Monday, September 7, 2015

Votre Mode 686 - Robe ou Tablier de Classe

[Class dress or apron] This unprinted tissue pattern was one of a lot of two.  The other pattern is a pull-out from the Votre Mode magazine.

The typeface and photos of women's fashions in the pull-out point to a 1950s date.  The tissue pattern might be a little earlier.   Just to the left of the boy's right arm you can just see the perforations from the tracing wheel used to trace off the pattern.

The fascinating site Historical Boys Clothes tells us that in France boys wore school smocks through the 1950s, and points out that until the economy recovered after WW II, putting smocks on your students would protect clothes that might have been expensive or difficult to replace.   I'd guess that boys would stop wearing smocks by the time they started wearing long pants.

The boy's smock in the pull-out pattern is described as being made up in black satinette, a smooth-faced cotton fabric, with a white pique collar.  Here's a fine example of boy in his smock in a painting by Balthus:

The girls' smocks are a little less dreary - one in a solid cotton fabric, the other in a "vichy quadrille," or gingham, which is used on the bias to provide decorative bands on the yoke and pockets.

I was intrigued to find this example of a commercially produced smock in an Etsy shop.  Note the front yoke on the bias, and then note that the plaid hasn't been matched on the back yokes.  This makes sense for a garment that's going to used hard and outgrown.

It would be interesting to learn how people felt about their school smocks.  Did they like them?  Was it nicer to have a new smock in the fall than a hand-me down?  Did those with home-made smocks envy those with store-bought smocks?


Joanne Noragon said...

I started school in the 40's, but in this country. We didn't wear smocks to school, but were obliged to change to play clothes immediately on coming in from school. "Hello. Go change your clothes," was the standard greeting.

Eve said...

I wore ecru smocks in North-Africa in the early sixties. The smock covered our own clothes. I did not mind them, all the school kids looked alike ! there was no "Fashion" for kids at that time, no "in" or "must have to be cool" clothes ! Back in Canada, I wore school uniforms until I was 17. I still think it is better that way. Life at school is hard enough without having "fashion" to worry about !

icicle said...

My mother was born in northwest France in 1936. She wore (and hated) her tablier d'ecole for school through the 1940s and into the early 50s there but she tells me the boys in her class did not wear them, only the girls. Another option, again just for girls, was a set of long sleeves, elastic at both ends to keep them in place. She had brothers in school during that time too and remembers being jealous that they did not have to cover up their nice clothes like she did. Perhaps it was not as prevalent for the boys as 'History' believes.

Aussie said...

I was at school in the 1960's in Australia. My mother had made me a dress - so it was a "one-off".
But Dianne, a girl doing housework for mum, was given a piece of leftover fabric from my dress. Her younger sister was in my class and she turned up with a homemade handkerchief in "MY" fabric. I was so indignant!