Needlework A-Go Go #12: Workbasket Magazine

The Workbasket Magazine_0016

The 'Workbasket' magazine started publication in October 1935 with a 16-page issue, printed on newsprint. It was titled: "Aunt Martha's Workbasket, Home and Needlecraft, For Pleasure and Profit".... little would Aunt Martha know, Workbasket would become Ground Zero for some of the best and worst fashions of the sixties and seventies.

Throughout the decades, Workbasket printed handmade fashions in full color. The models were amateur and the  photographers even more inexperienced.... it all led to a charm that can't be found in old copies of Vogue and Cosmo. The magazine (or more correctly, "leaflets") could be found by a couch or comfy chair in living rooms across the country.... until it abruptly ended in 1996.  By then, a single issue cost more than an entire year's worth of the initial run of the magazine.  But after 671 issues and a high circulation, it has no danger of being lost to the sands of time.  Plenty of copies are to be found on ebay and flea markets across the country.

In fact, I recently acquired a big cardboard box full of Workbasket magazines.  I simply had to scan some of them to share with you on Retrospace.  Here's a sampling.... I had to split it into two posts to not overload you with too many images at once. Enjoy!

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Ah, the McDonald's color scheme.  Good choice.

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Nice. But she'd look a lot better without that green yarn thingy you just made.

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She looks like her ass hurts.... did she just fall down?

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Perfect for the serial killer in your life.

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Strike a pose.  Put your hand knuckle deep into your pocket and make that camera your bitch.

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Wear it to church, you'll blend right in. Wear it to school, and you'll have a wedgie before the bell rings.

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You can just tell this chick just feels hot to trot in this little number.

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Perfect for blending into completely green living rooms.

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He looks pissed.  "Okay, you got your damn picture.  Now can I take this thing off?"

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Unfortunately, this kid is about to find out that there will be no "stop" to the beatings he will have to endure at school for wearing this.... only "go".


  1. Holy crap. How many boys in America do you think had the Stoplight outfit made for them and were forced to wear it? I think that kid ended up being The Gimp in Pulp Fiction.

    The spot dyed poncho would be gorgeous, if it were upholstery for that couch.

  2. The only knit sweater I would ever wear would be the "Starsky" sweater worn by Paul Michael Glaser in Starsky & Hutch. And if you don't know what I'm talking about you cannot call yourself retro.

  3. HAPPY NEW YEAR ! I hope 2011 will be a Vintage "come back" year style ....
    So Kitsch and Wonderful as 70's era.
    Congratulations, I love your blog !