Just a quick note to say I have a really neat WWII pattern listed on Ebay that’s quite interesting. This pattern is for an Air Raid Suit or Coverall for defense work. It’s really a neat little pattern, but after tracing off a copy for myself it’s time to pass it on.I researched a bit about air raid suits when I got this pattern and found some really interesting information. They were also known as “siren suits”, mostly in Europe I think. I found references back to 1939, but the references were claiming different origins. Some said they came from France and were popular in angora in different shades (including pink!). Others claimed they were from England and were made in corduroy and made popular by Winston Churchill. I have seen photos of Mr Churchill in his air raid suit, which seemed to be of quite wide corduroy and had a zip up the front and a lot of pockets!
The main idea of the air raid suit was to have something warm and durable to put on in case of air raids in the middle of the night. You could step right into them, putting them over your pajamas and ideally were supposed to be able to be dressed in less than a minute. Although most references I found said they were zip front this pattern from 1942 is definitely button front- and was meant more as double-duty so you could make it for an air raid suit OR a Rosie style coverall.
It’s really quite complicated to make. I cut my fabric out last night from the copy I traced and am amazed at the construction details. It was certainly made for sturdy wear! The suit has a drop seat. It buttons up either side seam and has buttons and buttonholes across the back waist all hidden underneath the belt. It’s also got a hidden button fly, and tabs and buttons- and SIX pockets! Gee whiz!
Even if you’re not in the market for an Air Raid Suit or Rosie style coveralls, still check out the listing– I think it’s really an interesting little piece of history!
Hope you have a great weekend!