Tag Archives: novelty print

Fuller Fabrics Sailtone – Two Ways

I posted this ad on Ad Campaign a year ago, and it continues to be a favorite novelty print.  There’s just something about a flag on a sailboat that screams summer.   I was browsing etsy last week when I spotted the print in another colorway.

photo copyright SweetBeeFinds

It’s always a treat spotting a garment that I’ve seen in an ad or in a magazine editorial.  It just brings the ephemeral past together with the tangible present.  And the print looks so fresh, like it could have been designed recently.

Am I asking too much to hope that this print exists in red, white and navy?  Possibly not, because fabric companies often made a print in several different colorways, as you can see from the ad and the photo of the skirt.   And if you read the ad you’ll see that “white with red” is also available.  I can only hope that I’ll someday find it in my dream color combination.

The fabric was made by Fuller, which was known for their great prints.   Often a company would sell the same fabric to several different garment makers, which is the case here.  My 1957 ad is for “Just Juniors”  but the skirt for sale by SweetBeeFinds has a “Bogart’s of Fort Worth” label.



Filed under Novelty Prints

Winter’s Last Gasp

For the past two days here in the Southern mountains it has been rainy, sleety and cold.  But hopefully this is really the end of winter, and the weatherman is my new BFF, as he has predicted sunny skies and highs in the 60s and 70s for the next five days.  All I can say is that he’d better deliver.

I thought about saving this fantastic skating theme scarf for December, but then I realized that a good scarf is a good scarf, regardless of the theme and the time of year.

That must be the crazy scarf elf.  Is he matchmaking?

That little tyke is going to learn to skate whether he wants to or not!

Skate tag?


And I want to say a huge “Thank You” to Juliet of SixCatsFun Vintage for sending this lovely gift.  I don’t know what I’ve done to create such a nice bunch of readers, but believe me, I’m so grateful for all of you.


Filed under Collecting, Novelty Prints, Winter Sports

Great Scots’ Apron

Here’s a proper band of kilt-wearers, all moving to the tune of the bagpiper.  Above them is a field of completely random luggage tags for places as diverse as Mexico, Japan, Los Angeles, and thankfully, Scotland.

It’s nice to think that there could be an entire series of this luggage tag print, with different nationalities featured as the border.   I picture Hawaiian Hula, Spanish Flamenco,   Irish Jig, though I’m at a loss when it comes to Los Angeles.

When I spotted this great print I thought it might be a skirt, but sorry to say, it was instead an apron.  Still I bought it as I’d never seen this print before and I loved it so much.  Here’s hoping there are others out there.

I’d appreciate some feedback on the watermarks, if you have a thought.


Filed under Novelty Prints

Beach Blanket Novelty Print X 2

I adore a great novelty print, especially one with a travel or a vacation theme, so this beach blanket print was right up my alley.  It was a tiny piece, maybe a fourth of a yard, and I’ve had it a long time – so long that I can’t remember where I found it.  Several years ago I used most of it to make a beach tote.

The tote is made from blue chambray  and the pockets are the beach print, trimmed with red dotted binding and blue rick-rack.  The interior is lined with a flowered bit of feedsack, with chambray pockets.

Last week I was stumbling around etsy, when I found this:

I know I don’t have to say how much I love this shirt.  It is in the shop,  WitchBabyKitsch, and the owner very kindly let me show off her photos here.  If it were my size, I’d have bought it already.

Finds like this remind us that most of the vintage items we encounter were massed-produced  and often you’ll see the same print used by different companies, or even yard goods matching manufactured garments.   I’ve even seen matching garment and fabric advertised together.

I love seeing prints that I have in a different colorway.  Now I’ll have to keep my eyes open for other versions of this print.  How about yellow and turquoise?

Finally, the label.  What could be more perfect than a Made in California label?

Shirt photos copyright WitchBabyKitsch.  Do not copy or Pin.

Did you notice my attempt at watermarking?


Filed under Novelty Prints

My New Favorite from KEK

I really don’t believe in luck, but if I did I’d say this was one lucky find.  It came to me by way of  reader and fellow blogger, Jo of Joyatri.  She had seen my post about a KEK album I’d found, and emailed me to let me know she had this one.

She then sent photos, and I was so happy to see that it is in what is probably a print from the early 1960s.  I already had two items from this print, but in a different colorway.  This time we can see the entire print, including lots of graphic that are not on my other, smaller items.

I had always assumed that the hitchhiker in the left corner was a girl!

Cute jaywalking kitty-cat!

The suitcase strapped onto the side of the bottom car reads “Roma”.  I’d be smiling too if I were headed for Rome!

According to research done by friend Nathalie, KEK was a German maker of albums and such.  They might still be in business, but I can’t imagine that anything made by them today could possibly be this cool.


Filed under Collecting, Novelty Prints, Vintage Travel

A Great Smoky Mountains Vintage Hankie

Quite a few years ago I ran across a 1940s playsuit in a novelty print that showed all the tourist spots in Western North Carolina.   At the time I was not really collecting; I was more of a vintage wearer.  So I passed on the piece, thinking I could not justify the $25 price tag.  Of course, it started to haunt me, and so I went back to the antique mall where I had spotted it.  And of course it had been sold.

Then about six or seven years ago I ran across another playsuit of the very same pattern in an Asheville store.  It is possible that it was the very same piece, but this time the price was $125.  My thrifty soul was challenged.  On one hand, I really,  really, wanted that playsuit, but on the other hand $125 was so much more than it had been before.   My cheap side won out and I left without it.  Unfortunately, the old haunting began again, and as before, when I returned the playsuit had been sold.

I’ve spent the years since searching for it online, but so far I’ve had no luck.  Still, I keep searching.

I did spot this hankie on ebay last week, and wasted no time in buying it.  And though it shows a wider region, it is still a nice vintage piece of the place that I call home. (Though my little town is not actually on the map…)

The maker was “Louise” of whom I have zero information.

My little town is located between Lake Junaluska and Asheville.

After I received this in the mail I set about trying to pinpoint a date.  The first thing that seemed to be a clue was the little skier.   He is located close to what is today the Cataloochee Ski Area, which was opened in 1961.  It is probable that people were actually skiing in the Great Smoky Mountains Park before that time, however.

Other clues were the lakes and dams shown.   All were built either by the TVA or by power companies in the 1920s and 1930s, the latest one shown being Norris Dam in 1936.  I’m not so sure that Louise was terribly familiar with this region, as there is only one Waterville Lake, not two as she pictured.

But the most puzzling clue was the Max Patch Landing Field.  Max Patch is a mountain of around 4600 feet.  It was cleared by farmers for pasture land in the early 19th century, and today it is considered to be quite isolated, even through the Appalachian Trail passes over it.  It is not exactly the place I’d ever want to land an airplane, but it seems as if starting in 1926, that is exactly what was happening.  I found a fantastic photo taken from the air of a biplane on top of the mountain.   Be sure to play around a bit with the photo, as it can be moved and enlarged, and make sure you note the cows.

According to a long time resident of the area, World War II ended the days of the Max Patch Landing Field.  Modern planes needed more surface in which to take off and land.

My best guess is very late 1930s, or possibly in the 1940s.

A word about stereotypes:

Another hint this is probably from the 40s is the gratuitous drawing of the black baby eating watermelon.  This was a pretty standard racist  motif that was used when depicting the South, and it makes no sense whatever for it to have been used considering that watermelons  need a longer growing season that we have here.  Note also the potato man, the Cherokee in Plains feather headdress and the lazy hillbilly playing the banjo.


Filed under Collecting, North Carolina

Groovy 1960s Travel Album

Today, another find from the last Charlotte Metrolina show.  This is one of those things that you have no idea it exists, but the minute you spot it, you know it is exactly what you have been searching for.

It’s an album, covered in vinyl print, with plastic sleeves on the interior.  The seller said that an LP record album fits in the sleeves perfectly, so that was probably the intended purpose.  Today, it would make a nifty photo album or scrapbook for a European trip.

I’m pretty sure this album was made by the same company that made two other items I have in a similar, but seemingly a bit earlier, print.  A small photo book that I have in that print has a small sticker that reads KEK.  I’ve never been able to find out that the letters stand for.  I do believe the company was (is?) located in Europe, as the small photo book came from France, all the writing is in French or German, and for mass produced items, they sure are scarce here in the States.

And now for the close-ups:

If anyone happens to spot other pieces of either print, I would love to know about them, even if they are not for sale (but especially if they are!)


Filed under Collecting, Novelty Prints, Road Trip