In the late 1910s and early 1920s, few women were wearing pants, even when sleeping. World War I did did bring the idea of wearing pants to women though, partly because wartime work made pants so much more practical than dresses. But it took World War II with thousands of women entering factories before pants began to really be acceptable wear for women.
And that is why I fell in love with this early pants for women pattern. Yes, it is for pajamas, but they are very similar to the styles of pants that some women had adopted for factory and farm work during WWI.
The top takes its cue from a popular sports style top – the middy. It is easy to see how this could have been inspired by the bloomers and middy sports ensemble of high school and college girls of the 1910s.
I got this mainly for historical interest, not really to sew, though I might try my hand at a pair of pajamas from 95 years ago. Unfortunately the directions are missing, but I think I could muddle my way through. As my grandmother often reminded me, the directions are for people who don’t know what they are doing.
A bit of icing for this cake – the original sales slip was tucked into the envelope. This pattern was purchased at J.Lurie in Chicago, on January 15, 1920.