Monday, 24 March 2014

Pantettes...


What on earth are pantettes, you might wonder!!! When I found my old school Needlework Sampler Book, inside, I found the one and only pattern I have ever drafted. In my head, I'd always remembered drafting bloomers, but on seeing the pattern, on the outside, written in my best handwriting, were the words Pantette Pattern.



I don't ever remember even hearing the word pantette. Why had I thought, for all these years, that we'd drafted bloomers? I was intrigued! What was the difference between bloomers and pantettes? Whatever pantettes were, I do remember being told we were going to be making what we thought were HUGE underpants... something our grandmothers might wear; not us!!!

The Australian Women's Weekly, 19th May, 1971 ~ National Library of Australia
And they must have been huge, because the cottontails we were wearing ourselves were pretty big. I don't remember at what point mini cottontails became available, but I do remember wearing the cottontails on the left; the ones with the bulky leg bands. They don't look particularly comfortable, do they, but in reality, I don't remember. There was no other choice at the time, so you didn't think about it.

In a short space of time, women's and girls underwear became markedly smaller, so by the time we were in our teens we had discarded cottontails and replaced them with bikini underwear.

Back to pantettes. What were the garments like that Mrs Club envisaged we would be making?  Off to Google to do some research...

A 1940s slip and pantettes pattern...

It's a bit hard to read, but it looks like the fabric comes with the pantettes pattern...
Australian Women's Weekly ~ 5th August, 1945 ~ National Library of Australia

1. Scanties, 2. Pantettes & 3. Bloomers
Australian Women's Weekly ~ 6th June, 1945 ~ National Library of Australia

Ad for a pantettes pattern...
The Land Newspaper, 26th October, 1951 ~ National Library of Australia

After my research, I'm still not totally sure of the distinction between bloomers and pantettes. All I know is, they were big, baggy and not something I wanted to wear. Thankfully, we didn't ever have to sew from our drafted pattern. Why on earth didn't we get to draft something practical like a skirt? Now that would have been useful.


Just for a bit of fun, I thought I'd sew up my old self drafted pattern.


Ha ha, they're not wide enough to fit me now, but look at the length. They're way more than large enough, from crotch to waist, to fit me now.  Even if I'd use elastic or added a band to the bottom of the legs, still huge. There's NO way I would have worn those as a young girl!!!

What was Mrs Club thinking? That our undergarments should look like this? I always thought that she was old, but as a child, adults always look old, so who knows. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt, assume she was quite old and therefore from a different era, where young girls were attired this way. Ha ha.. thank goodness my Mum didn't dress us in these!!!

... Pam

23 comments:

  1. Hi Pam! Long time no visit. I've been blog surfing the last couple of days, which I haven't had time to do in quite a while, and I'm so enjoying catching up! :) Love your post. Pantettes. hehe You're right, they don't look very comfortable~ underwear has come a long way!! I love that you sewed up your self drafted pattern after all these years. And I always love seeing old patterns. Hope you've had a great weekend!

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  2. How funny. Why did they do such silly things at school? At least school now is relevant and what they do in cooking and sewing is up to date.. at long last!!

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  3. I love posts like this Pam! Taking it back to the "old school"...of underwear!!

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  4. These are hilarious Pam! We used to wear the most hideous bloomers for PE in school they were universally hated :)

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  5. That is so funny! Wish I had been learning how to draft patterns in school. Then again, I failed home economics when I had to make a simple apron. No one in my family sewed more than an occasional button, so I was on my own in completely unknown territory. Pantette drafting probably would have ended my interest in sewing forever. Love that you attempted the pattern!

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  6. The last time I wore roomy undies was when I was pregnant with my twins! I remember my husband asking me "how do you fold these?" I said, "like a flag." We both had a good laugh. It was nice once I could fit back into my bikini-style undies again.

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  7. This post is so funny! I hear high-waist is coming back, your pattern is a fashion-forward shorts pattern! ;)

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  8. What a fun project! Thank you for sharing :)

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  9. Oh they're so cute Pam!! Sure you don't want to enlarge the pattern for adults sizes? You'd have to publish it on your blog so we could all make ourselves a pair - you might start a new craze!! :)

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  10. Love the old illustration. I sure didn't know what a pantette was. Thanks for the underwear lesson.

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  11. OK I admit it. I started giggling when I realized what pantettes were (for some reason, the first thing that popped into my mind upon hearing the word, was ... culottes! ??!?!?!?!). By the time I got to the end of the post I was laughing quietly at my computer :) Everyone else is in bed - no way could I laugh out loud and have one of them ask me what was going on ... I'd have to answer ... "PANTETTES are what's happening, dudes - you better believe your scanties!" :) Am I the only one that thinks the scanties are actually cute enough to wear now ... as a little flirty slip or tap shorts? :)

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    1. I might make a pair in see through nylon maybe black or red, :) of course I like the long ones, and with the lacey ruffles, paired up with a sexy corset. Could be a new fad. And really now, I must not forget the ruffled night cap. Lol :)

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    2. Please don't forget the night cap! Extra ruffly.

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  12. wonderful the old pictures! I love them very much!

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    1. I really enjoyed researching and reminiscing...

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  13. Do you remember the pantaloons that were long? They went down to mid- calf and had layers of ruffles and/ or lace layers going around the legs? I had so many of them when I was a little little girl, I really loved wearing them.

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    1. I've seen photos and pictures of pantaloons, but have never worn them. At first, I wondered if pantettes were another name for pantaloons, but soon found out they were not.

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    2. You could alter the legs and make them long. I think they are adorable, whether long or short.

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  14. Learn something everyday! That's what I enJOY about blogging. That and meeting friends like you Pam. Very interesting post.

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  15. Cute post, Pam! Would be very cute for the little ones now!

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  16. Haha I have never heard that word before! What a fun post. I think we sewed a sweatshirt in my home ec. class, yours was much more exciting!

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  17. I love that you sewed up a pair of pantettes from your pattern! Too funny.:)

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