Sunday, May 12, 2019
Nineteen-teens. It's a little unusual at this early date to see a pattern described explicitly as maternity wear. One suspects, though, that many patterns blandly described as wrappers, Mother Hubbards, smocks, and bungalow aprons did service as maternity clothes. Superior is the house brand of sewing patterns for Sears and Roebuck, and bless them for being very clear about the purpose of this garment, as well as offering it in larger sizes - up to 42" bust, in this case.
At about the same time, the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences cautions against making maternity wear that "serves to emphasize this condition because of the special, and perhaps unusual features it embodies." The author goes on to recommend developing maternity wear "almost entirely from one kind of material, the contrast being provided merely by a collar..." Lengthwise lines from shoulder to hem are recommended to help draw attention away from the widening mid section.
The Superior designer seems to have had much of this advice in mind. This is a thoughtful, practical design that isn't too much different from other apron dresses of the period. The box pleats front and back add needed girth. The elbow length sleeves are ideal for a working garment, and the square neck and contrast trim are an economical, stylish touch.
Although the envelope is rough, the unprinted pattern pieces are in very good condition.
Happy Mothers' Day.