Sunday, 7 April 2019

Style love

For all sorts of reasons, I'm not getting any sewing done at present, and this state of affairs is going to continue for a while. So this week it's all about pictures to look at.

I've posted before about my love of (some) 1970s fashions, and in particular of Style patterns from that era. Basically, if it's got the word 'Style' in that bold curly font in white on a coloured background, I'm almost certainly going to like it. Much of the appeal of the Grace dress from Wardrobe By Me is that it has a similar look. In part this is due to its drawstring waist: almost none of my Style dress patterns from the late 1970s/early 1980s have a fitted waist. Judging from these examples, when I was learning dressmaking I can't have had to fit a garment properly until about 1985!

Demonstrating this point, here's my new favourite pattern: 1970s-does-1940s, complete with padded shoulders - 2912.

I feel a short-sleeved summer version coming on

The envelope back shows the shape of the pattern pieces.

The first of many back views with single pieces for front and back

Also with a 1940s feel is 2861. This does have a fitted waist, but is the exception in my collection.

Don't let those belted waists fool you

Separate pieces for bodice and skirt

Both of the above patterns are from 1979, as are these three. Clearly 1979 is 'peak Style' for me.Also, I love the fact that with the exception of 2861, all of these dresses have pockets. It's only now that I realise how the pattern illustrators indicated this by showing a model with one or both hands in pockets!

Unusual yoke and all-in-one sleeve

The pattern pieces make the construction clearer

Half size for shorter fittings, and another yoked style

That's a lot of dress on a short frame

Raglan sleeves were also a popular feature at the time

As were pockets - yay!

This 1981 dress has a slightly more complex construction: a panelled skirt joined to a gathered bodice with an elasticated waist.

It's not obvious from this picture

But the back view makes it clearer

A year later, a similar construction, but set-in sleeves have replaced the raglan ones.

That pie-crust collar - so 1980s!

Still got pockets

Also from 1982, another dress without a waist seam. The description doesn't mention pockets, but they are clear from the illustration. I'm not sure why it's described as a 'pullover' dress, when it clearly has a fly front, and the notions list includes '7 buttons'.

Hair that's bigger than your head is rarely a good look

Again, that looks like quite a lot of fabric

Finally, a pattern from 1983. The puffy sleeve-head has gone, the skirt looks much more straight (albeit still able to accommodate a pocket), and the pleats in the bodice emphasize the square shoulders - aided and abetted by that most 1980s feature, the shoulder pad. The sleeves look far more bat-wingy (technical term) in the illustation than in the back view - I'm quite tempted to make this up sometime, to see which one is right.

Impressive pattern matching on the plaid

This one is definitely a 'pullover' dress


  1. Half sizes are also for "stouter" figures and are sloped slightly differently from "regular" sizes. I think the waist is slightly larger, as they were drafted for older women. (I personally I find I get a better fit from a half size because my hip waist ratio is so big--10+, and while I'm not short, my proportions put me in the petite category for length adjustments)

  2. Thanks Juliana. I've got a couple of half size patterns, and it sounds as though I ought to try one out as I think those adjustments would be useful on me.