2. 1950s Pattern Magic Inspired Dress

I have finally completed my 1950s Betty Draper v Pattern Magic inspired dress – my second Haute Couture at Home item for the year.   It took a bit longer than I was hoping, so evidently, I will need to try to set myself deadlines for my HCaH as well!


I was inspired, as many people are at the moment, by the ‘Betty Draper’, the ‘cinch the waist’ fuller skirt, high neck, pretty fabric.. 1950s dress.  They really can be quite flattering, and I’m going to make more!

I was also inspired by “Pattern Magic” vol 1 – the part where curved seamlines are formed as a feature of a garment.   Well,  I’ve done it now, and honestly I won’t be doing it again.


The 1950s part of the dress was going to be the easy bit – the Pattern Magic bit, the challenge.   I cut in calico the a basic fitted bodice and skirt, and then drew a curve along the waistline (and my curve is very modest).  As indicated in the Pattern Magic book, I then cut the pattern up and spread the bits apart to get a full circle of a dress.   I then recut a new calico pattern, with separate bodice and skirt – obviously with the curves, this pattern has no ‘Cut 2’ ofs.

The calico bit worked fine, in fact so did the actual fabric, I just would have found it exceedingly difficult to get a nice outer seam finish if my curves had been any more pronounced.

I designed a nice modest collar for the dress, and then defined the waistline with an fine orange ribbon.  The bodice is fully lined (the curves at the wasitline there were slightly painful also!); and an invisible zip closes the dress at the back.   Two darts at the back and four darts at the front fit the dress nicely.   I am pleased with the dress – it is a lovely lightweight cotton, and well fitted; however, next time a make a 1950s dress, it will be minus the curvy waistline! Back to the kitchen…


  1. ursuladj said:

    How wonderful for you to discover the 1950s – Grossmama would have been delighted – must get out some of the little black and white photos. Your creation is beautiful – elegant, lovely lines, feminine, full skirt with a nice bodice and collar. I like the colours too and dream of years gone by … 🙂

  2. adyana said:

    very nice dress, and it suits you:)

  3. I love this post. It’s very interssant to know how you imagine this very cute dress

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