One of the many things that I love about working with an older pattern is drawing deductions about the time that the pattern was written. I have no clue where you would start to search for contemporary accounts from seventies seamstresses. The archives of Houseparty or Womans Weekly? It matters not, I’m shunning the rigorous research of my day job in favour of amusing myself by making wild assumptions and drawing dubious conclusions. Here goes…
Butterick 4743 has no copyright date but is clearly priced at the princely sum of 65 pence. I’m going to assume that this makes it post decimalisation and therefore post 1971. The styling suggests to me that it is not very far past the post of 1971.
Nary a mention is made in the instructions of the need for an overlocker or a coverstitch machine. The seam finishes suggested are all zig-zag, turn under and stitch. The assumption is that your interfacing will be sewn in rather than ironed on.
So far, so what, you might say. Well, I suspect that the seamstresses of the 70s had no expectation that their hand-fashioned garments would have the finish of shop-bought knits. Maybe in expecting to fashion your buttonholes by hand your expectation was that the entire garment would look hand-made. And, that looking hand-made was a good thing.
What say you my fellow seam finishers and my fellow #vintagepledgers?