Wednesday, October 5, 2016

May Manton 1015 - Design for embroidering a case for rubber over shoes


Another entry for the Pointless Handwork category.  As the autumn rains have started here, my mind turns to keeping my feet dry.  I don't possess overshoes, but if I did, I might make up and embroider a case for them.

It's not too late to make up a few rubber over shoes cases for Christmas giving.  Astonish your friends and family with your thoughtfulness and stubborn disregard for reality.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Patrone-Modele - Sport Ensemble

First half of the 1950s.  Mes amis, it is time to get the Citroen out of the garage and take a tour into the wine country to see the grape harvest.  Monsieur will be correctly dressed for the country in this sport ensemble of plus fours and jacket in wool.

The waist length jacket (blouson) is interesting.  In the Unites States, we've seen this style in working clothing as early as the late 19th century, with Cosmopolitan 800, the working blouse, and then around World War I, with Excella 1111, the men's jumper.  In the 1920s, even with the somewhat loose definition of "waist length," the style, now called a "windbreaker" shows up in outerwear for boys, Butterick 7031, and women, Butterick 7068.  By the 1930s, when the waist had risen just past normal to being a little high, the style was still popular, as seen in Pictorial Review 9051.  From here, it's a short hop of a few years to World War II and the British Army's re-design of its battle dress which included the waist-length jacket (also referred to as a blouse.) Today we typically refer to this style as an Eisenhower or Ike jacket, but it turns out that he himself borrowed the style from the British.

This is a nice interpretation, with a zip front closing, substantial pockets with flaps, and the large, wing-like spread collar so popular at the time.

The plus-fours are referred to simply as "pantalon" on the front of the envelope.  The slightly more detailed description on the back of the envelope calls them "culotte de golf," which Google Translate tells me is "knickerbockers."  It seems a slightly old-fashioned look, yet it must have been popular enough for Le Petit Echo de la Mode to produce a home sewing pattern for culotte de golf, particularly as patterns for men's clothing represent just a tiny fraction of their pattern offerings.

Although not visible in the illustration, by looking at the layout one sees that the fullness of these culotte de golf is darted into bands.

Even though it's tempting to explain away these plus-fours as a style for older gentlemen who had worn them in the 1930s and saw no reason to change, some fairly stylish interpretations of plus fours show up in the men's fashion magazine L'Homme in  Summer 1954 for young men, and as late as Spring-Summer 1959 for older men.  (Despite multiple searches in two languages, I've not yet been able to come up with any documentary evidence that french gentlemen actually wore plus fours for golfing in the 1950s.)



This unprinted pattern is unused.

And we're off!
1950s Citroen Traction Avant Six 15

Monday, September 19, 2016

DuBarry 1300B (Ladies' Pirate Costume)

Mid 1930s.

This one is in the fine tradition of pirate pin-up girls, who sometimes get enlisted to sell oranges.

Although today we think of costumes being worn only on Halloween, fancy dress parties were still popular in the 1930s throughout the year.  Sometimes they were charity benefits.  I believe I see a pirate in the second row, third from the left in this wonderful 1930s group from Tasmania.
From the Tasmanian Philatelic Society
Pattern pieces are included for the blouse, bolero, and shorts.  The instructions sheet describes how to cut out the bandana and sash, both on the straight, and because this is the 1930s, also on the bias.

DuBarry patterns were sold in Woolworth's and produced by Simplicity. This unprinted pattern shows some signs of being used.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Weldons No. 83 - Smart Overalls

1940s (World War II).  Probably after June, 1941.

Weldons was the British equivalent of McCalls, producing both a women's magazine and home sewing patterns.

Weldon's "So-Easy" line of patterns seems to have started in the late 1930s, and may have been expanded during the war years.  According to the web site for the Imperial War Museum, clothing rationing was imposed on June 1, 1941. Utility clothing, which regulated fabric, trims, and findings, was introduced in 1942.

I haven't yet found any indication that sewing patterns were rationed.  When Weldons indicates that their So-Easy patterns are "special coupon value designs," I take this to mean that the designs accounted for rationing of yard goods, which did require coupons.

The use of the term "overall" is a shortening of the earlier term "overall apron."  ("Overall" is also used in Britain for the sleeveless double-fronted apron that we know here in the states as a Hoover apron or Hooverette.)

The overall would have been important to women is several ways.  First, women who did factory work would often have been required to provide their own "work" clothes, and some women probably made their own.

This woman's cheery garment is an overall, the short sleeves not quite covering the blouse or dress sleeve underneath:

Second, with strict rationing reducing one's clothes purchases to about one outfit per year, an overall worn over one's dress or skirt and blouse would have kept them clean and lasting longer.
Here's a lovely photograph of ladies of the Women's Institute in their aprons and overalls,  making fruit preserves of some kind (my money is on marmalade.)
Florals seem to have been the most popular print for overalls, and overalls even make their way into books.  Chapter 10 of Angela Thirkell's 1940 book Cheerfulness Breaks In starts with:
"...Lydia Keith...went off on foot to Northbridge village with a large flowered overall in a bag."
Lydia wears her overall while cooking lunch for evacuees.

The Weldons overall is essentially a simple, button-front shirt waist dress.  Raglan sleeves would have been a little simpler to make up than set-in sleeves.

This unprinted pattern is unused.