I have been lucky enough to stumble across an etsy seller who, from time to time, lists the most amazing patterns for the most reasonable prices. I check her shop daily in hopes that she has listed something new, and that someone else hasn't snapped it up first. I've gotten some amazing patterns from her but this one takes the cake.
Anne Adams 4536 from the 1940s and I'm just swooning. I opened the envelope only to find the pieces in their original factory fold, no less. It doesn't get much better than that.
Except it does. The playsuit looks like the perfect vintage swimsuit pattern I've been dying to make but couldn't find a pattern for in my price range. And I think I've almost decided to make up the overalls and jacket, to be Rosie the Riveter for Halloween.
I love the concept of a 1940's overall pattern. During WWII women took over many men's jobs while the boys were at war. Someone had to work the farms, make bullets, assemble bombs, and build car engines and that fell to women. This created a new bread of women like "Rosie the Riveter." They wore their husbands' or boys' clothes for these jobs, and soon, the pattern companies caught on and released a hand full of patterns to accommodate the new, more gritty roles that women were adopting.
I have seen a few overall patterns from this era but this is the first that I've seen with clearly feminine lines. The pattern seems to say, "Look lovely whilst working with pistons, and then pop into the playsuit and forget the cares of war for a few hours."
There's a great article about it at Unsung Sewing Patterns featuring an Advance overalls pattern. If you haven't checked out that blog yet, I highly recommend it. It's a veritable cache of amazing sewing history combined with patterns that make me weak in the knees.