Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ladies' and Misses' Elegant Slacks

Every year my wonderful brother gives me a box of vintage patterns for Christmas- how well he knows me!
McCall 6794 is from this year's batch.
Vintage patterns have some nice details that are well worth stealing and adapting to modern patterns. For example, the pocket facings, above. This solution allows the sewist to use a lightweight fabric for the inside pocket, but with a facing of the pant fabric so the pocket fabric is not visible. Very nice. The pants have a side zipper inside the pocket treatment that I might steal borrow for a skirt.
There is one page of somewhat terse instructions that include recommendations for a hand-worked buttonhole.(Because everyone knows how to sew). They don't mention suggested fabrics because everyone knows what pants are made of.
I love old patterns and cookbooks not just for the information they put in, but for what they leave out.
Old cookbooks assume we all know how to cook, so their recipes are "reminders" of how certain dishes are made. Similarly, vintage patterns sometimes don't mention fabric types,  seam finishes, or other techniques, because they assume that all sewists will just know to do them.
  A pants pattern from 1947 also tells us that women were wearing pants for casual occasions. I'm assuming this is "casual" because the background of the illustration is somewhat "countrified". Nowadays we'd wear jeans. Fun fact: designer jeans specifically for women were introduced in the 1960's by Andre Courreges (who also invented the miniskirt, along with Mary Quant.)

P.S. Wondering what the difference is between a Ladies' and Misses' sizes. The pattern does not elaborate. Everyone must have just "known" this as well.

1 comment:

Galica said...

I always understood it too be the case that the range we use currently (in Australia at least) with size 12 as the average is the misses range.The ladies or madams range was for the older and/or stouter woman. The numbers in this range were in the 40s-50s, corresponding to the European size numbering.

But then when the youthquake hit, in the early seventies, no-one wanted to be a "madam" anymore. So they dropped that sizing range and added the twenties range of sizes to the top of the existing misses range so the ladies would still be covered. Literally and figuratively. Be interesting to see if this is true.