Saturday, November 17, 2012

Butterick 1200 - for Cutting Down and Re-footing Stockings

Nineteen-teens to early 1920s.

This one takes the Unsung Sewing Patterns award for Justly Forgotten Economies.  I can think of few sewing tasks grimmer than cutting down old stockings in order to sew them up again.   

That said, this pattern raises some interesting questions on clothing usage.  Did people re-use only stockings from their own households, or could one buy used stockings for just this purpose?  Was it considered acceptable to use single stockings and match them up as best one could (easier with black, of course, than with tan or other colors)?  Did ladies do this as part of charitable work to provide clothing to the poor, particularly for children?

According to Clothing - Choice, Care, Cost, published in 1920, the cost of hosiery in general almost quadrupled during World War I.  The "make do and mend" efforts of World War II are still well known to us,  but this pattern may be evidence of the same type of effort during the previous war.  This book also mentions that factory seconds stockings could be purchased inexpensively - these may also have been candidates for cutting down.

Although the instructions indicate that the stockings could be sewn on the machine, I think machine stitching would be heavy-looking and would be uncomfortable, particularly in the feet where the rather stiff seams might rub.

The envelope indicates that this pattern could be used for re-footing stockings, but the instructions themselves are silent on this point. 
This is an unprinted pattern.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Maudella 5059 - Anorak

Mens' utilitarian clothing can be very hard to date.  The shape and spread of the collar seemed to point to a late 1940's or early 1950's date, but the style of an advertising illustration on the instruction sheet seems pretty firmly 1960's.  

This is a very nice design as we get into the chilly winter months, particularly if, as the pattern recommendations suggest, a "fine woolen" lining is provided.

The Maudella brand was started by Maude Dunsford in West Yorkshire, England in 1937 (1.)  The brand seems to have lingered until the 1980s.  Maudella patterns show up for sale now and again.  The earlier patterns in particular seem very much more on the practical or utilitarian side rather than the high fashion side.

Though utilitarian, this jacket is not make-it-today-wear-it-tonight simple.  Getting the bound edges right on the zippered pockets will take a little care, and of course the lining will take some additional time.

This is an unprinted pattern.

(1)  See:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Butterick 7068 - Misses', Juniors' and Girls' Windbreaker


This is the companion to the boys' windbreaker I posted in December 2010.

As with the boy's version, the maker has the option of knitting her own collar, sleeve, and bottom bands.  Since knitting yarns tend to come in a much broader range of colors than by-the-yard knit banding, the maker would have the potential to make a banding that complemented or contrasted with the windbreaker fabric in much more interesting ways.  Of course, that K1P1 banding is still pretty boring to knit, but sufficiently mindless to make a long bus or train trip go more quickly.

In the envelope with the pattern was this instruction sheet for the California Redwood Sleeve Board (Chicago Ill.)

This unprinted pattern shows some signs of wear.