Sunday, 25 August 2019

Lounging around

After last week's grumble, I thought I'd go for something a bit cheerier this time. I recently bought a box of old patterns, and am very slowly sorting through them. At some point I'll post about the whole thing, but as it's the bank holiday weekend in England and Wales, I've picked out a few which seem suitable for relaxing on a summer break.

These men's trousers (well, 'slacks' actually) are described as "for lounging or work". Given how much more formal dress was 70 years ago, I'm surprised that the same trousers could be considered suitable for both activities. Perhaps it depended upon what fabric as used to make them up.

Butterick 5545 - 1950

1950s Butterick patterns often have quite whimsical descriptions on the back of the envelope. For example, this one: "One-piece, button front playsuit that dons a skirt for visits to town". My first though was that I would love to get my hands on some of that red and yellow leafy fabric, but my second thought was that the visits to town would have to be short, as a bathroom break in that outfit would be tricky.

Butterick 8581 - 1958

This Jane Tise pattern is described as a "shirt and sundress", but the illustration suggests that the wearers are taking no chances with the weather - both examples show the dress with the shirt worn underneath.

Butterick 5285 - 1977

Also described as a sundress, and styled far more like one, is this in both regular and maxi lengths.

Simplicity 8876 - 1979

All the patterns came from the same owner, and clearly someone she sewed for really liked sundresses. There is no date on this pattern, but judging from the hair, and the fact that it still has the 'Maudella' name, I'm guessing that it's from the same era as the other two.

New Look Maudella 6090

My absolute favourite pattern of the lot though is this one which, according to the information on the back, consists of a "nightie, brunch coat and lounging outfit". I have no idea what a 'brunch coat' is, or why brunching is an activity which requires its own coat - but the idea of an outfit made specifically for lounging, and lounging only, is oddly appealing!

Butterick 7559 - 1955


  1. I really like the playsuit/overskirt pattern. Could you mash it up into a shirtdress? Ditch the shorts part and just make the blouse half and attach it to the skirt. It would be a nightmare to use the loo in it's original style! Would be lovely. My mother used to have a brunch coat. A little fancier than a housecoat. The idea was that if you were visiting people for the weekend or something you would wear it over your nightwear when called for breakfast (according to her). For some odd reason I was thinking about your handsewn satin blouse (for the yet to be made 1938 suit), I was handsewing some tricky fabric. What about some tiny pearls around the neckline to disguise the pick-stitching holding down the facing? I was thinking about doing this with my project. I really do enjoy your blog. Enjoy your box of patterns!
    all the best.

    1. Thank you for the brunch coat information Susan, I love it when someone is able to fill a gap like that! The blouse is on a hanger in my workroom, waiting for me to finish it - beading sounds like an excellent way of disguising the stitches.

  2. Talk about multitasking! One pattern for a nightie, a "brunch coat" and a casual blouse. I think this wins a prize.

    1. Indeed. All bases covered - although the belt over the blouse looks a bit too tight to be comfortable!