keskiviikko 5. maaliskuuta 2014

1920s swimsuit and beach coat pattern

Second pattern from the 1927 Kotiliesi magazine! The original writer was really wordy and rambled on and on about the weather and delights of summer, but she (I'm assuming) gets to the point eventually :)


It is the beginning of June and a part of Helsinki has already moved to the country where the trees are still leafless and the summer verdure has yet to appear. Those still in town look at the thermometer on their wall and outside their windows and wonder how the people in the countryside are faring and keeping warm. Whitsunday is still too early for the summer holidayers to swim or sunbathe; during the spring we have only had glimpses of the sun and the summer has begun with a similar weather.

However, the Summer Solstice always brings a change in the weather and after that we’ve grown accustomed to getting warm weather every summer. When writing this there was still three weeks  to the Summer Solstice but as the readers receive their copies of this magazine the Solstice has already brought with it the shorter days and warm summer, or so we hope and believe.

One must encourage oneself with a little preface to be assured of the warming of the summer; otherwise it would be almost impossible to move on to a sunny beach and think about all the lightest and airiest clothes that people need when they want to enjoy the sun, the air and the water as much as possible.
Because as soon as the sun begins to shine, when the waters warm up and the sandy beaches glow white, they invite in countless people. Surely there are so many winter-stiffened limbs which benefit from the warm sun and a soak in cool water.

Lucky are those who have their own quiet swimming beach where they can go and splash in the water and roll in the sand any time they please – but such sanctuaries are few and far apart. Many are happy to spend time with other people at the common beach shared with the village of summer villa area. Others travel to spas to enjoy the joys of water and sun where health treatments can be nicely combined with merrymaking and other activities.

For all those different beaches one also needs slightly different swimsuits and other beach wear. At remote, isolated beaches one doesn’t need much but at a beach that is close to other people’s houses one needs a proper long swimsuit, and at big, communal beaches one also needs some kind of a beach coat.
A beach coat, yes, that is a necessary garment at bathing places where the changing huts often are a long way away from the water. A beach coat is thrown on when one marches along the beach looking for a suitable swimming spot or company, it offers protection from the wind and generally makes one feel comfortable. It is also very nice to lie on when one wants to sunbathe in a place where the beach is not soft and sandy. A beach coat is made of a fabric specially produced for this purpose which is like terrycloth, and this is already available in Finland. Smooth fabrics are also used and at international beaches one may see beach coats that are made of fairly precious materials. We have included a pattern of a beach coat with a yoke and a big collar which are very popular nowadays. The coat is decorated on the collar and the hem with thick twisted curlicues made of the same fabric as the coat. This coat has no sleeves, only armholes. As the fashion pictures show these coats come in several shapes. All of them are usually large and loose.
What about the swimsuit? Suits made of jersey and tricot have been in use for a long time and they can be bought ready-made. Usually they are always figure-hugging and thus look good on only certain body types. To get a swimsuit that fits and looks good ladies need to make one themselves or have one made for them. The fabric does not have to be jersey; our cotton fabrics, both patterned and one colour, suit the purpose well, if not better. The suit looks the more charming the happier the colours are, as long as the fabrics have dyes that hold, as our domestically produced fabrics certainly do.

Pattern for the swimsuit bodice and the pants. The pattern for the latter is drawn on its side, the dotted line is the side seam of the pants, the long edge closest to the the right edge of the picture is the hem of a pant leg.

Pattern for the beach coat. Looking at the little drawing, the pointy piece is the yoke, the small rectangular is the collar and the biggest piece is the coat piece.
Nowadays a woman’s swimsuit usually has two parts: pants and a tunic dress over them. Because in our opinion a swimsuit is the most practical when one can easily take it off after coming out of the water, we give a pattern where the bodice and the pants are attached to each other and which looks very pretty. The bodice of the suit resembles a blouse and is attached on the shoulders with buttons and with a couple of snap fasteners on the other side seam. The suit has no other fastenings. When the pants are sewn they are combined with the bodice and this joining seam covered by attaching on it ca. 30cm long skirt piece which is either gathered or pleated. The skirt can also be detachable so it can be left on the beach when one goes in the water. Thus one steps into the costume through the neck opening, and opening the shoulder buttons it is easy to take off. Many of our happy, checked cotton fabrics are suitable for these swimsuits and have proved to be very sturdy and otherwise  good material – they are not too thin or not too thick. A suit like this requires about 75cm of fabric. 

At the beach one also needs some sort of a headwear. Different rubber swimming caps are available in shops which are very practical as they are waterproof. A person whose hair can take a little moisture can always wrap a scarf around their head, a scarf that is made of the same fabric as the swimsuit, thus adding to the picturesque charms of the beach with their coordinated costume.

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