Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mary Richards Was Here

Oh, the hipster was nascent, but these patterns show she was alive and well...

1960s:


It seems strange that Simplicity 7866 isn't from the 70s, but 1967 is the year it debuted. This pattern is the 60s masquerading as the decade it would evolve into. Dipping its toe in, as it were. I suspect, though I don't limit myself in terms of the decades I choose to wear, the 70s is my natural habitat. I was born in 1970, after all.

But look at the pants here, slim and creased, and the skirt with its short, gentle A line... Never mind the capes, each one more awesome than the last. And, you probably don't know this, but years ago I bought a couple of yards of plaid (red tones on white) in thick wool which would make an awesome short version. Of course, I'll have to match the plaid which is why I haven't used the fabric in all the time I've owned it. Maybe this will be the kick in the ass I need to undertake that challenge? Lord knows, it's taking up a third of my fabric cupboard.

In its day, the woman who made this wardrobe was sharp. She worked in publishing or advertising. She ate at a little place on Right Bank where they respectfully called her Mademoiselle. She was on the Pill.

BTW, are those envelope sketches mega-skinny or what?? I'm vaguely disturbed by the relative calf circumference going on.

1970s:

And here we are at the last vintage pattern I have purchased (so far). Simplicity 7069 is a lace-insert slip with a twist - it's for stretch fabrics! Um, given that I've got a less-than-compact collection lingerie fabrics, I'm hoping I can figure out how to turn some of them into some stretchy slips.

The (theoretical) bonus of a slip made of stretch fabric is that I can make unaltered versions for friends. Stretch is infinitely more forgiving than woven lace or silk, for example. And it's on-the-cusp-of-disco groovy.

This is how I justify the purchase of another lingerie pattern, more specifically one to make slips. Work with me.

Thoughts? Feelings? Do you own either of these? Which vintage decade best defines your style (at least right now)? Do tell.

27 comments:

  1. I LOVE 7866, and I could definitely see you in that cape ensemble (the patent leather boots are a must, though). I love when patterns include a matching coat, as they so often did back then. I also love the plaid/red/camel color combinations. Hope you decide to make it!

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    1. Hello... I have patent leather boots!

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  2. I'm very much drawn into 1950s followed by 1940. I do like elements both from 60s and 70s (though not so much).

    Actually when I think of it, I think my style is more 1970 (shapes, not prints) but I aspire to be more 50s/ 40s. Does that make sense?

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    1. You know, there are a lot of 40s elements in 70s design. Maybe that's what you're attracted to.

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  3. I don't own either, but they're both lovely! You're not allowed to blame loving the 70s on being born in 1970, by that logic I'll be stuck with the 80s and then I'd just have to kill myself. I didn't even like 80s fashion when I was a kid in the 80s. Of course, I didn't like 70s at that point, either, but I came around once the memories of orange shag carpet and dark fake-wood paneling had faded a bit...

    Erm, which is a long way of saying, yes, 70s, I dig them. :)

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    1. Thanks! And I SO hear you. The 80s was an abomination. There is no way history can play it otherwise :-) Mind you, all kinds of orange and avocado green appeal to me...

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  4. I personally like the top one. Cigarette pants are a lot more practical to wear for me in the winter.

    And I love the hair for the top one! Hair with volume needs to make a comeback.

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    1. Janice: I totally agree about the pants! And I only wish I had more hair volume :-) You are an expert in that department!

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  5. I'm pretty sure I have that slip pattern. For a while, a couple of years ago, I was on a search for just that type of design, and I know I collected several vintage patterns. I still haven't made the slip, though!

    The 1970s is very much inspiring my current style. Especially the late 70s, right before giant shoulder pads took over the fashion world. I was in my late teens then, and just starting to feel like I was finding my true self. I think that's why, as I've started to work on defining my current style, I'm most drawn to fashions inspired by that decade. They feel very "me".

    (By the way, I used to have a pajama pattern where the lady in the illustration on the envelope was so obviously modeled after Mary Tyler Moore, I called it my "Laure Petrie" pattern.) :)

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    1. Ms. M: How fun! We're like vintage pattern twins! I totally agree that the late 70s, before the exaggerated shoulders, was the ideal time.

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  6. The cape ensemble pattern has a very familiar feel to it for me. I started sewing most of my clothes in about 1967 (I was in 7th grade) and I did not have this pattern, but simillar ones. I had a longer, hooded cape that I made and wore throughout high school. I loved it so much that I made another in college and wore it for years as well. I have lately had the urge to revisit the cape. It is such a fun garment. Thanks for sharing the patterns.

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    1. Victoria: No doubt, it's time for the 20teens version of the cape!

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  7. I always think I don't like the 70's, when I actually do. All of those patterns could look totally modern.

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    1. It's so true! Or maybe, all the eras are blending into one. Ooooh, mindbending.

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  8. We just watched "Play It Again, Sam" last night, which was made in 1972, and Diane Keaton looked beautiful in her '70s clothes. The movie has a lot of 1940s references (Casablanca, etc.), and you can see the 1940s lines in the 1970s clothes (trim high waists, fedoras, tailored jackets).

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    1. I've never seen that but I've wanted to! Diane Keaton is the icon of the 70s for me. Well, she is - and MTM! And Valerie Harper.

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  9. "She was on the Pill." You are so funny.

    Well, being born in 1958, we came of age in the 70s and are not nostalgic for that decade.

    But I have a thing for capes :).

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    1. C'mon. The Pill was renegade :-) And I completely appreciate your perspective. By that logic, do you love the 50s patterns?

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    2. Yes I do, and the 60s, although I tend to favor the A-line designs more than the ubiquitous hour glass designs because of my shape.

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  10. Ah ha!! I was right... when I told Denise which cape pattern I wanted, she told me that another blogger had beaten me to it, just hours before. When you started showing off your haul, I suspected it was you. I bought a different one... Vogue Anne Klein. Enjoy yours... can't wait to see the red and white!

    Anyway, I was born a decade before you, and find myself drawn to the 60s and the early 70s, and a bit of the late 50s. Oh, and I don't have that slip pattern, but another one that is probably the same vintage.

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    1. Elle, I'm so sorry! I know what it's like to lose a pattern you want and it hurts. Perhaps we could chat about sharing it?

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  11. I love both. My address is ...(just kidding).

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    1. Are you suggesting I make this for you?? :-)

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  13. A stretchy slip would be invaluable. The constricting nature of the taffeta-ish fabric—while great at it's job—is undesirable. The world could use a stretchy slip.

    I love that cape, it's superb. Now all you need is the matching Mary Tyler Moore dome-style Sherlock Holmes-y hat, and you're all set!

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    1. I think that's just what the woman of 1967 was thinking: I'm not wearing uncomfortable silk charmeuse - I want stretch!

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