Sunday, April 28, 2013

McCall 2379 - Girl's Middy


This is one of a special series of "school patterns" that McCall issued for beginners.  After mastering other patterns in the series for a nightgown and a petticoat, the novice could move on to this iconic middy blouse.

McCall patterns at this time didn't have separate instruction sheets.  Instead,  the instructions were largely printed on the pattern pieces themselves.  This isn't a bad approach. You quickly learn to keep the pattern pieces pinned to the fabric until you're ready to sew them, then to review the instructions on for each of the pieces you're about to sew.

For this series, however, McCall decided to print all the instructions together at the bottom of the sheet of tissue.

Look at all those pleats at the bottom of the sleeve!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ladies' Home Journal 2452 - Men's and Youth's Overalls or Mechanics' Suit

By the style of the envelope, this one is probably the late 19-teens to the 1920s.

When you unite a shirt with a pair of pants, you get union overalls.  In the UK this garment is called a boiler suit.   The other major style of overalls would be the apron or bib-and-braces style, which we've seen with Pictorial Review 3701, Boys' Overalls.  Either of these garments is also called coveralls.  Confusingly, overall or coverall (singular) in some cases refers to a woman's apron or rarely, a shop coat.

Making a ladies' apron at home offers the maker some opportunities for self-expression, if she has the money for pretty fabric and the time to add embellishments such as rickrack or embroidery.

Making overalls at home, on the other hand, is purely about getting the gentleman suitably dressed for his job.  The 27" fabric width is common for denim at this time.  There is nothing easy about cutting out, basting, or sewing denim.  While treadle sewing machines handle multiple layers well, button holes will still have to be sewn by hand.   In some household economies, home-made overalls must have made more sense than placing an order from the Sears, Roebuck catalog.

This unprinted pattern has been used and subsequently led a hard life in storage - it's been a little mouse nibbled.

Here's a nice variety of overalls worn by the crack mechanical team of 1919 at the Haverford Cycle Company in Washington D.C.
Found at Shorpy