Friday, January 25, 2013

Aladdin Apron Company - Bungalow Apron

1926

This pattern is the first documentary evidence I've acquired showing that some women expanded beyond home sewing into cottage industry.  It seems logical that a woman who sewed well and efficiently might chose to supplement her income by sewing for others with less time or skill, but without some sort of documentary evidence, it's impossible to prove.

The Aladdin Apron Company of Asbury Park New Jersey may have been a side business for a textile mill, or it may have been a small entrepreneur (perhaps even a woman,) negotiating deals for materials and then taking out classified ads in small town newspapers like the Kingsport Tennessee Times for May 10th, 1926.


The instruction sheet provides fascinating details.


Note that among the potential customers for these high grade percale aprons are factory girls.  It's also interesting how much emphasis is made in the instructions to work neatly and evenly.   A poorly made apron won't generate repeat sales for either the maker or for Aladdin.

As the instruction sheet indicates, the pattern for this very simple bungalow apron (house dress, more or less) has been cut from unprinted lightweight brown kraft paper that will stand up to repeated use better than the usual pattern tissue used for most home sewing patterns. Only one "fits most" size appears to have been available.  This particular style with the two-piece front was very popular in the 1920s.

8 comments:

Dianne said...

It's difficult to tell from the detail available in the drawing, but I think I see similarities with the 1920's dress called the "Promenade" that is available from Folkwear. It's interesting to see the style repeated in different forms.

andrea.at.the.blue.door said...

Yes! I saw the similarity as well. I even went to the Folkwear site to double check. I've also seen a very similar design with long sleeves, made up in deep jewel toned silks. It was quite stunning.

Lynn said...

Looking carefully at the pattern, there are a lot of details that put this beyond the "easy" category in my mind. If you sold it for $1.25, that isn't a whole lot of money for your work. But I guess it was an opportunity for housewives to make money at home. I love your posts!

andrea.at.the.blue.door said...

I think this may be why Aladdin would sell you a kit for a single apron at regular retail price. This would give you chance to test your skills and determine if you really could work efficiently enough to turn out multiples and still make some sort of profit.

Molly said...

That is really interesting!

Handy Andy said...

Oh, Andrea, I'm sold. Send me three dozen right away. I'm sure I can sell them to all my neighbors. I promise to keep everything neat and even.

This is just too fun. And I'm planning already how to spend my profits!

MarysMom said...

What is the back like? Is it like the folk wear pattern in that it ties and clinches the waist? This is a great find! Thank you for sharing.

andrea.at.the.blue.door said...

Yes, there are ties that are sewn into the side seams, and are tied in back to hold in the fulness.