Tag Archives: Mad Men

a collection of vintage sewing patterns

sewing patterns 1942- todaySewing patterns are one thing I feel no shame in collecting or hoarding, depending on your point of view. It’s kind of like collecting books, creating a pattern library in an admirable, archivist kind of way. -sigh- I could look through them all day. Oh the history of fashion and unlike a picture on Pinterest, all the tools to make the clothes again are right there, in your hands. Here are a few beauties from my collection of vintage sewing patterns:

1960's American Weekly dress patternIt’s no wonder this was a popular pattern back in the day, with a promise of the tiny waist size pictured, who could resist this pattern?
1960's dress and hat patternA style that’s a bit more forgiving in the waist-size department. I’ve been annoyed to find no dates of publication on any of the vintage Vogue patterns- your guess is a good as mine. But thanks to Mad Men, and the dated and very similar McCall’s pattern below, I’m putting this one at 1963.

1961 vintage dress and hat patternLove everything about this one- and the heat transfer page, with the fruits and flowers all ready to do their thing with a little bit of heat.
heat transfer pattern pageThe heat transfer page is kind of like a treasure map you have to decode in the mirror or with an iron.

1965 mens bathing suit patternMen’s bathing suit and jacket pattern from 1965. Love the possibilities- pocket or no, stripes or plaid, sunglasses on or off (mostly off).

bathing suit pattern 1963Swimming suit pattern, from 1963, with all the extras- shirt, scarf and top AND trimmed in rick rack. So glad the high waisted swimming suit bottoms are making an appearance again.
bathing suit 1963 pattern back

Next, I’ll show off some great Halloween costume patterns- or what can now be considered a ‘costume’… perhaps a little something from the 70’s and 80’s.  For a few more vintage sewing patterns look here.

mad men dress challenge

I’m finally getting organized and submitting ‘the red dress’ to the Mad Men Dress Challenge on Julia Bobbin’s blog. We seem to be pretty equally obsessed with the Mad Men era clothing so I’m glad to finally be involved in this sewing event.
Mad men Joan red dressJoan Holloway wears all her dresses so well, especially the red ones. We decided to give the ‘Joan in Red’ look a try, complete with an updo hairdo but sans the red hair. You may recall this dress from the Preference dance (a few months ago), chosen by my vintage-obsessed daughter Q:
Mad Men Joan's red dressQ’s looking just a good as Joan at the Sterling|Cooper|Draper|Price office Christmas party (Mad Men season 4) with- hopefully- slightly less suggestive dance moves throughout the night.

Mad Men Joan's red christmas party dressThe back of the dress was a gorgeous cut, only missing a bow in a true look-alike contest.

1958 McCalls dress patternI can’t recall where I picked up the pattern, but it was so easy, just like the pattern says. I can’t wait to make it again. The avocado green dress in the picture above is also from a 1950’s era pattern I made about a year ago, here are more pictures of that dress and pattern .

For the making of Joan’s red dress look here.
For the event photos go here.

For the Mad Men apparel obsessed, here’s my Pinterest board stash of inspiration.

And Julia’s got a great Mad Men Pinterest board too.

Formal Friday

Best idea ever-  fashion in the workplace and in schools (without uniforms), has been going downhill for years, casual is far too widespread, boring to look at and too often the norm. My 8 year old begs every week to wear his sporty, sloppy sweat pants to school. I have never agreed to this, but apparently when I’m out of town and his Dad’s in charge, he may have pulled it off once or twice, thankfully I wasn’t there to see it.

neal_caffrey1Casual wear can come off so sloppy and unattractive, Mozzie is a great guy and all but seriously… Neal Caffrey has got it going on when it comes to fashion. I think he’s pictured in a t-shirt twice in 4 seasons of White Collar (I’ve been counting) and that’s not a bad thing.

GOSSIP GIRLEven when you get all informal with the school uniform, it still looks better than this:

So bring it- back to formality. Of course I cannot proceed without providing a few great examples of the iconic Mad Men, if you weren’t convinced before… this should do it.

mad men board meetingmad men elevatormad-men-2mad men secretariesmad men bow tieDon’t be afraid…  over dressed is always better than under dressed (as you can see above) even if you spend time in the gym lifting weights.

emergency bow tieBe prepared, perhaps by keeping an emergency bow tie in your desk drawer, or if forced to improvise on Formal Friday, or any other fancy occasion here’s a smart option:

Get dressed up and have a great weekend!