US 3505685 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
MATERNITY SKIRTS Filed July 8, 1968 FIGJ INVENTOR ELSIE L. GRANCHELLI ATTORNEY United States Patent US. Cl. 2221 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A maternity skirt composed of three sections, namely, a back panel extending downwards from a waistband to a bottom horizontal hem; a lower front panel extending from a horizontal front edge located slightly below the part of the abdomen subjected to distention due to pregnancy and terminating in a hem on the same horizontal plane as that of the 'back panel, and being effected vertically by abdominal variance, and a horizontally and vertically expandible front panel secured along its bottom edge to the top edge of said lower front panel along its edges and to the respective edges of the back panel, the said expandible panel being pleated vertically and expandible laterally under progressive abdominal girth increasing said expandible panel being of greater vertical extent than the side edges of the back panel to which it is attached and said vertically increased portion having its marginal top edge yieldably influenced towards the Wearers body towards substantially lengthwise alignment with the waistband of the back panel and thereby allowed progressive outward expansion under abdominal increase.
The primary object of the invention is to provide a maternity skirt which will be automatically adjustable through the influence of the progressively increasing body girth therewithin whereby the skirt can be worn throughout the entire period of pregnancy without requiring adjustment.
An important object of the invention is the provision of means whereby the hemline of the skirt will be maintained even throughout its circumference regardless of the lateral increase in the girth of the abdomen.
Another important object of the invention is to confine the appearance of the condition of pregnancy of the wearer of the garment to the abdominal region so as not to detract from the natural slimness of the lower body of the wearer.
With the above and other objects in view, the invention consists in the novel features of construction, arrangements and combinations of parts described in the present specification and more particularly pointed out in the claims for novelty following.
In describing the invention, reference is made herein to the annexed drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an exploded view in top perspective showing my improved garment as a maternity skirt and also showing a conventional front panel substitutable for the expansible panel of the maternity skirt,
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1, illustrating the construction of the expansible front panel,
FIGURE 3 is a transverse sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1,
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational of the maternity skirt showing the expansible front upper panel partially distended, as it would appear worn in the early stages of pregnancy.
FIGURE 5 is a front view of FIGURE 4,
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of the skirt as worn during the final stages of pregnancy, showing the vertical position of the front panel.
3,505,685 Patented Apr. 14, 1970 Like numerals of reference indicate corresponding parts in the various figures.
Referring to the drawings, my improved maternity skirt is composed of three main panels, 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
The panel 1 comprises the entire back of the skirt and may be of any fabric and style to suit the individual wearer. The back panel 1 is provided with a waistband 4 and is further provided with a central vertical vent 5 preferably closeable by a zipper 6.
The panel 2 constitutes the lower front of the skirt and is appropriate in fabric and style to the corresponding portion of the back panel, with which it combines to provide a pleasing profile, which because of the manner of constructing the garment, as is fully described hereinafter, remains unaffected by abdominal growth throughout the period of pregnancy, so that the skirt throughout the length of the back and from the top of the front panel 2 downwards does not in any respect indicate the condition of pregnancy.
The panel 2 is sewn along its vertical edges to the adjacent edges of the back panel 1 with its bottom edge aligned with the bottom edge of the back panel whilst at its top edge it terminates a considerable distance below the upper end of the back panel in a straight horizontal The panel 3 consists of a strip of fabric of greater length than the horizontal extent of the area between the side edges of the back panel and is set lengthwise across said area and is sewn along its ends to the vertical edges of the 'back panel. The total length of the panel 3 in a direction transversely of the skirt is preferably greater than is necessary to cover any body protuberance which maydevelop through pregnancy and said panel is provided with a sufficient number of vertically arranged pleats 7 to contract the panel horizontally to snugly fit the abdomen of the wearer during all stages of pregnancy and to assure automatic expansion in correspondence with body growth. The panel 3 in its pleated condition is secured by stitching or otherwise along its lower edge to the top edge of the lower front panel 2, as shown at 8.
In order to preserve even continuity of hemline throughout the circumference of the skirt, it is of the utmost importance that the vertical depth of the lower front panel 2 with respect to ground level be unaffected by lateral pressure from within the expansible panel 3 due to enlargement of the abdomen. Therefore, the expansible panel 3 is provided with an upward extension 9 projecting above the plane of the waistband 4 and terminating in a convexly rounded end 9a. The extension 9 of the panel 3 has its marginal part folded back and sewn to the panel body to provide a tunnel 10 in which is contained a tensioned elastic band 11 secured at its ends to the adjacent ends of the waistband, so as to influence the pleated extension 9 towards a contracted condition in snug engagement with the body of the wearer.
In the early stages of pregnancy when very little or no protuberance of the abdomen exists the extension 9 of the expansible panel 3 will lie beyond the plane of the Waistband, held in close engagement with the body of the wearer, so that the natural normal appearance of the wearer will be apparent. As the girth of the abdomen increases the lateral pressure within the panel will expand the panel causing the pleats 7 to 'be opened out in proportion to the increase in body girth. Coincident with the lateral expansion of the panel 3 the extending portion 9 thereof, because of the extra vertical depth given to the expansible panel will expand laterally and vertically proportionate with the lateral expansion of the body and will thus compensate for increase in body girth, without causing any upward pull on the front lower panel 2 due to such and front panels 1 and 2 to remain constant with respect to each other. During this progressive expansion of the panel 3 the elastic insert in the extension 9 will cause the waistband to be held in close engagement with the body and the upper end of the extension 9 to retain its position flat against the body.
A maternity skirt embodying the constructional features of the present invention will be found to give great comfort and freedom to the wearer while the function of enlarging the abdominal covering proportionate with the increase in girth is automatically accomplished without unpleasant pressure on the body and without adversely affecting the pleasing appearance of the skirt. Furthermore, the simplicity of construction of the skirt readily admits of the substitution of a complete front panel 12, or panels, of conventional type for the front panel 2 and the expansible panel 3, after the need for the latter two panels no longer exists.
While I have described and illustrated herein the presently preferred form of construction and arrangement of parts for carrying out my said invention, this is capable of variation and modification. I, therefore, do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction and arrangement set out herein.
What I claim is:
1. A maternity skirt comprising a back skirt panel having vertical side edges extending downwards to a bottom hem, a waistband secured along the top of said back panel and co-extensive therewith, a front skirt panel having its side edges connected to the side edges of said back panel and terminating at its lower edge in the same horizontal plane as the hem of said back panel, said front panel terminating in an upper horizontal edge a distance downwards from the top of the skirt so as to be disposed substantially below a line above which swelling of the 4 abdomen will take place progressively during pregnancy, thereby defining an area bounded by the said top edge of said front panel and by the side edges of said back panel, in which area swelling of the abdomen will occur progressively during pregnancy, a generally non-extensible insert in said area, said insert being formed of a material of sufiiciently greater transverse length than the horizontal width of said area between said side edges of said back panel to accommodate any abdominal swelling which develops during pregnancy, said insert being secured along its vertical edges to said back panel and along its lower horizontal edge to said upper horizontal edge of said front panel, said insert being pleated vertically to closely fit the abdomen and to be distensible coincidentally with the abdomen, and said insert being extended above the plane of the waistband in a convexly rounded top end having its top marginal part turned backwardly and secured to provide a transverse pocket throughout its width, and a tensioned elastic member extended through said pocket and permanently secured at its ends to the adjacent ends of said waistband to resiliently influence said extension into close engagement with the body as abdominal distention occurs and to allow vertical distention of said insert without efiecting a pull on said lower edge of said front skirt panel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,259,236 10/ 1941 Wellins et a1. 222l XR 2,661,468 12/1953 Doll 2221 2,787,792 4/ 1957 Mikottis 2221 2,873,452 2/1959 Jacobs 2-221 2,917,750 12/ 1959 Goldring 2221 H. HAMPTON HUNTER, Primary Examiner