Sunday, 24 May 2015

Adventures In Stitchcraft - 1934 Popular Culture

Following on from the historical information from 1934, let's take a look at something lighter - popular culture.

This movie starred Bette Davis, and is interesting in that it was one of the last movies to come out before a code of conduct was introduced on 1 July 1934. The new code did not allow costumes like this one!

The movie wasn't particularly well received, but is apparently worth watching for, well, the fashions!

In the 7th Academy Awards, the romantic comedy It Happened One Night won all of the top five award categories:

Best Picture

Best Director - Frank Capra

Best Actor - Clark Gable
Best Actress - Claudette Colbert

and Best Screenplay

Other award winners included Shirley Temple, who was awarded the first Juvenile Award, and at the age of six is the youngest Academy Award recipient ever.

In music, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Bing Crosby, Gracie Fields, Fats Waller and Benny Goodman were all popular. 

Cole Porter

The No 1 song, from the limited charts available, was Moon Glow by Benny Goodman, with No 2 being Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Paul Whiteman.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes was originally written for a musical in 1933 called Roberta. It has been covered numerous by artists including Nat King Cole, The Platters, Eartha Kitt and The Muppets.

Donald Duck appeared for the first time in The Wise Little Hen.

The luxury liner Queen Mary is launched in Scotland, with her maiden voyage being in 1936.
Queen Mary baggage tag
The largest pearl ever was found in 1934. Called The Pearl of Lao Tzu, it weighed just over 14 lbs. It was found in the Palawan Sea in the Phillipines and is a giant clam pearl.

The Pulitzer Prize for a Novel was awarded to Caroline Miller for Lamb In His Bosom. 


I had never heard of this book and after researching it, am really looking forward to reading it. Apparently, some readers find the old-fashioned title off putting, possibly thinking it is a religious book? 
Here is a great blog post all about the book. 

Some of the popular books published in 1934 include:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Cristie (Hercule Poiret Book #10)

Mary Poppins by P.L.Travers

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

I, Claudius by Robert Graves

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. McCain

Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (the fifth Jeeves book)
Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (the sixth Jeeves book)

Independent People by Halldor Laxness - fabulous book

The Clue of the Broken Locket by Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew #11) - I didn't realise that the Nancy Drew books were first published in the 30s!

Coot Club by Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons #5)

I just love the cover art of older books - so lovely.

The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny began in 1934 on NBC Radio. Jack Benny began the weekly show with the greeting 'Jell-O, again.' 

Some of the fashions from 1934. Shapes still very similar to 1933 - long line and slimming.

And some advertisements from 1934. 

Things don't change much, do they? 

So stylish

Look at that hairdo.

The Shoulders jumper from November 1933 is coming along nicely, despite a stitch counting error in the second pattern repeat. This was due to knitting WAY too late and falling asleep holding the needles and having stitches slip off the needles! But I just want to see what it looks like! 

Made an attempt to open up the pattern to show - a bit hard to hold both sides of the knitting and aim a camera!

Still deciding on my project for the February 1934 issue. Have a look at this post if you haven't seen them yet. I'm thinking something small from this issue as the jumper will take a while. Possibly an embroidery project using the free transfer design. But what to embroider it on? 

Also, I finally worked out how to add Google Friend Connect to my sidebar. I would love you to join!

Have a lovely week!


  1. The thirties seems to have been more stylish that I'd ever realised!

    1. I agree! I was actually surprised to find how many of the items in the 30s magazines I wanted to make. Not just knitting, but lovely embroidery as well.
      I just love the evening gowns - very glamorous! Too bad I am not QUITE the shape that would look great in them!

    2. I'm in the same boat! Thank you for linking up with Wool on Sundays :)

  2. Love this post down memory lane, Jayne. I adore old movies and LOVE Frank Capra movies. Yes the fashion from that era is lovely. I am supposing the women didn't eat much!! I love all the advertising from days of much of it does make me chuckle. Your shoulders jumper is coming along nicely. Oh the dreaded of stitches falling off one's knitting needles!

    1. I have already discovered lots of books and movies that I want to read/see. I think I need to get Netflix to find them though. I will try to knit during the day now - although the garden is calling as well!

  3. I love your "history" posts. I've added one of the books to my "to look for" list. Thanks for sharing this wealth of information.

    1. So glad you enjoy them. I just love doing them.

  4. Love the fashions - the low neck line!! Your jumper looks great.

    1. Yes, I was surprised to read just how risque the 30s were! The jumper is coming along slowly - everyone will get sick of seeing it! I only get 5-10 rows done a night.