Pattern puzzle: Vintage WW1 pattern

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm / Pattern Puzzle / Trackback

pattern_puzzle_vintage_ls_ww1Here’s a fun pattern I found today. Can you guess what this is? The only hints I will give you is that it is from a vintage sewing book circa WW1. Its author wrote instructions for 70 or so most needed and appreciated items one could knit or sew for soldiers in the war. I could tell you the material of which it is made but frankly, I think this would be a disservice in that it would lead you on the wrong track. I will put that information in comments but my suggestion is to not read it.

In part two I will include all source information, there are interesting things in this book and the link where I found it.

It’s your turn to guess away!

36 Responses to “Pattern puzzle: Vintage WW1 pattern”

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November 22nd, 2011
6:22 PM

I think it is a sock.

Kevin Bishop
November 22nd, 2011
6:35 PM

This appears to be some sort of footwear, possibly a water or mud resistant boot covering.

November 22nd, 2011
7:02 PM

Wow! I run off to serve my husband dinner (lest he beat me) and totally forgot to post the suggested material -leather- and I already have responses! I’ll stay mum for now.

Funny how I think some challenges are hard while others easy and invariably, everyone always surprises me.

Lisa Laree
November 22nd, 2011
7:05 PM

Boot liner/cover/sock is my guess, too.

November 22nd, 2011
7:09 PM

Hi Kathleen,

It looks like a boot similar to the one they wear in Laponie and made out of Reindeer.
the sole is in between and seams in front and back of the stem.
Something to keep the feet warm or dry. I can imagine soldiers in trenches would need those.



November 22nd, 2011
7:44 PM

I would say that iit is a pattern for gaiters (particularly since made of leather) – and I wish I had had this pattern when I costumed a WW 1 theatre production a few years ago!

November 22nd, 2011
7:52 PM

I’m thinking that there will be a pleat in that middle bit. I’m trying to think where you would benefit from a pleat. I’m wondering if it is knee protector for crawling along the ground. The pleats would allow the extra room required when you bent your legs. The leather would be hardy and protective.

November 22nd, 2011
8:21 PM

gaiters aka spats?

November 22nd, 2011
8:44 PM

Technically, I guess, while gaiters and spats are similar, spats are more a fashion garment and gaiters are protective wear. Also, I see in this pattern that it seems to enclose the foot, while spats as I know them tend to just go over the instep and are fastened underneath.

November 22nd, 2011
8:47 PM

It looks to me as though each of the center pieces sew to the short pieces next to them, which suggests a head covering to me. Leather would not be out of place here, as WW1 soldiers are often shown wearing leather hoods or helmets. I am looking forward to the answer.

Brenda Marks
November 22nd, 2011
9:18 PM

I’m guessing some sort of aviator’s helmet/headgear.

Colleen McGuirk
November 22nd, 2011
9:21 PM

Maybe a mask? Although, it is mirrored.

November 22nd, 2011
11:22 PM

Until I read the other comments, I was thinking maybe a cover for the gun…..
Now, after reading the comments, Kevin’s suggestion makes the most sense to me.

Depending on the size, it could also be something like a sleeping bag…one you can walk in, if it stays open on the bottom.

Matthew Pius
November 22nd, 2011
11:30 PM

I’m another one in favor of footwear. It’s really tough without scale – before looking at it closely, I thought it was some sort of collar.

Leanne Scollay
November 23rd, 2011
2:27 AM

Maybe boots or socks. It looks a bit like some patterns I have seen for simple toddlers boots. It appears to have has stitching lines all the way around it though, so maybe not a boot. I am puzzled.

Martin Taylor
November 23rd, 2011
3:13 AM

Looks just like a bootie (sock, stocking) pattern I have for a protective suit.

November 23rd, 2011
4:17 AM

I like the gaiter theory.
Leather kind of blows my other guess, which would be some sort of face mask, like those great neoprene ones that keep you breathing in very cold air. But the shape would be more accentuated I think, and this one doesn’t include much space for nose. And the proportions are wrong for a surgical mask (not to mention the material!). Kevin wins :-).

November 23rd, 2011
4:36 AM

Without looking at the comments (thank you ‘end’ button for taking me to the bottom of the page), I cast a vote for chaps, or some other sort of leg protector that throws the single seam to the outside of the leg. Something suitable for protecting the legs while on a motorcycle or a horse. . .probably a horse, then, I don’t know how much was mechanized during WWI.

Mary in FL
November 23rd, 2011
5:05 AM

My first inclination was that this was a sock for people who did not know how to knit. My maternal grandfather was a teenager during that war, and he taught himself to knit so he could make socks for the troops. He told us that helping the “war effort” in many small ways was a “really big deal.”

Since I did not read the comments until after I had written the above, and now I have read them, the two rows of stitching make more sense for leather than for fabric. In that case, I would call it a boot.

Liz C
November 23rd, 2011
5:21 AM

I am going off my experience as a knitting designer here and was going to say it’s a hood/helmet of some sort, that extends into a scarf.

But then you said leather … now I think it’s the base for a gas mask. The top, when sewn will cover the nose, and the bottom is chin-shaped.

November 23rd, 2011
5:40 AM

It is a plaster cast cover for the leg. Yes?

November 23rd, 2011
7:03 AM

I’m thinking some sort of oddball boots, with a seam up the center front. Boot covers? There seems to be a sole, so to me that means technically they’re not gaiters, although I like that theory too.

November 23rd, 2011
8:19 AM

After some googling, perhaps a homemade “trench boot?”

November 23rd, 2011
8:20 AM

I’m very much liking the plaster cast cover. Or, after some Googling, perhaps a homemade “trench boot?”

Jen in NY
November 23rd, 2011
9:24 AM

Perhaps a boot liner.

ken simmons
November 23rd, 2011
10:47 AM

I say it is a flying ace hood

November 23rd, 2011
10:50 AM

I believe it’s a boot.

November 23rd, 2011
11:58 AM

It’s got to be a boot cover, perhaps something akin to a leather wellie.

November 23rd, 2011
1:42 PM

My first inclination is a bootliner as they would need it in winter.

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November 23rd, 2011
4:54 PM

Gaiter to wear over shoes or boots.

Anne Kasten
November 23rd, 2011
7:36 PM

cap for the head with scarf ends to wrap around the neck

November 23rd, 2011
11:10 PM

It does have a boot-like appearance. But, the proportion seems odd. It kinda looks like it would be the cover for the stock of a gun. Why that would need a cover is beyond me though…

Helen Smullen
November 25th, 2011
8:58 AM

My guess is it’s a type of sock, perhaps a bootliner, obviously designed to be knit with straight needles. That would also make it easier to construct a pair at the same time, using a mirror image technique.

Sandy Peterson
November 25th, 2011
10:19 AM

My guess is a face mask.

June 23rd, 2013
7:21 AM

They are a pattern for leg gaitors, they go over the top of the boot and over the trousers covering the calf.

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