Submitter: I worked in a large city public library for about 2 years where I located this relic of 1980’s maternity fashion. Patterns for Pregnancy is an interesting concept: sew your own maternity clothing for a fraction of the cost of buying new clothes. While the concept is a good one and there has been a recent resurgence in the DIY movement, I can’t imagine any modern mom checking out this book and wanting to create these fashions for themselves. I was unable to find a modern equivalent to this concept. There are a ton of sewing books out there but none specific to maternity clothes. Due to the outdated fashions in the book, and relatively low circulation statistics it must go. Still, the models and fashions are highly entertaining and it’s a good reminder of how far maternity fashion has come!
Holly: Maternity fashion trends have come a loooong way since the 80s! In fact, these days it seems more fashionable to show off your baby bump than to cover it (and I support that!). Pinterest links to all kinds of good maternity sewing sites. If your library has a Pinterest account, you could create a board for maternity sewing if you don’t have any books readily available. Let’s take note, though, that people who are good enough seamstresses to even consider sewing their own clothes, maternity or otherwise, will probably be able to take the patterns in this book and turn them into something a little more fashionable. They just need the pattern for aThe problem is, they might be so turned off by the cover that they won’t even pick it up to give it a try. Part of library browsing for a topic like this is in the inspiration, and this book isn’t very inspiring. Verdict: it’s not the worst thing, but there are better options.
More Maternity Madness:
I am quite sure this book was quite “edgy” in its time. My mom had her last baby in 1970. My mom tried to talk to the doctor about her delivery and I believe the repsonse was to just shut up and let him do his job. I think my mom is still pissed at the doctor.
I could argue that by 1990, and my first child, there was some improvement. Pregnant employees still weren’t treated with open arms by employers.
I would put it in the category of books like Our Bodies, Ourselves. For an archive collection, maybe it’s a keeper, but for a public library, weed it.
Glad to be out of the baby business,
This is a good book, in theory, but there is one section that strikes me as odd (images below). Scarves are still fashionable, but the section I’ve put a red box around in the image advises pregnant women to avoid tying their scarves like a classic man’s tie. The reason is that it will look “stiff, formal, and out of place on you now.” Now? So…expectant mothers should avoid looking stiff and formal, but that look is fine when you’re not pregnant? That just strikes me as an odd statement.
There is some good advice about what to wear while nursing, as well as moving from one stage of pregnancy to another. It talks about mail-order and catalog shopping, though, which is definitely an 80s concept. Of course, there is no mention of online shopping or current sources of maternity wear. I do like the focus on comfort and practicality over fashion, but fashion isn’t completely ignored either – also good.
This is a workbook, so it has lots of write- in sections. The copy I saw had some erased writing in some of the forms – at least the patron used pencil!
This would be a good choice for public libraries if it were updated.