Yesterday I was going through a parcel of pattern leaflets donated to the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection, when this one caught my eye. As it would – it is very eye-catching. The description says “This modern dress with ‘kipper’ tie is right up to the minute!” – the minute in question being 1967, or possibly 1966.
The dress has some nice features, if you can get yourself into a 1960s mindset – shirt-style collar and cuffs to go with the tie, and the wide point of the tie standing out against the paler pink. And notice that it’s worn with white tights, which had a moment back then.
It shows the influence of Mary Quant on fashions – here for instance is a pattern of hers issued by Patons in 1966.
I browsed through other Patons patterns published about the same time, to see of there were other ‘trendy’ designs. There weren’t many – as always, many of the patterns were for babies and children. And there were a lot of Aran designs – Aran jumpers were popular in the late 1960s. And also this was a young fashion – most older women wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing a minidress in 1968. But I did find a few examples.
“Twisted rib and lace patterning make this dress a winner.” – I like the three different stitch patterns used in bands so that the fabric gets less dense moving from the hem to the neck. The plain round neck is another influence from Mary Quant, I think. (I also think that that hair isn’t all her own…)
You could also crochet yourself a dress – “This attractive yet easy-to-crochet dress has a lace patterned skirt and a contrasting yoke.”
And you should wear your minidress with a beret.
I think this one is very nice (although again you’ve got a warm dress with short sleeves). There is no waist shaping – it’s just done by the change from stocking stitch to a wide rib. Patons Bracken was a flecked wool, giving the oatmeal-y effect – very attractive.
And to top off the outfit, you could knit your beret. To emphasise that this was a young fashion, the pattern says that the largest size is for a girl of up to 16 years, though in fact a beret that fits a 16 year old will also fit an adult.
My sister, who was a fashion-conscious teenager at the time, had a pink angora dress (short, but with long sleeves) and a matching pink beret, both knitted by our mother. It was very warm and cosy, I’m sure, though it probably shed fibres everywhere. The dress is long gone, but I think I may still have the beret. I shall look.