I’ve pulled together my favorite design elements from this decade–the full skirt and the demurely tailored pencil skirt; the fitted bodice and tailored sleeves; the curvy collar and the wide pointed collar; the detachable peplum and the removable dickie. You can mix and match to your heart’s content and create an entire closet full of flattering outfits that take you from relaxing on the patio in cool gingham to stepping out in sophisticated glamour with all the stops pulled out. Thanks to the inspiration of customer Denise B., I’ve also added a brand new set of instructions for a breathtaking petticoat a lá Alice Lon!
As a young teen obsessed with vintage clothing, I dearly wanted a circle skirt. I’d seen them in old magazines and thought the felt ones with appliques like poodles or the Eiffel Tower were just too cute for words. When my grandmother realized how much I loved vintage fashion, she gave me a beautiful ruffled petticoat she had made in the mid-1950s and two felted wool circle skirts she was still wearing as late as the 1970s (she kept her 23″ waist until her death by doing nightly sit-ups on a slant board!). I was 14 at the time, and the clothes were a perfect fit. I was on cloud nine. Read more…
This is a fun, easy-to-wear shirt dress pattern design for girls ages two to 16. The 1940s shirt dress that emerged during WWII was a practical, utilitarian garment without frills that used less fabric but still had a distinctively feminine shape to it. As the style morphed over the coming decade, it became one of the most recognizable icons of fashion history, worn by everyone from glamorous Grace Kelly to thrifty TV housewife Donna Reed. The New Look ushered in fuller skirts and feminine frills, and, while the more angular look of the 1960s pushed it out of the limelight for a while, it was still a wardrobe staple on into the 1970s and right up to the present. My favorite versions, by far, come from the decade of the 1950s and have inspired this pattern with its fuller skirt.
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When I created the Ladies’ 1958 Party Dress pattern, I knew my girls would want their own dresses to match! Because I’ve had a lot of requests for patterns easy enough for beginners, I’ve kept this pattern as simple as the adult version. Perfect for mother-daughter dresses!
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I’ve had many requests from customers for an easy dress pattern that even a beginner could tackle. When the 1950s won my fashion era poll in late 2010, I decided to create a party dress that would provide glamorous results without tears for beginners and also satisfy long-time vintage fashion enthusiasts. I hope this pattern fills the bill!