Vintage Sewing Patterns: 1960s RevivalHannah Greenwood
Fashion in the 1960s very much reflected the social justice movements that were happening at the time, breaking out of many previous fashion trends. Whilst the early 1960s were more conservative and classic in their style and design, they later became the precise opposite. Bright colours and psychedelic tie-dye swirls were all the rage, with flowing fabrics such as tunics and capes becoming popular. It was the age of the mini-skirt and women’s liberation meant more freedom with clothes as well as in the world at large. Whilst France had previously led the way in the fashion world, now London was considered the fashion capital of the world, bringing a new kind of cool to the public’s attention. At The Vintage Pattern Shop, we can help you recreate the most renowned designs of the decade.
Dresses and Skirts
It’s true that many of the fashion trends of the 1950s continued into the 1960s, such as the full skirt and tight bodice of the dress patterns. Throughout the decade this shape loosened into what became to be known as the shift dress, which was popular for casual outings, and would be above the knee, if not higher. Of course, this was when the mini-skirt was in its heyday. The shorter the hem, the higher the wearer’s confidence. It was a sign of sexual liberation and was intended to assert power rather than simply a means to attract the opposite sex. It was easier to move in these dresses and skirts, and the ideas of comfort was exemplified by the jumper dress, and the addition of big bows, pastels and polka dots. Many of the patterns used were inspired by pop art, and as the hippie movement took off, there were also a range of earth tones that became popular.
Still in keeping with the looser styles, jumpers, tops, and blouses were worn without a focus on the bust or waist. They could be worn untucked over trousers or skirts and often featured high necklines, large Peter Pan collars, and big bows. They also grew longer in length throughout the decade, moving towards the tunic style. Similarly, there was a trend towards bright colours and stand-out prints. That said, those with a more mod style would opt for block colours in neutral tones, with a more snug fit.
As well as the mini-skirt, trousers were also a popular choice and came in various styles. Most prominent were the high-waisted bell-bottom trousers, which were often worn with short crop tops. Also worn with crop tops were the ‘Jax pants’ that were similar to the capris, but were lined and without a waist band or belt loops. Stirrups were also used on trousers, which were visible until the popularity of the ankle boots rose. These would come in a range of colours, and with that, coloured tights were also a popular choice to team with a skirt or dress. Funnily enough, bare legs were still relatively taboo, so skin tone tights were just as thick as the brightly coloured tights.
Jackets and Coats
Naturally, the length of coats shortened with the lengths of the skirts and dresses, with the most popular length being just above the knee to still give maximum exposure to the legs. Like the shirts and tops, round collars with big buttons were popular, as were flap pockets. Occasionally a belt might feature, and geometric prints were also popular. Additionally, suits became popular, newly fitted to a woman’s shape.
At The Vintage Pattern Shop, we make sure you have the complete outfit, so we include many patterns for under garments, and accessories. We have a range of patterns for lingerie, nightwear, swimwear and hats for you to choose from. Hats actually became less popular towards the middle part of the decade, and instead, it was all about hairstyles, which were usually extremely short until the end of the decade and beginning of the 1970s.
If you would like to discover more about the 1960s patterns, feel free to contact us. A member of our team would be delighted to assist you with any questions you may have for us.