Saturday, March 10, 2012

In Honor of the 1940 Census

The 1940 census is going to be released to the public in April and it's going to be big, very big. So in honor of this amazing event in genealogical circles, here's a gorgeous  pattern from 1943. If your mom or grandmother was a young woman in the 1940s, she probably wore a dress like this during World War 2.  A lot of women's clothes were quite tailored in style, mostly because fabric was in demand for the troops and the skirts had to be come slimmer and shorter to use less material. But ruffles could not be stamped out entirely. This adorable dress is called a pinafore dress on the pattern envelope because it looks like you are wearing two garments instead of just one. I love the buttons all the way down the back.

My mom has told me many things about that era. It was an exciting time to be a young single woman. There were opportunities for work and for service that were unknown before that time. And Momma worked at Camp Claiborne as a secretary which meant that when she went to a dance there were hundreds of young men lined up to dance with the beautiful young woman she was. (She's still beautiful.) She told me she danced a million miles during her time there. And dancing was fun back then. I am sure she can still show you her jitterbug moves at age 90. I'll never forget the day when I was a teenager when  she and her brother showed us how it was done.

This pattern was great because it was an early printed one. Here's what the back looks like: 

You can find this pattern in my shop here.
There are tons more vintage patterns online. If you just want to drool over those 1940s styles, visit the 1940s section of the wiki Vintage Sewing Patterns.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What a Darling Pattern!

Scooter Skirt!

This precious pattern just sends me. Kids' clothes are so appealing  because they are small. And sewing for children is so easy because the garments are small. And the cost of sewing children's clothing is so cheap because the pieces are small.

Okay, kids' clothes are small. I think we've established that. And let's face it, clothes that would look horrible on a grownup look adorable on a kid. Very few folks could pull off view three with bib.

This pattern with the bib that covers the front of the culottes is beyond cute. And I adore that flip skirt with the button trim and bias skirt panels. And as we all know, it doesn't take a lot of fabric to sew something like this.

Patterns made for children have often been some of the most inventive ones designed. It is very common to find a pattern for a kind of kids' clothing that you can't find in the stores. The opposite is true of women's patterns. They tend to copy the styles in the stores and often publish them too late to catch the trend.

Sewing for children also opens up infinite possibilities for personal expression. I have a granddaughter who loves pink, princesses, unicorns, paper dolls and, weirdly enough, spiders. So my daughter made her the cutest dress out of a spider print material. She absolutely loved it. Kids love to wear things that show what they love. While grownups might be embarrassed to wear a blouse or shirt featuring their faves like football, convertibles or chocolate, my daughters have made clothes for their tots featuring dinosaurs, Star Wars, skulls and spiders as well as matryoshka dolls, ponies and other girly things. Kids are unafraid to announce their personal style through their clothing. How wise of them!

Children's patterns have been around as long as there have been patterns for adults. And even in eras when few folks choose to sew a woman's dress, they continue to sew for the kiddos. And I hope that sewing for children never loses its popularity.