MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Apr 5, 2012

MPB Shocker: Bizarre Maternity Smock - Baby Doll Pajama Link Revealed!



Friends, I won't lie: I take a sort of perverse pride in knowing that, whatever may be happening on those other sewing blogs (Pretty spring dresses!  Knit jersey wrap tops!), here at MPB we're up to something different.  Very different.

I made an astonishing discovery this morning, when I tried on Cathy's new maternity smock-in-progress.  It's essentially a baby doll pajama top straight out of an Annette Funicello Beach Party movie.



I made this little collage to prove my point.  Isn't it pretty? (Feel free to click on pic to blow it up.)



I don't quite understand the genesis of baby doll pajamas, though I assume it has something to do with dolls...or babies...or something.  (If you know, please share.)

Anyway, whoever the genius was who decided to put this on pregnant women over a pair of cigarette pants deserves a good spanking.



 

As you can see up top, I did start sewing yesterday and, as many of you predicted, once I threw myself into it, things moved rather quickly.  This is cotton, after all, so there aren't many surprises, though in retrospect I might have cut the front yoke of my peppermint stripe horizontal to the selvage instead of vertical, but this works too and it's so much more slimming!



I'm nowhere near done, as I've decided to make the full collar and sleeves version of the pattern so that I can add a coordinating tie or scarf if I want to.



My duster/coat pattern has yet to arrive (from the woman who originally sent me the wrong pattern) and I'm getting a little anxious about it, frankly.  Hopefully it will be in today's mail.

Readers, if I told you that I bought a sewing machine on eBay yesterday, would you think I was a hypocrite?  More about that tomorrow, but I must share that the seller made the strange -- some might say unfortunate, for her -- choice of using the sewing machine case as the primary photo for what is a spectacular vintage sewing machine.  Can you guess what it is?



In closing, readers, did you already recognize the link between maternity smocks and baby doll pajamas before reading today's post?  (Be honest.)

Don't you think it's a little weird -- and yet oddly compelling and even cute?  I guess there are only so many ways you can disguise a tent, but why would you want to sleep in such a thing? 



Have a great day, everybody!

45 comments:

  1. Oh Peter that sewing machine is totally a white (maybe green) Featherweight and you do not need another Featherweight. I do. Send it to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good try, but it's not a featherweight!

      Delete
  2. It's a 66k LOTUS!!! I'm so jealous; it's GORGEOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This tenting of pregnant women still was pretty prevalent in the eighties when I had my first daughter. By the time I had #2 in 1990, things started looking a tad bit more stylish.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Baby doll pajamas come from the dresses toddlers wear. Think early Shirley Temple movies.

    Why would anyone want to sleep in such a thing? Well, Peter, back in the days before air conditioning was everywhere, we wanted short nighties that were loose enough to be easy to peel away from sweaty bodies. Heat. Sweat. Desire for cool.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, I'd agree with Temporary Mouse. When I was young (same time you were, Peter, just a few years behind) what I called "summer pyjamas" were baby doll pyjamas. They were very popular because they were loose, light, and cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But didn't you have to wear bloomers under them?

      Delete
    2. Bwahaha! Those were for bicycling. Completely shocked the neighbours.

      Actually, you're not far off. Most baby dolls had a pair of matching short bloomers that came to the top of the thigh. As they were short and the same fabric as the top, they were fine. Still a huge improvement over a full-length nightgown.

      I also had a few pairs of boy-type pyjamas--flannel in winter and light cotton in summer--but not so much. Mom just turned 85, and had rather old-fashioned ideas of what girls should and should not wear.

      Delete
  6. Am I the only person on this earth who thinks those 50s maternity outfits are cute?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they're adorable. I will totally wear them when I (eventually) end up in need of maternity clothes. Gotta love a charming smock!

      Delete
    2. I think they're adorable. Classy, put-together and a nice overall shape. I always loved trapeze tops and jackets, especially with peter-pan collars, so maybe that's why.

      Delete
  7. It makes sense to me. You wear the Babydoll pjs... with the easy access.... And then you get pregnant and can wear the same top with a skirt or some pants. Reusing is good for the environment. I'm going to make me some Babydoll pj's and see if that gets me pregnant...

    Any remnants left?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I will admit that I wore the whole babydoll kit, bloomer/knickers an all when i was VERY little. I think it was my mums idea of a joke... one possibly fuelled by watching too many Shirley Temple movies! Luckily there is no photographic evidence. I am hoping any way! Might you be including some of the self same bloomers to match, Peter?! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. A 96-10! AN INDUSTRIAL ADDDITION?!?!?

    Annette!!

    And another turn in Cathy's clothes.

    Happy, happy I am for you. Happy I say.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think it's a hand cranked Singer 28k from 1910. Do I win anything if I guess right?

    ReplyDelete
  11. "...here at MPB we're up to something different. Very different." YES! and that is why your blog is one of my few must-reads, even when I don't have time to read other sewing blogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mikhaela, your check is in the mail. ;)

      Delete
  12. I agree with the above comment of making matching bloomers!
    I made one of the slightly longer nightgown versions that didn't include bloomers (although I've made bloomers too) and they are very comfy. The whole look isn't very flattering on anyone with breasts, though.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't think it's another Singer, I think it's a Kenmore!

    ReplyDelete
  14. From the 1930's. Toddlers wore very short dresses with matching bloomers or pants. I have tons of pics of family members as children wearing these kinds of loose baby doll dresses. I think they are cute.

    I have no idea about the sewing machine though.

    Josette

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think I have missed you!!! Days and days without reading MPB has left me feeling down and out. I have no clue about the sewing machine, but love me a nice baby doll, especially if it has feathers as trim!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wore those jimjams too in the early 70's. Great for summer. And the style is comfortable as a garment, if not actually flattering. Being pregnant in a hot climate, one needs air circulation.
    Peter looking at your garment to date, the yoke looks too wide and therefore boxy - the armscye ought to be closer in. I think it will look nicer on Cathy if it is more fitted?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The seam allowance should take care of that -- I hope.

      Delete
  17. OF COURSE I recognized that maternity smocktops and babydoll pajama tops are identical - everyone (every female, at least) who lived through any part of the '50s, '60s or '70s would have to realize that. It's why I so detest the "babydoll top" look that's been so overdone in rtw the last few years. It just makes the wearer look pregnant, and not in an attractive way (especially unfortunately on women with breasts, as Lisette noted above). Babydoll tops look sweet on babies or baby dolls but not on anyone else.
    -- stashdragon

    ReplyDelete
  18. Please Peter, no pregnancy outfits on Cathy with matching bloomers ..argh!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Babydoll pajamas and maternity smocks differ only in fabric usually, with pajamas being a lightweight fabric. As for why "babydoll" pajamas - I grew up in the....nevermind....I had a doll that was called a baby doll, because it was about the same size and shape as a baby. All its clothing was the same pajama/maternity smock shape.

    Regarding the new machine, by reading your past few entries, I think we all knew another machine was coming. I can't make out the photo, but by the amount of gold, I'm going with a 1930's Singer hand crank model 66 as well.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There wasn't much of a choice for women the wear while expecting before 2000. Everything was a tent. One of my favorite patterns I wore in the late 70's was Butterick #4923. I found a 50's pattern that Cathy may like: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-50s-Advance-8733-MATERNITY-DRESS-Sewing-Pattern-Women-Size-18-/150723832476?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2317d72a9c
    Today women have the choice to wear many styles, to celebrate the "belly". Babydolls look great on willowy figures like Cathy. Congrats are in order. When's the big event for the little bundle of joy?
    As a guess on the sewing machine-maybe a 1910 Egyptian? If so you're one lucky dog! One of the most prized singer's for their decal looks alone! Please take loads of pictures so we may all drool and be so envious!

    ReplyDelete
  21. omg that machine is stunning! 66K, definitely...it looks like it belongs on a treadle, but it would be super easy to add a hand crank to it. Jealous!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh...and born in 1920, no less!!! Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wore babydolls(both as jammies and dresses) as a child. And skorts. Does any one remember skorts??

    ReplyDelete
  24. OMG - I had that Snoopy wastebasket when I was a kid!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello, knows Cathy whether it will be a boy or girl?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Given her size, it may be one of each!

      Delete

Related Posts with Thumbnails