Friday, 13 April 2012

Smock, Stocky and Looks Like a Barrel

Taking a break from tyre-related posts, unless you count the spare tyre...

Well, I've been thwarted in my plans to make an entire 50s style wardrobe of demure, flattering and adorable maternity garments, partly due to being laid up for so long, partly as everything takes longer than planned, and partly as I think there's something going on with these patterns.  Many photos have been withheld to protect the aesthetically minded.

So far I have made:


a rather startling smock dress with long sleeves in emerald velour which was intended for Xmas, got finished at end of February and makes me look like Margot from the Good Life (if she was a foot shorter and had let herself go to seed).  It's St Patrick's Day soon, so if there's a shortage of leprechauns on the Kent/Sussex border, it may still be in with a chance.

from the same pattern, a pinafore dress in black watch, which thankfully looks acceptable, yet not brilliantly similar to the picture on the pattern, being quite boxy and shapeless.

a no-pattern pencil skirt from a blog I found.  It seemed to easy to be true, but actually it was fine.  Managed to make it in half an hour and put a kick pleat in for good measure.  This gave me a false sense of confidence.

Another pencil skirt to go with a trapeze top, and therefore make a suit... from this:

This is the biggest issue.  I know I have had to widen the pattern, but I also know I did it in proportion and it worked.  However, what I saw in a photo of myself in it, was a pin head poking out of the top of one green saggy bag resting on top of another green saggy bag.  This is not the effect I was hoping to convey.  However, since starting this post, a good few weeks ago, various things have changed:

1- I have got bigger and it now fits a lot better
2- various people have commented that they like it
3- one of the bows has fallen off...

Having run out of making time, I'm going to keep back the final piece of fabric for when I'm 'back' to a size 8, which I understand can take anything up to an hour after delivery, stick the patterns back on eBay and do something less frustrating instead. So we shall never know what this would have looked like:

However, I've had niggling doubts and looked into it. My conclusions are that actually I've done nothing wrong and the image on the patterns are being less than honest.  These two prove my suspicions:
 So- if this lady is pregnant at all, she is so very recently so, that it would explain her general air of someone who had to run to catch the bus to the artist's studio for her portrait, as well as why she didn't have time to change and actually be wearing the baggy, saggy smock top.  I find it very unlikely that there is the same amount of fabric in her dress as in that top and all it takes is a bit of belting up in the early weeks to get the dress to see you through the whole 9 months.  How convenient that there were no photos printed onto patterns at the time- I don't think reality would have helped sales.  Add to which that this pattern is intended for a 40" bust for a 1940s pattern, and I can only assume that the ladies in question would have kept themselves securely hidden from view down a dark air raid shelter for the duration.
Pretty much all of the above applies here to, other than the two bows implying the garment can be let out to accommodate expansion.  Which is surely what you need to see?  Otherwise, anyone that had the figure in the drawing would have had no need of a maternity garment.  Mind you, these ladies look like they're even more in denial than I am. 

 The patterns I have bought are no better- the ladies wearing the clothes I am trying to make in the ever-dwindling belief I will resemble them in any way at all, don't so much look pregnant in any way (that would never do) as convey pregnancy by holding a bonnet, looking at a bootee, or just staring dreamily into the distance with a secret air of knowing and fabulous pointy stilettos. 

Since starting this post, I have had one more successful project and will share that on a separate post.