French Rompers: Sewing Patterns

Figure 1.--The magazine "Votre Mode Mars" in 1956 offered patterns for these two styles of wool rompers, both for two year olds. The title read "Barboteuse gilet et culotte". They were pictured in red and yellow. Click on the image for the sewing instructions.

Many mothers sewed the rompers for their children. French magazines are full of such patterns. HBC has noted rompers patterns for boys from about 2-7 years of age. Most of the patterns were, however, for pre-school boys up to about 5 years of age. The instructions provide detailed instructions on how to sew or knit the garment and how to get the bloomer effect on the romper bottoms. The instructions were for mant different materials, including wool. These sewing patterns were available for quite a wide range of romper styles. Some of the patterns appeared in fashion magazines as well as sewing magazines. The patterns wrefor both play and dressy garments.

Le petit écho de la mode Romper Patterns (1947)

We have noted that rompers are one of the outfits used for what the French call "garçons modèles" or particularly well behave and dressed boys. One French reader stresses that this concept of a beautifully behaved and dressed boy was partticularly prevalent for French mothers in the 1940s and 50s. Le petit écho de la mode in December 1947 offered three styles of rompers for "garçons modèles".

Mon Ouvrage Romper Sewing Pattern (1950)

A French sewing magazing in December 1950 offered this design for a 5-6 year boys' outfit. It was a sleevless sweater worn with a shirt and tie and romper pants. The romper pants did not have suspender attachments, but instead an elastic waisr band. They were called "cullotes" (short pants) rather than "barboteuse" rompers. Apparently this was the case for the separate romper pants that were worn like shorts. A French reader explains, "The sewing magazines when they expalined how to knit a romper outfir work; use "gilet or blouse" and for topmpart and "culotte" for the bottom or pants part. Notice the autor has called "costume de Bernard" and not "La barboteuse de Bernard" only that sounds more sophisticated, but most French mothers would say simply "barboteuse". This sewing pattern appeared in Mon ouvrage of December 1950. This publication was a very popular magazine woth French mothers in the immediate post-war period.

Votre Mode Mars Romper Patterns (1956)

The Votre Mode Mars was a popular fashion magazine. A 1956 issue showed patterns for two styles of wool rompers, both for two year olds. The title read "Barboteuse gilet et culotte". They were pictured in red and yellow. One was a true romper or "barboteuse" and the other was a "gilet et culotte" which means vest and shorts, but the garment shown is clearly a one-piece romper-like combination. Both had the caracteristic bloomer style romper pants. We have loaded the first page of the pattern for HBC readers interested in sewing details.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: November 6, 2001
Last updated: November 6, 2001