Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Patterns of the Past -- Maternity and Adjustable Housedresses, 1914

Patterns for the maternity dress (on the left) and the adjustable housedress (on the right) could be purchased from Needlecraft magazine for ten cents. The adjustable dress was advertised as a time and work-saver; if you dribbled something down your front, you could rebutton the dress to hide the stain. The maternity dress has shoulder tucks, and extensions sewn onto kimono sleeves.

Left-click to enlarge, or download from my Flickr account.


GDad said...

I'm curious to find out what that woman has in that little jar.

Shay said...

Her second husband's ashes?

Anonymous said...

LOL Shay.. you're probably right.. decided to get rid of the bugger after he got her pregnant again :)

Amy said...

Very pretty dresses but I'm wondering those women seem to have pretty slim figures, what did those with um pear shaped bodies like myself wear without looking alot larger than they really were?

Shay said...

Amy, just wait a year; by the summer of 1915 fashions had changed and everyone was wearing full skirts again ;-)

Anonymous said...

The still had maternity corsets back then too.

When did women start leaving the house when they were pregnant without the aid of corsets to not look like they were showing?

Joyce said...

I'm wondering how easy it was to walk with suck narrow skirts

Shay said...

Well, Joyce--ladies weren't supposed to stride (and they certainly were never ever supposed to run!).

Sewducky, I know the answer to that (sort of). I have two Woman's Institute books on Maternity and Children's Clothing, the first from 1921 and the second from 1935.

The maternity wardrobe in the first book consists of a negligee, a skirt and dressing sacque combination, a house dress, and one afternoon dress for receiving callers.

The 30's maternity wardrobe was far more extensive and includes a wrap and an evening gown.

So I think it's safe to say that the taboo on going out in public while pregnant withered away sometime in the 1920's (as did so many other social taboos).

Anonymous said...

LOL thanks for the answer. It's one of those things I've done once, and we're good, and therefore pregnancy isn't something that interests me.

I also really got into fashion et al after the kidlet was born, and decided I was just having the one, so I never gave it much thought.

It makes sense, and now I feel like I should be going D'oh!