Friday, March 6, 2015

McCall 3610 - Ladies' Apron

About 1910.

This one seems to be related to McCall 2550, although in this case, rather than holding her palette and brush, our model holds her fluffy little dish mop, ready to bring her cut glass pitcher and bowl to a gleaming shine.

Like McCall 2550, there are no pockets in this apron; I can never fathom an apron without pockets.

The style is a little uncommon, with the narrow band across the front and the deep V back.

The pattern itself doesn't seem to have been used much, but the envelope has certainly had a hard life.

The maker must have been in a hurry when she folded up the pattern pieces, as several scraps of fabric got swept into the folds - very possibly a Stifel indigo. This is the second apron pattern I have with evidence of having been made up in an indigo calico.

I recently decided I needed an apron to keep in the sewing room, so I made up this pattern in some pink chambray I had on hand.

This pattern was produced before either fabric layout diagrams or detailed construction instructions were offered, so the maker is on her own to decide whether or not to face the yoke (I did, for strength and neatness) and how to finished the edges of the straps and upper backs.  (I cut 1 1/2" bias strips of the chambray and used them as facings.)

This apron is quite large.  The front yoke finishes to 16" and I think this apron would easily accommodate a bust measurement of about 40".  I shortened the pattern by 5" and with a 1" doubled-over hem, ended up with an apron that ends just above my ankle.  The circumference at the bottom is 80".  The ties are at mid back, which isn't as inconvenient to reach as you might think.

Originally posted on 8/27/2009.  Re-posted on 3/6/2015 to show made garment.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Les Patrons Favoris & Les Patrons Parisiens 17.6 - Tablier Fantaisie

Late 1940s, early 1950s.

This is a nice example of how "The New Look" made its way into all aspects of women's clothing, not just dressy clothing.  What makes this "fancy" apron such a wonderful example is that the essence of the new look shape has been captured in the shape of the applied pockets.   Probably M. Dior didn't foresee this apron in 1947 when he launched his stylistic sigh of relief that World War II was finally over.

The instructions indicate that this apron can be made up in gingham or cretonne (a printed cotton fabric often recommended for aprons) and that the pockets, as shown in the illustration, can be cut from a contrasting fabric.

This style with a full back wrap is also popular at this period in the United States.

This cut, unprinted, pattern doesn't include allowances for either seams or hem, and was produced in only a single size.  French patterns were typically offered only in a single size with a bust measurement of about 38 inches.  Not having the seam allowances actually makes it easier to alter the pattern.  Note the small box on the back of the envelope that describes how to resize the pattern.   There are some interesting questions around this.  Where did women learn to alter patterns with confidence?  Altering an apron is one thing - altering a pattern for a suit jacket is another matter entirely.  Could women hire somebody to alter home sewing patterns for them if they weren't confident of their own skill at this?  What was women's tolerance for less-than-perfect alterations?  Striving to avoid that "home-made look" comes up repeatedly in home sewing books, but for the demographic who bought these patterns, was a slightly gappy neckline or twisted sleeve acceptable?