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Old 27.02.2013, 21:00
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1950s Dress Patterns

Would anybody know where you can find old-fashioned dress patterns in Switzerland ?

I find that some of the cuts were beautiful and enhanced femininity instead erasing it with the androgyn cuts we're so used to now.
Updated to fit today's style in silk, some of these could look lovely.

I'd like to find some of these patterns. Many years ago C&A used to have large tables with catalogues of many many patterns. Many women still could make their own dresses. Would a whisper of this era still exist in some tiny shop somewhere ?

Thank you

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Old 27.02.2013, 21:15
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

I'll have a look through the box of patterns I brought from my mum's as I'm sure there are plenty in there. She was a dressmaker/tailoress and had loads of patterns.
We're in the process of moving house so I probably won't get around to it for a couple of weeks as the boxes are currently at the bottom of a box mountain.
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Old 27.02.2013, 21:16
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

You should be able to find these online.

http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/vint...-pages-850.php
http://www.sewingpatterns.com/

Also you can find them on Etsy.

But you can also buy these dresses already made online. I bought two. They are quite fab if I do say so myself. Sadly I don't have too many places to wear them!
Petticoat Dresses - Where to buy in CH?
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Old 27.02.2013, 21:18
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

I love the style and cut of dresses from that era too! I have seen a large selection of vintage McCall patterns on UK ebay, but they are not cheap ... ranging from £5 to £40
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Old 27.02.2013, 21:27
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

These patterns are not so hard to learn to draft on your own. Thsis way, you have custom made clothing. There are a lot of books in France about how to do this, but it's not really rocket science.

Last edited by mishimishi; 27.02.2013 at 21:29. Reason: added last sentence
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Old 27.02.2013, 21:46
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

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I love the style and cut of dresses from that era too! I have seen a large selection of vintage McCall patterns on UK ebay, but they are not cheap ... ranging from £5 to £40
On the site I liked to they are all on sale right now for $3.88!
Buy! Buy! Buy!

http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/vint...-pages-850.php
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Old 27.02.2013, 22:03
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

I'd love to go to a concerto, the opera or an elegant evening with a dress like this one (the white one, but in black lace and silk)

How difficult do you think it would be to make..... any very experienced sewers ?

@Belgianmum lucky you, did your mom make your clothes ?



Last edited by Sky; 27.02.2013 at 22:17.
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Old 27.02.2013, 22:30
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sky, that doesn't look too tough a pattern, unless you want to fit the bodice to skin tight. Silk can be tricky to sew though.

Suspect you'd also want a net underskirt to make the skirt stick out well. Happy to lend my sewing machine if needed....it must be 15 years since I sewed clothes....and about 10 since I did some curtains!

Patterns can be bought in Zurich at https://www.bernina-zürich.ch/shop/schnittmuster/
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Old 27.02.2013, 22:35
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

Sewing silk needs delicates hands and touch. I know a big deal about all of this as it is my profession. If you have any question, ask. I would be more than happy to help you out.
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Old 28.02.2013, 06:26
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

Thank you so much
The skirt is too full for our times. If it were a bit more fluid it could look perfect.

I'm really pleased I'm not the only one to like these dresses. It would be nice if the fashion trend could swing back to a more feminine and defined look that enhances shape. All women would look lovely in these.

Profession Nil ?
I can easily see you as an artist/designer
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Old 28.02.2013, 07:06
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This is patterned after Dior's New Look in the 1950's i think. My mom was a tailor too. When i was growing up, she made all of my clothes. Her favorite thing was renovating wedding dresses so they could be worn again. But she didn't encourage me to sew - go to school was her mantra. My sister became a costumer in film, but quit about 15 years ago. She'd rather paint. I can sew buttons and simple seams.

I think the key with this piece is to get the fit right, so you'd need either someone to help you fit it or a manequin adjusted to your exact size. If you don't sew a lot, this could be a bit difficult....bodice fit, getting the darts right, zippers, attaching the flared skirt, set in sleeves, petticoat separate or attached and whatever detail, decoration required. Lot of time and patience required. Look for patterns that have less detail if you're not as experienced.

With these sorts of styles, fit is everything. If you want to make it yourself, make it first out of something cheap to gauge the fit - muslin or something. My sister and one of her friends made my wedding dress out of muslin first to get the pattern right ( to make the pattern, actually). And my dress was pretty simple.

Thanks for starting this thread, by the way....it gave me a chance to remember my mom and how talented she was.
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Old 28.02.2013, 09:18
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

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I'm 99% certain my mom has that exact pattern in her collection!! Like Edot, this thread reminds me of my mother's sewing talents (none of which I inherited). She made all my clothes including jeans up until I was in high school and too cool for homemade. I did have her make my homecoming and prom dresses, though. Sadly she couldn't make my wedding dress because I was living and working in another state. That would have been the icing on the cake.
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Old 28.02.2013, 09:23
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

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I'd love to go to a concerto, the opera or an elegant evening with a dress like this one (the white one, but in black lace and silk)

How difficult do you think it would be to make..... any very experienced sewers ?

@Belgianmum lucky you, did your mom make your clothes ?


Yes she did make all my clothes (and my brother's too). I don't think I really appreciated it at the time (except for getting a cool pair of hot pants which she copied from a magazine ages before all my friends) when my friends got to choose theirs in the shops. My gran knitted all our jumpers too.
I now realise that I was actually very lucky.

She made my wedding dress too and my dad's suit.

She taught me and I'm a reasonably good dressmaker. Those style dresses are really not very difficult to make. You don't need to be a very experienced dressmaker.
I have a very good sewing machine and overlock machine (I really wish I'd kept mum's tailor's dummy when she moved) and would be happy to help you but I'll have to get my curtains done first.
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Old 28.02.2013, 09:47
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

first try the pattern, make a toile from some old sheet. Correct the fit on to the pattern. it is now fairly easy to cut out and sew your dress. follow the description of the pattern. Good luck
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Old 28.02.2013, 09:52
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

I do some sewing of vintage items, but using doll patterns.

Over the years I have collected many vintage patterns, by far the best selection and best way to find and get them in my estimation is Ebay. I've bought through the UK, DE, and .com sites of Ebay depending on what I found and liked.
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Old 28.02.2013, 11:59
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

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Thank you so much
The skirt is too full for our times. If it were a bit more fluid it could look perfect.

I'm really pleased I'm not the only one to like these dresses. It would be nice if the fashion trend could swing back to a more feminine and defined look that enhances shape. All women would look lovely in these.

Profession Nil ?
I can easily see you as an artist/designer
I wore the dress in the link above with a big pink petty coat and one of those flat hats. It was really really fun! But it's true, there's a lot of dress. It gets in the way. Do you want to borrow my dress and petticoat and see how you feel?

Make one in cotton with little flowers. A day dress will be less full than this. Did I say already, they have two or three pattens on vogue vintage for $3.88!

Do it!! You should do it!
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Old 28.02.2013, 12:07
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

In my younger days (70s ans 80s) I made several dresses using my mother's patterns from the 40s and 50s.

Do be aware of how sizing has changed in the intervening decades... even though I was a tiny thing back then I had to size up and re-tailor, especially the bodice and arm fit.

But gosh, those were gorgeous designs.

I'm cleaning out mom's house right now... if I find any of those old patterns I'll bring them back with me.
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Old 28.02.2013, 21:06
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

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Thanks for starting this thread, by the way....it gave me a chance to remember my mom and how talented she was.
*nostalgia*

Yes me too, it reminds me very much of my mom.
She used to sew, but no longer can very much any more.
I used to peek over her shoulder as she'd carefully evaluate the patterns, or cut fabric. I can still hear the whirling of the old Singer machine.

Seems that every memory was a sunny day.

Ladies, thank you so very much for sharing your own expertise, your mamas wisdom and talent, and your kind thoughts and offers
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Old 28.02.2013, 21:19
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

there's quite a few shops that sell these kinds of things- etsy is great for that and then there is this shop- http://www.reddressshoppe.com/

i had bought a dress years ago from there and i still have it in my closet. some very classic styles and nice fitting.
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Old 07.03.2013, 10:00
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Re: 1950s Dress Patterns

It took a little time to find, but here are a few photos of one of my prom dresses my mom made using an older pattern. The top part has boning all over the place, so it was not particularly comfortable. But it made a lovely swishing noise with the taffeta underskirt and the lace overlay. Ah, memories!
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1950s-dress-patterns-prom-dress_1cropped.jpg   1950s-dress-patterns-prom-dress_2cropped.jpg  
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