Friday, July 9, 2010
McCall 603 - Ladies' and Misses' Smocks
1938 or a year or two later.
Another fine example supporting my belief that the 1930's produced some of the best design ever.
The white smock is embroidered, while the two calla lily smocks are appliqued with embroidered details. The addition of the pleats creates a trim line on a garment that is fundamentally the same as most other smock patterns.
This is not a work-a-day smock. Unlike many of the other smocks we've seen, the layout for this one doesn't indicate a need to do any piecing. (Even Simplicity 2291, a very sophisticated design of roughly the same period, shows you how to piece the sides.) The amount of embroidery and applique shown would take quite a bit of time to complete. Yet the illustrator wants us to remember that this is still a utilitarian garment; Madame Brown Smock is armed with her bowl and spoon (I always wear heels when cooking, don't you?)
As illustrated, this smock may represent economy of materials, but certainly not of time spent in the construction and embellishment. Note that an undecorated version of the smock isn't shown. In this case, however, the pattern has been used but the transfers and applique pieces have not. If the maker was persuaded to buy this pattern because of the decoration, when it came down to it, she didn't have the time or interest for it.
I can never look at calla lilies without remembering Katherine Hepburn in Stage Door, which released in 1937.