This Week’s Pattern Story

by Erin on June 8, 2009


Simplicity 1472

Blue: My doctor gave me this brochure, girls, and guess what?

Plaid: What? What? You're killing me here.

Blue: It tells you HOW PEOPLE GET BABIES!

Red: No! Really? Really and truly?

Blue: You are SO not going to believe this.

Plaid: Look at me, I'd believe anything at this point. I'm beginning to give some credence to that "swallowed a watermelon seed" theory.

Blue: (whispers)

Red: You mean, that's it? No storks? No cabbages? I feel … disillusioned.

Plaid: Huh. Well, I'll be damned.

Blue: That's what the preacher said. But wait until I show him THIS! It's all just science!

Red: I wonder if Jimmy knows? Won't he be surprised when I tell him!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Vegan June 8, 2009 at 7:13 am

Hilarious! If it werent for the maternity clothes, view #3 woman looks like shes drunk and should have a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other. But back then, did they know that you shouldnt drink and smoke while pregnant?

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bani June 8, 2009 at 7:39 am

Oh maternity clothes have come a long way, havent they?

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Latter-Day Flapper June 8, 2009 at 7:58 am

Man, that is a lot of fabric in that blouse. Seriously, with those pleats, this one looks like if you got caught in a stiff wind, it could blow right up over your head and expose you to the world.

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Rachel June 8, 2009 at 8:02 am

I cant figure out what anyone needing a tent top would want to wear to wear a pencil-type skirt. Its cute in theory though.

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the_lazymilliner June 8, 2009 at 8:03 am

Latter-Day Flapper – not necessarily. Depends on the fabric…besides dont you think these 1960s era mommies-to-be are wearing something underneath unlike todays generation? They wouldnt walk out of the house without gloves and undergarments!You never see pregnant women this covered up these days unlike theyre movie extras.

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Rebecca Z. June 8, 2009 at 8:34 am

I think my mom made this top, or one very similar to it, when she was pregnant with my youngest brother; circa 1968.Thanks for the mammories.

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Joni June 8, 2009 at 8:41 am

I actually like this one a lot and could see myself wearing something like it were I ever to get pregnant again. Also, I love the fact that you can actually TELL its a maternity pattern – something that didnt seem to happen on pattern envelopes until about the 80s. (I have here in my hot little hands a maternity wrap dress pattern from the 1930s and I swear to you, the women are as thin as spikes. And it only mentions the word Maternity on the BACK.)

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Renee June 8, 2009 at 10:11 am

Vegan – seems like a pregnancy meant a celebration with champagne! And baby showers were a room full of smoking women – many who were pregnant themselves! I had three kids in the seventies and amazingly even then there was no issue with smoking and drinking!I love this top – it reminds me of tent-shaped maternity swimsuit I made in 72.

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Trudy Callan June 8, 2009 at 11:06 am

I cant say that Ill be sewing vintage maternity clothes.www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

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Cookie June 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Rachel: It does seem like an odd combo, but the narrow, straight skirt with a tunic overblouse seems to have been THE maternity silhouette for public appearances in that era! Theres this stuffy French vendous Geneviere Dariaux from the House of Nina Ricci who went on to write A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions, and she is a big fan of this look. And after reading her book, youre kind of afraid to contradict her!I love this pic because it shows the three pattern illustration archetypes; Voracious Vixen (plaid), Happy Housewife (Blue) and Dimwit Dodo Bird (Red). Of course, I like poor little clueless Dodo Bird best…poor thing.

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Cookie June 8, 2009 at 1:42 pm

PS: Does Dimwit Dodo Bird have a pack of Marlboro Reds in her hand?? Hmm…still waters run deep….

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Anonymous June 8, 2009 at 2:10 pm

This is what pregnant women (it was called expecting then)wore in the 50s in my childhood. The slim skirt had a cut-out hole in the front with a verticle tape and a draw string to hold it together. Later, in the 60s, there were maternity panels that could be purchased at the fabric store to sew into the front of the skirt. Then the full and fancy top covered up the business part of the skirt. I know this because the Kansas wind did blow things askew sometimes.

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Melissa June 8, 2009 at 2:35 pm

The blonde in plaid makes me think of Peaches Geldof.

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meredithp June 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm

As usual, your story is a scream.

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Miss Rayne June 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Mrs (presumably) Blue: Well Im glad I got this leaflet, I was just about to strat knitting one.

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anthrokeight June 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm

I kind of love how its implied the preacher is kind of a moron Poor guy, worrying about damnation! He doesnt need to be so fraught!And its just science! Like well, science you can wrap your head around. Its those insane stories about storks…This is why, in The Handmaids Tale, women arent allowed to read.

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theresa June 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

My mom hated the maternity clothes in 61 when she was expecting my sister, so my dad (who is the master of all things) made my mom maternity clothes by adapting regular patterns.

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Elissa June 8, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I like how even though theyre fairly obviously maternity clothes, both Blue and Red look much bigger in the back than the front. Did baby bumps come out the back in the old days?

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Melissa June 9, 2009 at 9:41 am

@Elissa – maybe they were just aiming for some sort of symmetry!

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Cookie June 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm

My mom hated the maternity clothes in 61…so my dad made my mom maternity clothes by adapting regular patterns. Wow. A God!

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AngelaBeth June 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm

You have GOT to see this dress.. I neeeed a pattern for this. Two pockets that actually double as FOUR. AMAZING.http://store.makoollovesyou.com/shop/products/73-cimarosa

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Jules June 9, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Maternity dress..Cute! Love the thid dress, it kinda remind me of my moms maternity dress, when she is pregnant with my younger sister.=)Hope to see more from you, have a nice day.=)A Writers DenThe Brown Mestizo

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A.D. June 9, 2009 at 9:30 pm

The weirdest thing about this pattern is in the top left corner. It says (as best I can tell), size 11 and under that, bust 29. WHO would have a 29 inch bust, but a child? I know people were smaller decades ago, but that is absurd!

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Kristin Meyer June 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

I love, love, love this top.

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Anonymous June 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I want this look revived.

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phyllis June 11, 2009 at 11:13 am

Ill take these any old day over the current let it all hang out during pregnancy trend. Ive seen WAY more boob and belly than I need to see! TMI TMI TMI …

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Theresa June 11, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Thanks Cookie…all us girls pretty much think Dad is some kind of god…well superhero.

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 at 11:08 am

Too cute…your commentary that is. I love it!

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goldilocks June 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Im pregnant, and Id wear that. It is a lot less ugly than some of the maternity wear I see around here– a sheer formfitting jersey T on a pregnant woman is, unless you are Gwyneth Paltrow, not at all lovely.

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Kristina June 18, 2009 at 7:05 am

Even on Gwyneth Paltrow, its not lovely. Modesty can be stylish too!

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Sandy February 8, 2013 at 1:11 am

@ Vegan: Yes, they did know. At least, a lot of people did. I was born in ’62, and my Mom gave up smoking when she got pregnant. And once she & Dad went to a restaurant while she was (visibly) pregnant, and she wanted to sit down while they waited & the only available chair was in the bar . . . and the bartender didn’t want her to come in, because he didn’t want to serve a cocktail to a pregnant woman.
@ Kristina & Goldilocks: Hear, hear! Not only can modesty be stylish & lovely, some men think it’s also more attractive . . . the brain is the most important organ for that, too.

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