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The small print

May 6, 2009

This is a very early du Barry pattern (my guess is actually 1932- the first year these patterns were produced). Perhaps that’s why there is no mention whatsoever of trousers, culottes or gauchos on the envelope, only of something the pattern coyly refers to as a “divided skirt”. It’s only the sliver of daylight between the model’s shins that hints that she is not, in fact, sporting a skirt. This was probably because in 1932 trousers were still considered to be pretty radical stuff. (By the 1920s it was acceptable for women to wear trousers in two situations: at home as lounging pyjamas, or on the beach- beach pyjamas. It was only really the mid 1930s when trousers became accepted as clothing for sports and anything involving physical exertion, and only really the late 1960s when a woman could select either a pair of trousers or a skirt at random to walk down the street.)

It was only as I was uploading this pattern to my Etsy store that I realised there are three items of clothing you can make from it, and not two as I’d assumed. There’s a blouse, the ubiquitous “divided skirt”, and an actual skirt which is not divided in any way. Which just goes to show that often I have been known to fall in love with a vintage pattern without looking too carefully at all the small print on the back. It always pays to read the small print. (I did indeed notice the pattern was a 32″ bust when I bought it, but thought I could either a) grade it up (like that was ever going to happen) or b) suck in my tummy (a lot).)

Click on the pattern for the listing. Also up is the 1940s pattern below in a more generous 36″ bust, with its gathered pocket drapery and amazing armholes:


One Comment leave one →
  1. Lindyhopper permalink
    May 6, 2009 4:47 pm

    What an amazing contrast of styles between the Christmas Tree and the patterns, but still hardly any waists!!

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