Thursday, 21 November 2013

More Bathing Suits

Patons & Baldwins, Helps to Knitters 249
I thought that we had very few 1930s pattern leaflets for knitted bathing suits in the Guild collection, but I found another last week, tidying up lot of mixed papers in a corner of the office.  Woolly bathing suits fascinate me, in a slightly horrified kind of way, so it's exciting to find a new one.  I wrote about a slightly later Patons & Baldwins leaflet (no. 337) here - that leaflet was advertised in 1933, so this is possibly a year or two earlier.

The blocks of contrasting colour in these designs look slightly Art Deco, I think. And they were of course not intended to be knitted in shades of grey and black. "Doreen", the cover design, is in beige and the contrast bands are in narrow stripes of red and navy. "Estelle" is knitted in equal quantities of red and beige, in graduated stripes with more red at the bottom and more beige at the top.  "Estelle" is unusual in being designed for a size 35 to 37 inch bust, which is large by the standards of 1930s knitting patterns.  And the leaflet does not give any warning about knitting your bathing suit small, to fit tightly and allow for stretching when wet, as the later leaflet does.

The third design, "Dorothy", would be quite striking knitted in black and gold as suggested.  It is also quite a daring design compared to the other two, because it has no skirt - the Doreen and Estelle designs both have an overskirt to conceal the knicker part. In the case of Estelle, the skirt looks especially long - long enough to be inconvenient, considering that the weight of the wet wool would pull the whole thing downwards when you came out of the water.

Stay out of the water, Estelle!

1 comment:

  1. My mother knitted a lot of our childhood clothes. I always thank my lucky stars that she didn't knit our swimming costumes.


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