Saturday, February 07, 2009

1990's Sewing Patterns

Due to the interest in the designs of the 1980's, I got out an old McCall's sewing catalog that I saved. It was the early 1990's and, and after that, the fashions got really wacky, so this was the last catalog that I saved.

This is the pattern on the cover, number 6902. Sleeves were varied and interesting and a lot of fun to sew. Sometimes we put tiny ribbon rosebuds all over the sleeves.

Alicyn 6390
Fabrics were wonderful, and full of garden prints, roses, or clear pastels. Some were deep jewel colors like emerald and ruby. With lace collars, it really set off the dress and flattered the face.
Similar designs: 6330, 6506

All dressed up for a wedding (with sleeves!!) Girls 6944, Misses 6866, girls 6944

Alicyn 6881


I made several of these because I liked the scalloped sleeves. I also took a sleeve from another pattern that long, and it worked out fine. I made the same effect on the wrist area of the long sleeve. I used the solid color cottons that had a light sheen to them, and made one of each of my favorite colors.

hat: 6920

Collars were really a big deal and some of them were very elaborate with long ties and lots of lace. You could also buy battenburg lace removable collars to wear with any dress.

Nautical was very exciting, too, and many of us made them in solid colors like pink, blue, red, aqua, etc with contrasting trims of white, dark blue, etc. It was very exciting to get a calico or p print, and make it into a nautical dress and add a bright trim to the color.

blouse 6262 skirt 6284
Western was always appropriate and still is a timeless classic.
I learned how to raise necklines with these patterns. The book is from April 1994. I did not know the designs would begin to be so unappealing, or I would have kept this book intact. It has a lot of missing pages and places where things were clipped out.


Anonymous said...

I just love Jessica Mcclintock dresses. My mom used to buy them from Dillard's for us (at that time Diamonds) I remember wearing these style dresses in my teen years. Along with hats!!

If I can find a picture of my wedding dress (very victorian) I will send it your way it was (and still is) gorgeous.

are there any styles/patterns in Jessica McClintock that are two piece? I am a nursing mommy, but would love something like this to wear.

Anonymous said...

I think it's fun to have a look back. I've kept all my Vogue Knitting magazines, & they're a marvelous reference. My favorite patterns are always the classic beautiful & elegant, & flattering!


Anonymous said...

I still have 2 of those Battenburg lace collars....turns out my mom saved them and when she died 4 years ago, I found she still had them. I am hanging on to them - they are so pretty! I miss the Jessica McClintock' pretty and feminine.

Anonymous said...

The thing that strikes me is how modest all these dresses are! So different from today.


Anonymous said...

I really like the first pattern in the solid pink! How pretty =)

Anonymous said...

Very refreshing! Thanks for posting them!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I love those kinds of dresses. It's too bad dresses like this aren't available anymore.

Jennifer @ Her Southern Charm said...

I LOVE that western style skirt! It would be so cute with boots! :)

Those dresses are so very detailed. You must be a fabulous seamstress!

Melissa said...

So lovely! Is there any chance you will be featuring any photos of you wearing your dresses in your everyday life? I find it so refreshing and inspirational!

Many Blessings,

Mary said...

I remember those, and they sure were feminine and pretty. I love the Western skirt!

Jessica said...

I love the long flowing floral dresses you were showing! I remember when long floral prints could be found in practically all department stores. I also love how modest these styles were. I remember wearing these styles in junior high when they were popular. It seems as though nowdays, modesty isn't as valued in the fashion industry. In order to have long floral skirts or dresses I have to go to thrift stores or make my own.

Jennifer said...

I was just glancing at your blog! I love it! Thank you for your stand on becoming a godly lady, and encouraging ladies to stay home! Looking at your blog has been such a blessing to me! And I love Victoria magazine!


Jennifer said...

I was just glancing at your blog! I love it! Thank you for your stand on becoming a godly lady, and encouraging ladies to stay home! Looking at your blog has been such a blessing to me! And I love Victoria magazine!


Jenny said...

Lady Lydia, those patterns bring back such sweet memories. I was in my teens in the 90's and had all my dresses made by a seamstress, most in the type of patterns you have shown and in beautiful calicoes. I am short and always felt that the large floral prints were just too over-powering for my small frame, so I always stuck with solids or small prints. I remember a red gingham dress embellished with red ric rac, a black and blue plaid with black velvet collar and cuffs, a lovely cream with tiny red rosettes and one of those big collars trimmed in cream- colored eyelet, a salmon shantung that I wore for graduation from high school, and my very favorite -- a cream with pink and periwinkle flowers. I wish I still had those dresses. I look forward to having the time someday to sew my own dresses. Thanks for a stroll down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to add: my mother told me to keep my eyes out for a modest bride dress pattern, so I would have it if/when I marry, and almost all of the bride dresses have no sleeves and very low necklines! I have been looking for two years and found nothing in the major catalogs!

Anonymous said...

My mom's favorite pattern then was similar to the dropped-waist pattern you have above.

Except I think it had a squarer neckline and simpler sleeves. But she must have made that pattern till it fell apart.

And the cute collars! I'd almost forgotten about the existence of cute collars-- the absolute most you can get now is shirt-style.

(Vogue's Sandra Betzina does have a couple of portrait-collar jacket designs that are, IMO, Really Pretty right now, even if much of the rest of her line is... Pretty Weird.

Assymetrically flounced raw-edge skirt? ... No thanks.)

Thanks for the fun photos!

Anneatheart said...

It's hard to believe that fashion has changed so much. Seeing the pictures really brings back memories of my childhood- my mom and grandmother made me and my sister dresses for church and Easter. I guess I was around 9 years old then. Maybe someday things will go back to more modest styles again...maybe...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really feel sad about clothes in the last 10 - 15 years. The last dress I bought at Laura Ashley before they closed their shop in my city was a simple cream linen dress with roses on it that I wore for my engagement pictures in 1998.
You could go to any store and buy a simple dress that was a shell on top and a long flowy rayon floral on the bottom, for casual wear. They were nice enough, at the same time, to wear to church.

After my baby was born two years later, I went shopping and was in despair. There were skirts - but they were all polyester crepey things in startling colors, with art-deco prints. Shirts were either over-tailored, mannish things, like tuxedo shirts, or much-too flimsy knit clingy things with plunging necklines - as if you were either in a big city office, or on your way to the bar at the end of a work day. Very, very "urban" and depressing. Also, the quality of the clothing seems to be so cheap.

I have done my best ever since to find anything to wear just to be clothed, but I don't think I have really liked anything I've purchased since that time.

I used to sew in high school and I have put a lot of thought into sewing things again because of the lack of pretty things out there - I have had some dissappointments and frustrations in trying to make wearable clothes, as I think it takes a lot of knowledge of fabric and fitting to make something nice to wear, but I am learning, and I have a few things now that I would actually wear out in public. I like these things a LOT, but I am very self concious that I am totally going against the current fashion. I love the wholesome, sweet, traditional look. I love flowers on my clothes, and pretty things with a small ruffle or feminine detailing here and there. I especially want my children to have a pleasant memory of their Mom!

I loved seeing these patterns, as they were the ones I looked at when I was in high school sewing for the first time. I went to a website that has old patterns and ordered a few! Thank you Lady Lydia, I always love your posts!

"Feminine" will surely come around again. Sometimes I look at pictures of women in the twenties and I can't believe how bad they looked, but feminine came around again after that! Then after the eighties, people were tired of the black and red harsh colors and asymmetrical lines, and funny clowny-clothes, and there was a return to romance in the late 80's and most of the 90's.

A piece of clothing that you sew or knit yourself becomes as personal as a friend, and becomes a sweet part of the memories of that time in your life. All the thought that you put into its design makes it very special and says a lot about your own tastes and likes, instead of what the manufacturers said you ought to wear.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I had forgotten that such lovely, feminine dresses existed. It used to be so much easier to dress in feminine, attractive clothing.

Anonymous said...

Sometime in the early or mid-90's, Victoria Magazine and McCalls collaborated, and I have a couple of those patterns. The dresses are really pretty, feminine, and classy. Unforuntately, I'm not the same size I was back then! :)