Readers, I'm delighted to have a guest post for you today! It's from Jace, the blogger behind Pattern Junkie, of which I have long been a fan. Bonus: Jace is a fellow pinkhead (well, more like a lovely magenta) and is really fun to eat Mexican food with. Enjoy!--Gertie
Hello, fellow Gertie readers! I’m delighted to be a guest writer today: I’ve been a fan of Gertie’s blog for several years, and had the chance to meet her when she visited L.A. (Guess what? She’s as wonderful in person as she is in blogland.) Like many of you, I have a love of sewing – and a love of (some might say obsession with) sewing patterns. And why not? They offer glimpses into fashion history and individual seamstresses’ lives. Some designs make me gasp at their beauty. Others leave me scratching my head at their peculiarity.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about an interesting vintage detail: heart pockets. Beautiful? Weird? What’s your take? I think they can go either way, so join me on a journey through some examples. I’m focusing exclusively on women’s dresses with heart pockets: aprons and kids’ clothes with this detail are a little too easy to find…and when you do, they look like this:
ACK! Didn’t I warn you about the weird? The more you look at Aunt Martha’s 9619 (1940s), the stranger it gets. The twin kitties…Sis wearing nothing but an apron, socks, bonnet and shoes with Mom looking so sad in the foreground…I’m about to take a hot iron to my eyes to burn the image from my retinas. Quick! Something pretty! Let’s take a gander at Anne Adams 4923 (1940s):
For me, this works. The dress is classic and simple and the pockets are a sweet, unexpected touch. Bravo!
Next: Simplicity 3716, 1950s. Giant heart pockets are one thing, but hearts on the end of a rick rack neck bow? That’s taking things too far.
Plaid agrees: she’s looking a little smug. And you know what? Now I’m coming around to Blue’s point of view. It’s a housedress, after all. Blue, if you want to eat your breakfast looking like a Valentine and getting muffin crumbs stuck in the little pointy bottoms of your pockets, you go! Don’t let Plaid put you down.
This mail order pattern, Anne Adams 4589 (1940s), does everything right in by book. I love how the illustration places a plain heart and yoke against a flowered fabric. It’s not too sweet – almost matter-of-fact.
Unfortunately, I just can’t get behind Simplicity 1090 (1940s). I don’t think anyone’s going to take you seriously if your business suit features hearts right above your bust – or anywhere, for that matter:
While the lace-trimmed pockets of Simplicity 3186 (1950) are too sweet for my taste, I love the pattern illustration:
Navy Lace makes a heart with her hands, while Pink Gingham scolds her for being so forward! And what is Pink about to pull out of that heart-shaped pocket of hers?
Lest you think that the heart pocket faded with the fifties, check out its appearance in Simplicity 5803 (1973):
Finally, a pattern I can’t resist including, even though it technically doesn’t have a heart pocket. Check out Simplicity 4924:
YES! You saw that right! It’s a HEART HAT! Glorious, isn’t it?!
Thanks for exploring this odd little corner of the sewing pattern world with me, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks again to Pattern Junkie!
Thanks again to Pattern Junkie!