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I recently purchased a vintage pattern in Dutch for a Damesbedjasje, literally translated "Ladies little bed jacket." I wasn't able to find much about the original, but it was reprinted with some modifications in the Reformatorisch Dagblad (The Reformist Newspaper) in 1979. 

I've been recreating it since I found the construction of the pleats intriguing. As I was knitting swatches for this garment it struck me, when does one EVER need a jacket in bed? Granted, Holland is often damp and chilly and in old days probably even chillier in the predawn hours when the ashes had grown cold in the fireplace. But despite the sweet picture and interesting design this seemed an inordinately unpractical garment.  

So, if you know me, you know I research any and every thing.  According to Wikipedia, The bed jacket is a woman's garment; a waist-length robe worn to cover the chest, shoulders and arms while sitting up in bed. Its short length and cape-like cut allowed it to be put on (or removed) while in bed. Often made of sheer or lacy fabrics and displaying very feminine trimmings and details, it was often used more for seduction, rather than warmth or modesty. It was popularized in 1930s Hollywood films featuring glamorous settings and glamorous stars lounging languorously in their silken bedrooms. Ostrich feather tips, swan’s down, pleated tulle and shirred lace were just a few examples of the extravagant materials that could be used in creating these confections."

With that little history, this garment makes a lot more sense. In my happily married, mother-of-two, get up at 6am life; where hubby is equally amorous if I'm wearing La Perla or a jogging bra and cotton undies, the notion of knitting for seduction didn't even cross my mind!  But for those of you that have room for a little glamour in your boudoir, keep your eye on this space for a pattern. Since the bed jacket is all about seduction, I think it calls for a yarn with angora that begs to be touched.

If you're curious as to what to pair it with, I'd suggest a full length, clingy silk nightgown and a pair of mules bedecked with ostrich feathers. Of course the look isn't complete without smoky eyes and a good dollop of lip gloss.  You might also need a chaise lounge to drape yourself across. 

 


Comments

=Tamar
01/20/2013 9:45am

Bedjackets are very helpful if you want to sit up in bed and read when the house is cold. So are nightcaps and fingerless mitts.

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