Thursday, January 6, 2011

Skating on the Pond...

(Illustration from The Household Magazine, January 1935)

This time of year always brings to mind those happy winter days of my childhood spent ice skating on the neighbor's pond.

Of course, before any skating could be done, Dad (or someone responsible enough to use an axe) had to chop a hole in the ice to make sure it was thick enough. We certainly didn't want to replay the "falling through thin ice" scene from It's a Wonderful Life!

I usually had to wear good ol' thermal long underwear underneath my jeans and sweater and winter coat, along with two pairs of socks - it seems like it was colder in those days. But I always preferred to imagine I was wearing a lovely red or blue velvet skating costume with furry trim... you know, รก la Sonja Henie... with matching skates. Or maybe just a little something like these lovely ladies are wearing...

(Photo from Woman's Home Companion, December 1940)

Or maybe even something in a green velvet, like this Chesterfield lady...

(Advertisement from The Household Magazine, January 1935)

Sure, a skirt isn't the most practical when skating in the great out-of-doors in single-digit-January temperatures, but it looks real swell whilst twirling and spinning on the ice. And even when sitting prettily and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate.

Just for fun, I had a look-around on Etsy and was amazed to find this terrific 1940s red velvet skating costume from AdelinesAttic:

Lovely, don't you think?

And this fabulous 40s ice skating costume sewing pattern from TheVintageDesignShop:

How I wish I could sew well enough to make something like this!

I also found this neat little 1940s embroidery-trimmed skating skirt from Bombshell1939:

So adorable!

Well, I'd probably take a spill and break a hip, but I sure feel like some good old-fashioned ice skating after writing this post! Now, where'd I put those ice skates?

Hmm, maybe I'll just settle for a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

What outdoor winter fun do you remember from your childhood?


SusieQT said...

My favorite winter activity was definitely sledding! I had a wooden American Flyer sled with red runners (actually, I still have it), and we would go to the playground behind my elementary school which had a very long steep hill. It was perfect for sledding, except that at the bottom was a creek... You had to be really good at braking!

Anonymous said...

I'll take a mug of the hot chocolate!

I grew up too far south for skating, but we do get enough snow for some fine sledding. Great fun, but hard to be as fashionable as the skating ladies!

Welcome to DeluxeVille said...

I remember building lots of snowmen and sledding often. Oh and hot chocolate that my Mom would make with milk and syrup on the stove top. If you were lucky you'd get a fat marshmallow too!


Brandon said...


follow mine?

Sassy Lassies Vintage Life said...

I loved skating AND sledding. I actually used a metal 'flying saucer' to venture down hills. I would stay outside for hours. I was just reminding my husband of our local skating area when we were youths. Lots of fun. I also would love to wear one of these outfits, but because I can't stand going outside in this weather without a full snowsuit with wool under things...I doubt it will ever happen. :) But a girl can dream and drink hot chocolate.

Miss CherryBubbles said...

Alrighty, sounds like hot chocolate for everyone!