Friday, August 20, 2010

Standard Designer - Ladies' and Misses' Apron Bathing-Suit

Mid 1920s.

Here's a nice photo from Shorpy from 1920 showing what was probably a purchased bathing suit made of knitted fabrics.  By now we've definitely abandoned the earlier dress-and-bloomers style that we saw in May Manton 7853 but some sort of skirt is still thought necessary.

For this pattern the designers recommends Jersey for the "tights," as they're are calling the undergarment.  At this time Jersey would have been a fairly sturdy knitted fabric of wool.  Recommendations for the "apron" include taffeta, shantung, satin, printed crepe and crepe de chine.

The print on view A looks very much like Egyptian hieroglyphics to me.

As it happens, King Tut's tomb had been discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, and worldwide Egyptomania promptly ensued.


Vande Historic Costuming said...

That is an interesting pattern - surely the taffeta would only be for the apron and not the bathing....
And what a strange looking pattern layout for the swimwear - does that mean that it also opens at the side as well as the buttons down the front? said...

Yes, Jersey is recommended for the suit, while the other, dressier fabrics are recommended only for the apron.

The hatching and rows of dots that you see on the suit sides indicate an extra wide seam allowance (usually an inch, but I haven't measured this one) so that the maker can easily let out the garment for a better fit. These extra wide side seams show up on some patterns in the teens and twenties.

Diane Shiffer said...

Wow, this is a seriously adorable pattern... I've never seen a swimsuit even remotely like this. Am I right in assuming that there are actually two garments: a knit sort of leotard-y thing with legs, and then a sort of tabard style "apron" with generous ties? I love it, especially the one with embroidery. If only swimsuits like this were in style nowadays;-D said...

Yes, this pattern is actually 2 garments, the onesie thingy, to be made of stretchable (probably wool) jersey, and the tabard-style apron coverall.

Honestly, I think this still has potential for beachwear, if not for actual swimwear.