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Nov 20, 2013

Brief Words and a Question



The pea coat is coming together slowly.

I didn't get to sew as much today as I'd have liked.  I also find this coated fabric to be extremely unforgiving -- it doesn't ease at all -- so things take longer than they otherwise might.  But I did manage to get the backs, fronts and undercollar all attached. 

Readers, a completely unrelated question:  I've seen not one, but two Advance patterns from the late Forties for what looks like a very lady-like, dressy ensemble that allows you to strip down to a bikini bathing suit.  (5127 is for sale on eBay and I own 5119.  You may already know that Advance patterns were sold exclusively by J.C. Penney.)



 

Does this seem strange to anyone else?  I've never seen this anywhere else, particularly during this period.  (Casual one-pattern wardrobes that might include a swimsuit do show up in the mid-to-late Sixties.)  Thoughts?

Have a great day, everybody!

21 comments:

  1. Looks like knickers and a bra to me; usually bathing suits of the forties were more fitted on the bottom (5117 on the bottom blooms out a bit). I suppose it could also be a playsuit, which was quite common in the 40s, but usually the overdress was much more casual.

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    1. Knickers and a bra? That's even stranger!

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  2. I agree with Juliana. Doesn't seem very different from a modern 5 piece wardrobe pattern the the Big 4 sell, except that most sewers tend not to want to sew undergarments. Highly economical to have it all in one pattern.

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  3. It does seem odd. Perhaps for the young woman who wanted to be able to sneak out of the house wearing one thing and easily change when she met her friends while not having to explain to her mother why she had a pattern for such a daring top/shorts combo? Apparently didn't really catch on until a few years later.

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  4. Not exactly a bikini! It wasn't even for swimming. I remember similar patterns in the 50s....& I believe that was called a playsuit.

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  5. http://coutureallure.blogspot.com/2009/07/mix-match-wardrobe-1949-3.html calls them a bra and shorts or play suit.

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  6. I can't offer any historical perspective - but all this same this ensemble seems very strange. Who would want to go to the beach wearing the most dressed version of this pattern? They don't even remotely resemble anything beachworthy. Also the loose style of the bottoms would hardly withstand an undercurrent ;-)

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  7. Definitely a playsuit. mum made these for my sister and I in the '70's and we loved them :)

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  8. The bare midriff was popular in the 1940s. There's a famous picture of Lauren Bacall in her modeling days in Harper's Bazaar wearing a mustard yellow summer suit with a black bandeau top . And don't forget Lana Turner lounging around the house in a halter and tiny shorts in The Postman Rings Twice.

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  9. I especially love the prim buttoned up collars and then the bare midriffs:-) The pictures remind me of the famous Maidenform bra ads. http://www.colleencorby.net/sixties1961/articlesads1961/maidenform-americangirl-sept1961.html

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  10. I believe this is a playsuit pattern that was included because you could usually make it from the left over fabric from the fashion garment.

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  11. A post-brunch swim in the Hamptons? Heading to the beach after church?

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  12. I have seen sets-in-one-pattern which included some kind of sun- or bathing suit, a (usually wrap or buttoned) skirt and top. However, those were usually still fairly casual outfits, no suits.

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  13. I don't have any insight here, but, much to my surprise, I really love these sets!

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  14. Claire McCardell pioneered this look for the active modern woman in the 40s. There are a number of examples online at metmuseum.org, if you search under Claire McCardell's name. I have a McCardell pattern from the 50s with a halter, shorts, skirt and jacket. It's very "American Look".

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  15. I agree with Sunshine. It seems like a very 40's mindset to use up every piece of fabric, especially during the war years. Why not make a cute sunsuit from the remnants? ~Kelly

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  16. I googled the image and found the description of pattern 5127: Two piece dress, bra and bloomers, and blouse.

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  17. Seems a reasonable outfit if one had to travel to and from the beach... No searching for a changing room, and properly covered going to and from. The bottom reminds me of Simplicity 5110, one yard-shorts pattern. I made the wrap around and the drawstring leg, which was really flattering.

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  18. What do the patterns say on the back, in the description area?

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  19. I find the concept of playsuit perplexing. Yes, for girls. For 'tweens'. For Hollywood starlets posing by a pool. But for a grown woman? Maybe it would be appropriate at a beach resort or on a cruise.

    Also, are you really supposed to make it in the same fabric as your dress and skirt? Fabric that in some pattern illustrations appears to be a reasonably weighty plaid?

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