Sewing and Pattern Design

USDA Patterns: More Dresses and Aprons

Here are several patterns sold commercially under the Advance brand that were designed by the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics. They were also described, illustrated, and photographed in Bureau publications.

This group of patterns appeared in Dresses and Aprons for Work in the Home (1952) Farmers' Bulletin, Number 1963, Revised. U.S. Department of Agriculture

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"Simple to make, easy to wear, quick to iron — this dress is designed for the youthful figure. It is styled with comfortable fullness held in place by narrow straps set in at the seams at side front and side back and buttoned at side seams. Wings, double-layered so they won't wilt, take the place of sleeves and give perfect arm freedom. The collarless square neck line makes the dress cool and simplifies both sewing and ironing." p. 5

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Advance 4602

Image from Vintage Patterns Wiki

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"A neatly fitted dress with real working comfort. It has the six-gore skirt that many women like because it is flattering and wide enough for both comfort and safety. The blouse is cool and collarless.

Wings take the place of ordinary sleeves. Set into side-front and back seams, they provide comfortably for the arm's thickness, they allow free arm movement, and they don't crush. The belt is stitched in." p. 6

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"For women who like wrap-arounds here is a style with fastenings placed so there's no groping to find them. Two buttons at the waist and two from the waist to the bend of the hips keep the skirt from blowing open too far, or from falling over into the way of your work. Thus you have the conveniences of a wrap-around — but none of its usual skirt hazards and annoyances. An extra convenience is the stitched-in belt." p. 6

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Advance 4603

Image Courtesy of Little Black Car on Flickr at:

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"Designed for action, this dress at near left has pleats in back next to the sleeves so they give quickly for reaching. The skirt is wide enough but not too wide. Ties adjust the waist to your comfort. The flared sleeves are cool.

Other features: Flared neck ruffle that flatters but is not warm, front opening long enough for easy dressing and fastening; flat buttons, or snaps that can be put on with a hammer make practical fastenings." p. 9

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Advance 5018

Image Courtesy of Little Black Car on Flickr

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"One apron like this will fit all women in the household — guests, too. To adjust it, simply draw up or let out the cord in the back. Knots in both ends of the cord keep it from pulling out.

This apron is quick and easy to make and to iron, comfortable and convenient, and a timesaver on ironing day.

For a smooth fit, choose firm cotton, such as work cotton or denim. By careful cutting you can make this apron from 1 yard of 36-inch plain material." p. 11

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Kitchen Jacket

"Safety features highlight this washable jacket, designed for wear before the house is warm, or when you have to work in a chilly attic or basement. The back of the jacket has action pleats next to the sleeves. Three-quarter-length sleeves stay up out of the way of dishwater, pan handles, and fire. Sleeves are cut with comfortable elbow room. Surplice cuffs spread as needed to fit lower arms.

Make the jacket of smooth-finished material. Napped goods are hazardous for work around a fire." p. 9

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Image Courtesy of Little Black Car on Flickr