Friday, January 22, 2010

McCall 8232 - Women's and Misses' Back-Wrap-Around Smock


Sometimes you have to wonder if the illustrator was happy in her work.  Illustrating a severely plain garment in two different solids is sort of uninspiring, and that large windowpane check is probably not a good choice for a pregnant lady.

This garment has quite a long history.  We've seen it before, called different things: see Banner 131 Overall, and Pictorial Review 3783 Work Apron.  The garments called smocks that we see in the 1920's and 1930's tend to be front-buttoning.

No fabric recommendations are given, and yardages are offered for only 35" and 39" wide fabric.

This pattern does not appear to have been used.


Diane Shiffer said...

Andrea.. you have such a funny way of putting things: "was the illustrator happy in her work" indeed;)

Actually I really like this a lot. A question... was the belt separate?

Little Black Car said...

I still advocate the return of the bungalow apron--which this essentially is, just in 1950's form--as an alternative to broken-down sweatpants.

I swear smocks seem to have been the ONLY maternity garment in existence until the Eighties. Every vintage maternity pattern I've ever seen has been some variation on the smock. said...

The belt is a separate tie belt. Note that there is an option for a couple of buttons on the back.

Maternity clothing is a really interesting topic, and I believe some research has been done on it. Although very few of the old smock patterns explicitely call themselves maternity wear, I suspect that was one of their primary functions, although the pattern illustrators don't seem to call this out until the baby boom of the late 1940's. I think the wide availability of knit fabric probably has made a difference in maternity clothing; the same amount of knit fabric won't seem as tent-like as woven fabric.

vintagekitchenkitsch said...

I think this is very cute. Love the peter pan collar.

I think it's odd that so many maternity patterns do not state that they are maternity. I would not think that in the 40s and 50s it was a taboo subject. I remember reading some pioneer diaries years ago and you never knew those women were pregnant until one day they say something like 'husband was kind enough to stop for a day while we added a new boy to the family.' ??? Then the next day was business as usual. Hardy women, indeed.

Joni said...

It's possible that this is not a maternity pattern at all - I've seen maternity patterns from this era & earlier and they explicitly state that on the envelope. I wonder if the smock is just a smock (& they were trying to show us that it can be worn belted or unbelted). There are plenty of loose, tunic-style tops available now & if you look at the line drawings they look like maternity tops, but they aren't.