Pattern Anthropology

Simplicity 8496 Pattern Anthropology

This weekend I’ve been cataloging patterns as there is a good amount of work to do to get them ready for Etsy. I have a big spreadsheet going that will have all the pattern data: brand, year, decade, style, size, bust-waist-hip and condition. Quite a few are still in their factory folds and the ones that have been cut need to be looked at make sure all of the pieces are there. Then the envelope needs to be scanned front and back. I have a lot of great stuff but the ones that will be the least likely to sell are styles from the 80’s of course. A few of my sewing BFFs have already seen this in email but it really needs to be shared with the world. Would you believe the Simplicity masterpiece on the left even in a size 6 (30.5 bust -23 waist -32.5 hip) requires 3 yards of 45 inch fabric. No way? Way. Its still in the factory folds too, which I guess is not too surprising. Gigi said it looks like something Joan Cusack would wear in Working Girl. Another fun thing is looking into the patterns from companies like Marion Martin that appeared in advertisements in local and national papers like Grit (a rural newspaper) and Parade (yes the magazine that comes with the Sunday paper.) These patterns don’t have a pictorial envelope like the Big 4, they were mailed in plain white envelopes that have the fashion illustration on the instructions. Two of them that I opened today are so pristine that I found inserts advertising other patterns; these direct marketing inserts are called bounce backs and are the same thing as the catalogs and extra junk you get in the box when you order from on-line retailers. Here is what they look like:

First Place Pattern Winners

First Place Pattern Winners Back First Place Pattern Winners Front

Based on some of the styles I think this comes from the early 1980s. The fashion schizophrenia on the front is one thing (notice everything from pinafores to jumpsuits), but the crafts on the reverse side are something else entirely. A quilt of US Presidents? Why on earth would anyone put Richard Nixon on a quilt? How about a antimacassar that looks like a southern bell doll with a crocheted skirt? Or a dish towel embroidered with a bowel of pineapples that have human faces? Dont for get the toys, such as a soft doll version of Betty Boop a character from the 30s that by the 80s no child would have any connection with.

Designer Patterns

Designer Patterns Front

Designer Patterns Back

This must be the high end stuff because there are no kitschy crafts on the reverse. I think this is the 80’s as well but a few years later, as we see some ginormous shoulder pads and that 80’s wedge dress that everyone wore in that decade (c’mon admit it I know you wore one and I did too). On the front side the designer names are Giorgio SantAngelo for Marjer, Frank Egitto, Eleanor Brenner, Lopez, Estevez, Vera Maxwell, Lavino Verna and Umba for Parnes-Feinstein. Style -wise we have the sublime (top view, the dress lower right corner) to the ridiculous (the kimono sleeve cardigan with the NFL-size raglan shoulder pads, bottom row 2nd from the left. ) The reverse side has the Designer Collection e.g. Frank Masandrea, Mitchel Rodell, Rona, Jayne Jay, Ayako, Bert Geiger, Fredlee plus Vera Maxwell and Eleanor Brenner again. Here I’m guessing the time-frame is a season or two after after Karl Lagerfeld took over Chanel because we see a Rona design top row called the forever suit . The best looks here are the suit on the far let with the shoulder drape, the sporty jacket on the top right and the cape and slim coat lower right.

Also everyday on Facebook Ive been featuring a pattern that Ill have in my Etsy shop. If you want to see them leave a comment here on CoudreMODE and Ill send you a friends request on FB. If you see a pattern on my FB status updates that you like Ill reserve it for you when my shop opens.

Well..back to my spreadsheet!