22 January 2009

googling my way to glory

Someone in Italy apparently found my blog by googling the phrase "suffragette pants pattern."

Sometimes, when someone finds their way to me via googles, I am completely apathetic to their plight. The person who googled "Sexy Secretaries" and got here, for example, I'm not really all that concerned that my blog didn't meet their searchy needs. But "suffragette pants pattern" is awesome. I totally want to be the blog that fulfills that search.

Unfortunately, I don't know what suffragette pants are. Firstly, since the person is in Italy, I don't know if they are using the American or British usage of pants. Do they mean trousers or knickers? I think the former, because I think what they are referring to are these:

Which would be bloomers. If a pattern exists for these (which it probably does, although I haven't found it after a morning spent looking), it's hard to get to from google, because most of the search terms I tried lead me to children's underwears (you know, the little bloomers babies and toddlers wear under their dresses but over their diapers?). I know there are sites that do repro 19th century patterns--but usually these are for corsets, shirtwaists, skirts, and various undergarments.

Additionally, compared with modern, baby-type bloomers, which are really simple affairs (elasticized
waist, elasticized legs and boom, bloomers), a 19th century dress reform style bloomer would be pretty difficult to make. There are a lot of different styles of them, but most were made in heavy sportswear fabrics like tweeds, and involved over skirts and shirtwaists to make them imitate the style of a dress.

Of course, this person could be thinking of bicycle bloomers, like these:

From what I know of these, they'd be pretty hard to make too--I saw a 19th century bicycling outfit once on display in a museum and it pretty much killed any desire I would have had to make a pair. They made these suckers out of the heaviest materials available--really heavy wool with suede and leather trims and anchors--sometime the pants parts would be weighted so the fabric wouldn't flap around while you biked or get caught in the wheel spokes.

So, no patterns for that here. Sorry, Italy. I let you down. Maybe next time!

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