Got a pattern? Make a dress!

I love patterns. I don’t think I’d yet outgrown Christmas toy catalogs when I discovered pattern books.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

I didn’t realize turquoise was such a huge color in the 60s, but it keeps showing up on pattern envelopes from that decade. These two patterns are very different, one is understated and the other is ready to party, they equally represent the style of the era.

I used to spend forever flipping through those huge volumes looking for just the right dress or outfit for my wardrobe.

McCalls 6226 1978 vest pattern on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Diane Keaton started a new trend with her style in Annie Hall. I really like the shape of this Annie Hall inspired vest. I might have to make one of these before I sell this pattern.

My back-t0-school shopping started at the fabric store in July. Mom and I sent the pattern numbers I picked to my Florida Grandma and before Labor Day I would receive a box FULL of new clothes ready to wear.

1948 Swing Coat by Simplicity on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

I love 40s era swing coats, and was delighted to find this pattern in my stash. It’s lined, but I think I’ll use fleece and make it reversible. It’s Simplicity 2380, copyright 1948 and the pattern is uncut. I’ll draw my own pattern so this one will be for sale soon.

I have several tubs full of personal patterns and recently discovered the joys of collecting patterns that belonged to someone else.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

This dress has a pieced bodice, and the jacket is pieced along the same lines. It’s the perfect forerunner to the color block styles that made an appearance shortly. I like the little bow that’s on the jacket. It’s something Sally would wear on the Dick Van Dyke Show. She always had a little bow in her hair.

One batch—a baker’s dozen—was tied up with cotton string. The earliest is the 1948 swing coat, which I want to make for myself.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

We didn’t care how much trouble it was to go to the bathroom, these jumpsuits were a huge hit in the 60s. And yes, we managed even with the zipper in the back. These were very cute, and fun to wear.

Most of the patterns in this bundle are from the 60s, with the Nehru blouse set one of the most recent. Seems like about half this batch is uncut. The ones that are used are still very neat and tidy.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

In 1968 Nehru style was a big hit. I love this blouse set. The print on the left is open down the front and can be worn as a jacket. Check out the bell sleeves. The white one fits closer to the body and slips over your head. These would look great over a pair of leggings or skinny jeans. I wonder if I have a piece of vintage paisley somewhere around here.

I started itemizing my pattern collection last week but I  haven’t done the math to guess of how many patterns I might have. Every time I turn around I find a few more shoe boxes, or maybe a grocery sack full of them.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Can’t you see Peggy wearing this dress to the office in the early years of Mad Men

I realize I have way more patterns than I think I do. A stack six or eight inches tall turned out to be about twenty patterns so a shoe box might hold fifty patterns. I have a LOT of shoe boxes full of patterns.

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This looks like a dress and jacket, but it’s a blouse and skirt. And the blouse has a waistband so you don’t have to keep tucking it in. The blouse buttons up the back. That very tiny slit at the throat was a popular style element at the time. I think Betty Draper on Mad Men would have worn the floral print, with the matching jacket on the right. The solid color with contrast trim looks like something Jackie would have worn. The light and dark contrast and pillbox hat remind me of the pink and navy Chanel suit she wore in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. I like the 3/4 sleeves that perfectly line up with the hem of the jacket which makes them just right for those gloves.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Again on Mad Men this is absolutely something Peggy would have worn after her promotion to copy writer. This dress has a low waist that drops into a V on one hip. There is a sew-in waistband and attached bow. I’m not a fan of the kimono sleeves, but I like the waistline.This is a Marian Martin mail order pattern.

In the meantime, contact me if you see something you want.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Have you seen Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rear Window? Thelma Ritter played Jimmy Stewart‘s health care attendant in that movie, which is one of my favorites. She showed up as a housekeeper in a few movies of that era, and this dress and coat reminds me of something she might have worn when she worked with Doris Day.  How’s that for six degrees of separation from Rock Hudson?

Some pattern companies have reissued old patterns in the past few years and there are some retro-inspired patterns also available.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

This is your basic “I Love Lucy” kind of pajama set. A loose-fitting button front shirt with elastic waist pants is all there is to it, but I really like the little pouch they included. It’s a simple envelope all decked out with lace trim that matches the pjs. Too cute!

Tell me if there’s a style or specific pattern number you’re looking for and I’ll let you know when I come across it.

Tent Dress on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

Tent dresses, as we called them, were all the rage when I was in junior high. I had a few, usually made by mom. My favorite was similar to this with a rolled collar. It was lightweight polyester crepe, white with huge green polka dots. I remember wearing it the last day of school in ninth grade. It was so cool and comfortable.

Shipping will be about $2 for most patterns. The oversize Vogue Designer patterns, and overstuffed pattern envelopes will cost more to ship and I will combine shipping for multiple purchases.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

This was a “mail order” pattern company. Once a week on the women’s page there was a small ad with one of the patterns and where to send your money to buy it. For fifty cents you could get a catalog.

As to individual pattern prices, it will depend on which pattern it is, and the condition of the pattern. I’ll check each pattern as I list them (which is why this will take a little while) to make sure all the pieces are there.

Stylish Mid Century Patterns on Jan Made It

Matching coats were part of ensembles at the time. The dress, a simple construction with inset waist, sleeveless or with short sleeves, is made more interesting with a matching coat. The coat can also be made with 3/4 length sleeves.

I know some of the patterns have missing pieces and some patterns will be too wrinkled, crinkled and tattered to use for sewing. Those odds and ends will go into a stash and be available for decoupage or other paper projects.

Even if you don’t sew it’s fun to look through the fashions we wore.

Is there a certain style or era that speaks to you?

 

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