Monday, January 13, 2014

Lucky Find!

Yesterday afternoon my son was doing a school project on the computer, my daughter stole my iPad, and my work laptop crashed. So it was either clean the house, or go through my fabric and pattern stash. Thank God I ignored what I should do and did what I wanted to do, because at the very bottom of my pattern container...I found...THIS!

 What a surprise!

A mail order pattern of my Grandma's! I'm guessing it was in the 1950's since there was no zip code on the address. Here's my Grandma with Grandpa on their 50th wedding anniversary. 

Grandma and Grandpa
Aren't they cute? Grandma was a 3rd grade teacher while raising six kids. She had a huge garden, canned, and always had fresh flowers on the table in the summer and fall. We often had Sunday dinner at her house, and she used the good plates and silverware. I remember walking downtown with her when she would run into a former student, and she always remembered who they were, even if the kid was now middle-aged. I could never figure out how she did that.

The pattern is for an apron. Except for going out in public or when gardening, I remember Grandma always wearing a cotton apron similar to this style.
In fact, I have a worn-out apron of hers in my quilting stash. 

Apron Pattern

And it only needed one yard of fabric! I learned from Grandma how to create my own pattern layout using as little fabric as possible; now I know how she got so good at it.

Guide to Pattern Layout

I think it is interesting that there is no printing on the pattern pieces. The piece number is punched out with small circles. There are notches for matching, but they are actual notches, not printed triangles. What I haven't figured out is what all the other punched out circles mean. At first I thought that they might be guides to pocket placement, etc., but when I laid the pocket piece on the skirt piece, they don't match up. Do you have any ideas what they might be for?

See the number 5 at the top? This is pattern piece 5.
I don't know what the 4 sets of double punches are for...

Do you know anything about patterns from this era? Please comment if you do...I'd love to know more!


  1. Those double punches could match up with placement dots on the body of the apron. I have seen these on very old pants patterns for dart placement. How fun to have something from your grandma!

    1. I think you're right...when I looked at the pattern pieces again, there are 5 sets of double holes on the main apron piece where the pockets look like they should go. At first I was confused because there are only 4 sets of double holes on the pocket piece, and I expected there to be the same number on each piece. Thanks!

  2. How fun! It looks a lot like the Church Lady's Apron pattern by Mary Mulari. We are making that next month at our ASG group. What a treasure you have. ~Teri

    1. I'm thinking of making this up. I'd love to see what your group comes up with! Will you be posting them?


I'd love to hear what you're thinking and sewing!