackson & Co. … If you have any information about these manufacturers of sewing machines,  do not hesitate to leave comments… I’m curious !

My preference goes to the “New Home” posters. They are the funniest and leave a more prominent place to the illustration, thus being closer to our modern ads. Singer posters were austere to say the least … But the brand is still very much alive 150 years later!

Here is a small selection of ten sewing machines posters you could see in France in the 19th century, arranged in chronological order.

Click images to enlarge.

1866 – Aubineau & Bouriquet

affiche publicitaire machine à coudre Aubineau et Bouriquet 1866

Sewing machine Aubineau et Bouriquet - 1866

Editor : Lith. F. Appel (Paris)

Format : lithography ; 106 x 68 cm


1869 – W. Jackson & Cie

affiche machine à coudre W Jackson & Cie 1869

Sewing machine W Jackson & Cie - 1869

Author : Chéret, Jules (1836-1932). Illustrator

Editor : [Imp. J. Chéret] ([Paris])

Format : lithography ; 103 x 56 cm


1870 – Singer

publicité machine à coudre singer 1870

Sewing machine Singer - 1870

Author : Chéret, Jules (1836-1932). Illustrator

Editor : [imp. J. Chéret] ([Paris])

Format : lithography ; 130 x 94 cm


1876 – Singer

machine à coudre singer 1876

Sewing machine Singer - 1876

1878  – Peugeot

Publicité Machine à coudre Peugeot 1878

Sewing machine Peugeot - 1878

Editor : [J. Bognard jne] ([Paris])

Format :  lithography ; 94 x 62 cm


 1885 – H. Vigneron

machine à coudre H Vigneron 1885

Sewing machine H. Vigneron - 1885

Editor : Imp. Emile Levy (Paris)

Format : lithography ; 128 x 96 cm


1989 – New Home

affiche publicitaire machine à coudre new home 1889

Sewing machine New Home - 1889

Editor : Imp. spéciale “New Home”, 20 rue de la Reynie (Paris)

Format : lithography ; 123 x 80 cm


1889 – Davis

machine à coudre Davis 1889

Sewing machine Davis - 1889


1890 – H. Vigneron

machine à coudre H Vigneron 1890

Sewing machine H. Vigneron - 1890

Author and Editor : Ancourt, Edward. Illustrator (Paris)

Format : lithography ; 124 x 90 cm


1890 – Peugeot

pub machine à coudre Peugeot 1890

Sewing machine Peugeot - 1890

Editor : [F. Champenois] ([Paris])

Format : lithography ; 81 x 61 cm


1894 – New Home

publicité machine à coudre new home 1894

Sewing machine New Home - 1894


Editor : Imp. spéciale “New Home”, 20 rue de la Reynie (Paris)

Format : lithography ; 80 x 60 cm

1895  – Avrial

publicité Machine à coudre Avrial 1895

Sewing machine Avrial - 1895

Author : Signosol, C. (18..-18..? ; dessinateur) Illustrator and  Pellegrin (18..-19..? ; dessinateur)

Editor : Imp. Parisienne Mon Emile Levy & Cie 132 rue Montmartre (Paris)

Format : lithography ; 130 x 93 cm

1907 – H. Vigneron

publicité machine à coudre H Vigneron 1907

Sewing machine H Vigneron - 1907


Author : Geisler, Louis (1852-1914). Illustrator and Joaman (18..-19.. ). Illustrator

Editor : Paper, printing and engraving L. Geisler, auxChatelles, by Raon-l’Etape (Vosges) & Paris, 22, rue de la Faisanderie (Raon-L’Etape)

Format : photomechanical printing ; 82 x 62 cm

Sleeveless Jasmine – Colette

The pattern

Jasmine blouse by Colette Patterns.

This blouse in cut on the bias and has no closures. The top is shaped with bust darts and seams at the center front and center back.

I made version 2, the one with a shorter contrast collar, in a size 10, as usual for me with Colette patterns.

Blouse Jasmine



  • For the collar : it’s the same red microfiber as in my red Sencha.
  • For main fabric : I’ts a lightweight and soft Indian cotton, bought in Delhi, in a Kilol shop. The stripes on the fabric were hand block printed. There are some imperfections but nothing too dramatic. (I have some pics of hand block printing on my French blog : Tissus Indiens.)
tissus indiens

It's the 2 in the middle

Oh course the purpose of using stripes for this blouse, cut on the bias with center seams, is to create a chevron effect.

“Hand block printed” is nice but don’t expect the stripes to be really straight. This, plus the fact that some stripes are in groups of 4 and other of 5, made cutting the pattern to get the stripes to match at centers, a challenge.  

To achieve it, I laid down the pieces on the fabric differently from what is suggested in the instructions. Here are pictures of how I did it, for those interested (clic to enlarge) :


Aligner des rayures couture
Fold the fabric width-wise matching stripes.



Jasmine colette rayures

Cut out the pieces through both layers. Respect the straight grain.




Almost nothing ! The bias cut is great for that ! Especially at the back where the center seam allows for the top to skim nicely over the curves of the back.

  • Bust darts moved up by 1cm and that’s all for the adjustment.

Design wise, it’s pretty obvious, I think :

  • No sleeves ! I wanted to finish the armholes with bias binding so I cut out the seam allowance there. I thought I might have to raise the armhole but it looked ok : no bra showing !


My misadventures

The very small tube that needed turning out to create the loop to keep the collar in place. It was just impossible for me to do it following the pattern instructions. I either didn’t understand something or I’m just not good at it. So I did it by hand… I had forgotten how it’s easiest sometimes to simply sew by hand !

The bias on the armholes : I checked twice that their stripes were in the same directions for both armholes… And I messed up ! …And I didn’t do anything about it.

Jasmine loop

The small loop


I didn’t finish the seams inside the blouse. No, I did not forget, It’s just that fabric cut on the bias doesn’t unravel.

I didn’t use facings to finish the neckline, I used bias instead following the instructions of this great tutorial : Jasmine bias bound neckline. And I found that it’s a cleaner finish than a regular facing, and easier to wear too.

I wanted to finish the armholes with a red bias binding, the one I used to replace the facings, but this red was too different from the one on the collar and the one on the stripes. It’s ok inside the neckline because it doesn’t show too much but it bothered me at the armholes.  So I made my own bias binding using the main fabric.


I’m really happy with the matching of the stripes at the centers ! It was a bit frighting at the beginning but, as it’s often the case with sewing, it’s not that difficult when you take your time.

The pattern is fast and easy to sew. The only thing that you really need to be careful about, to get a good result,  is the collar and matching the notches.

I find that the no sleeves version of the Jasmine is great for a fast and stylish tank top.

I will make regular versions, with sleeves, for this autumn and next spring because these are really cute !


These colours are hard “to get” in pictures (for me anyway), the truest shades are the ones on the loop picture above.

Jasmine colette patterns

Hum I've got to find another way to pose...

Sleeveless jasmine colette

Jasmine - Front


Sleeveless jasmine back

Jasmine - Back



Bias detail on armhole


Collar and bust dart on the right.

The bias binding used in place of the facings.

Chevron effect at the center front.


Free T-shirt pattern

This could possibly become my TNT T-shirt pattern.

Well once it will have pass the sewing and wearing test… No I haven’t sewn it yet ^^!

But on paper, this free women’s T-shirt pattern seems to have everything it needs to become the T-shirt pattern I’ve longed for all my life (No, I’m not being melodramatic !).

Description : “This pattern is for a boat neckline kimono sleeved t-shirt with short sleeves. It has negative ease at the bust, but has a loose fit over the waist and hip.”

Sizes : XS, S, M, L and XL.

Why I like it :

  • Kimono sleeves = no armhole seam = No seam at the wrong spot on my arm that I would need to adjust.
  • « Negative ease at the bust, but has a loose fit over the waist and hip » exactly what I need to hide my tummy without the T-shirt looking like a tent.
  • A boat neckline is always flattering.

What is this wonderful free pattern you wonder ?

It’s the Kirsten Kimono Tee by MariaDenmark over at

Free T-shirt pattern woman

Kirsten Kimono Tee by MariaDenmark

[box type=”download”] You can download the printable pattern and instructions for the Kirsten Kimono Tee HERE[/box]

I won’t have the time to sew (this or anything else) for a few weeks but this pattern is definitely going on my “have to sew list”.


1920’s sewing magazines

Today I’ll introduce you to three 1920’s issues of a French sewing magazine called  “Modes & Travaux Féminins”. It’s full of illustrations of 1920’s women and children clothes, so don’t worry about the language and enjoy the pictures !

I’ll start with a confession: when I was little girl and saw “Modes & Travaux” magazines at my grandmother’s I thought they were super cheesy. Since then I haven’t flipped through the magazine so I have no idea what its current style is. But when you get your hands on the very first issues of “Modes & Travaux Féminins” dating from 1919, it’s not cheesy anymore, it’s a great vintage fashion magazine and reliable source of inspiration for 20’s costumes.

You’ll see 20 pages I picked at the end of the post but you can also flip through the first three issues of  the magazine via the links below :

Source : BNF (National Library of France)/Gallica

# 1 – November 15th, 1919

# 2 – December 1st, 1919 

# 3 – December 15th, 1919

And as a bonus :

# 165 – November 1st, 1926

In the magazine

“Modes & Travaux” at the time was a sewing pattern catalogue. You could mail-order the sewing patterns. The embroidery patterns were included at the end of the magazines.

Each issue consisted of many models of women and children clothes (dresses, coats, hats, lingerie, …), each model is illustrated by a drawing and a caption detailing the style. You can find some examples in the pictures below (click to enlarge).

Women patterns were available in sizes 42-44 and 46. If I don’t talk nonsense (please correct me if I do!) at the time women sizes matched the half-bust measurement. So a size 46 would fit a woman with a bust measurement of 92 cm, Size 44 = bust size 88 cm, etc. Patterns for girls were offered in sizes 6 to 15 years old depending on the model.

There were also style analysis articles and advices on fashion in vogue at the time : cuts, fabrics how to compliment your “silhouette”. I find it particularly delicious to read.

Clic on the pictures to enlarge


Robes jeune-fille et enfant années 20

#1 - Child and young girls dresses 1919

Robes femme années 20

#1 - Women dresses 1919

Robes soirée années 20 vintage

#1 - Evening dresses 1919

Tenues fillettes hiver années 20 vintage

#2 - Girl winter outfits 1919

Manteaux années 20

#2 - Coats 1919

lingerie années 20

#2 - lingerie 1919

Robes soirées magazine vintage années 20

#2 - For theatre nights 1919

couture Robes d'apres-midi années 20

#2 - Afternoon dresses 1919

Tailleurs femme années 20 jupe et veste

#2 - Women suits 1919

robe enfant fille années 20

#3 - Children 1919

Lingerie vintage années 20

#3 - Lingerie 1919

couture Robe pour prendre le thé années 20

#3 - For tea ! 1919

Robes et manteaux pour fillettes années 20

#3 - Girls dresses and coats 1919

partons robes pour les diners années 20

#3 - for special dinners 1919

Manteaux années 20

#3 - Coats 1919

manteaux et robes enfants 1926

#165 - Coats and dresses for children 1926

lingerie vintage

#165 - Lingerie 1926

Manteaux vintage

#165 - Coats 1926

tenue de soirée années 20 vintage

#165 - Evening wear 1926


All pics source BNF/Gallica.

Poppy dress

This pretty poppy dress is the first dress sewn with my Petite Chérie (my 8 years old DD… No, that’s not her real name).

Petite Chérie was super proud of the result and wore the dress the next day, telling everyone who would listen (or not ^ ^): “I did it … with Mom. I cut here and there and I sewed here and there. ” She was delighted!

Pattern & Fabric

The pattern is in fact a sewing kit from Lalimaya called “Kit robe coquelicot”, here in size “8 ans” (8 years old). It’s a little A line dress with a unique poppy print.

Lalimaya is a small French sewing patterns company which offers patterns, kits and books.

This sew kit includes : (from left to right in the picture) the fabric and patterns for the facings, the “Poppy” fabric with the pattern already traced in the size that was ordered, two buttons and fasteners, instructions.

Price: 32 € to 35 € depending on size (2 – 8 years).

Kit Lalimaya robe coquelicot

Le Kit de la robe Coquelicot de Lalimaya

When I saw the kit, I immediately thought it would be a perfect and easy project to sew with Petite Chérie. And I totally fell in love with the beautiful print, which is a Lalimaya design !

I admit that the price might have stopped me but I took advantage of a 20% discount code at the time. When you think about the supplies and work done to make this kit an easy and fast sewing project : the price is reasonable. Especially since the quality of the printed fabric is beautiful. And a pretty dress like that in store is at least that price (in France anyway).


Nothing that has changed the design of the dress.

After measuring the pattern is was clear, as I expected, that the dress would be just a little tight for Petite Chérie who wears a size “10 years”… But the larger size for the kit was 8. So to get a little more ease we :

  • Added 0.5 cm on the sides of the dress on the front and back: from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the dress. You can see the red lines on the picture of Petite Chérie cutting the dress (see below).
  • Used a smaller sewing allowance. o,6 cm instead of 1 cm.
  • After fitting I also decided to make a hem slightly smaller (1.5 cm) than the one recommended in the instructions (3 cm), Petite Chérie is tall.

That’s it !


Nothing difficult. The dress has three pieces: a front and two half-backs. It closes at the upper back by one or two buttons. The sleeves and neckline are finished with facings. If you sew this dress yourself, it is done in a morning.

But before starting, I wasn’t at ease… Petite Chérie is 8 years old and at 8 years old it’s a bit difficult to stay focus for too long. So I told myself that if necessary we would make the dress in several short sessions.

That’s what we did, we spread it over the day.

It must be said that Petite Chérie listens to her mother… Sometimes… And with a pair of scissors in a child hand, horrible things (like cutting inside the dress pattern) can happen quickly. But I told myself that if I wanted her to gain confidence I needed to let her do things, under my supervision. I had to limit the “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh be careful !” “Noooooo not like that”. In short I was a little tense.

I let her cut the dress and she just asked for my help to cut the curves because she had trouble with the big scissors.

She assembled the dress all by herself and I did all the less funny stuff: serging, facings, sewing buttons, … Well of course there were some unavoidable not-so-straight seams but overall she did a very good job !

And all went well ! She learned some basics for cutting and sewing and she’s very proud to wear a pretty dress SHE made… I think that if all goes according to plan, she’ll embrace the dark side soon ^^.


Petite Chérie cutting the dress.

Petite Chérie sewing the back and front together.

Robe coquelicot Lalimaya

Front - Poppy dress

Dos robe coquelicot Lalimaya

back - Poppy dress

Détail of the butterfly on the back.

Robe coquelicot lalimaya

Worn by Petite Chérie