the charm and simplicity of vintage children sewing patterns
Children’s clothes were never as charming as they were in times gone by. In part, it’s due to their simplicity that their charming distinction lies.
When vintage children’s clothes are said to be “quaint” it can’t mean that they were reminiscent of old time fashions for children because there were no fashions for children in olden days.
Children, even infants, were dressed like their mothers. In fact, the dresses of grownups were carried out in children’s clothing to the smallest detail.
Frequently, babies wore velvet dresses with white bib aprons and tiny white caps without strings-just like their mothers.
It wasn’t until the English began designing and making distinctive fashions for children that mothers began taking more of an interest in decorating children in fashionable designs especially for them.
What mother didn’t take pride in making at least one outfit for her child over those purchased at a mercantile, boutique or department store?
The same is true today.
There’s great pleasure in creating simple, lovely little clothes for a baby: a christening, a wedding or for summer play, which are easy to make and later kept as family heirlooms.
Keeping in line with simplicity, vintage children’s clothing didn’t contain too many buttons, fasteners or strings and weren’t made unnecessarily in heavy fabrics.
A little play apron, for example, might have been made with a yoke and belt that’s made to fasten together with one big painted china button.
Simple embroideries, transfer designs and brilliant colors served as simple decoration.
There’s nothing special about mass marketed children’s clothing. But there’s something refreshingly special about hand-crafted, well-made children’s clothing made by mother’s hands.
sewing pattern patents
I receive alot of questions about patent notices on vintage sewing patterns. TRULY vintage/antique sewing patterns will never have a patent that you need be concerned with today because patent generally only lasted for 20 years. BUT, for fun and to learn more about patents-seeing them up closeand personal check out patent status at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Google Patent database.
Information included in the patent application generally includes:
A title/name of the item.
The date the patent application was filed.
The name of the applicant.
The term of the patent, if granted.
Illustration of the item at all views.
Clothing can be patented (although extremely difficult) if the garment is:
“a new, useful and obvious invention”.
Utility patents may be granted for new and useful processes, machine, articles of manufacture, composition of matter, or new and useful improvements.
Design patents may be granted to an inventor of new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
What do the words: “patent pending” stamped or printed on vintage sewing patterns mean?
According to the patent office it means someone had at one time applied for a patent for the pattern design. The words served as a warning that a patent may be issued that would cover the item and that copiers should be
careful because they might infringe if the patent issued.
Today-the notice or any issued patent mean absolutely nothing. The patent would have expired by now.
Once the patent issued, the patent owner sewing would stop using the phrase “patent pending”; replacing the phrase with something similar to start “covered by U.S. Patent Number XXXXXXX.”
from toile to finish
My preferred working method (for developing a design (that’s from a sketch or direct application)) is working out ideas directly in muslin fabric and draping directly on a form; making a toile. So that the silhouette, the line and the proportion may be studied, experimented with and perfected.
And then, just like in a couture fashion house, after careful consideration of texture and color combination, the toile (muslin mockup) is ready for truing and is made up into an oaktag pattern (in a house by a pattern maker), then cut (in a house by a cutter) in fashion fabric for later construction and finishing (in a house by seamstresses and petit mains).
Draping permits a designer to see the design in its entirety from all sides; enabling the designer to use the best possible information about the design by reviewing it: suggestions on the fall, the character of line, of fold, or of areas of the fabric itself, as well as seeing immediately if the idea one has in mind is at all possible.