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Sporty Americana


For Mother's Day, my daughter sent me a mystery box of fabric from FabricMart!  It arrived a couple of weeks early, and of course I opened it up as soon as I could.  She then told me that I was supposed to wait until Mother's Day to open it.  Feeling a little guilty, I told her that since I had opened it early, that I would try to sew some of it up into some new outfits by Mother's Day!   As chance would have it, Patternreview.com was also having their Mini-Wardrobe contest, which had a deadline of May 15th, so I decided to enter it to give me a personal push.  I was able to use 4 of the fabrics from the package- this floral knit, the blue gingham, a solid cream jersey and a red floral voile, in the outfits.  I did supplement with a denim that I had, as I really needed another solid fabric to make the coordinates work.

Spring Separates in Melon, Paprika and Navy Blue

Ahh, Spring!  It's been a long time coming this year, and when we took these photos a couple of weeks ago, the temperature was still in the 20's!  These are combination inside/outside pictures as I could only stay out so long pretending it was warmer!  Maybe more than ever, I've been in the mood for sewing a few separates in anticipation of warmer weather. 


For my first item, I used a Melon Watercolor Floral Linen/Cotton Blend.  The weight is just perfect for a skirt with no lining- it has enough weight to drape nicely, and doesn't cling at all.  This particular print is large, which is great for a tall person like myself.

I didn't want a complicated pattern, so I chose Kwik Sew 3233- it is an 8 panel skirt with an elastic waist.  It's basically just one pattern piece that you cut 8 times, but I did add in a rather large pocket, because I just have to carry my phone and keys with me all the time these days.  My phone is so heavy though that I think I'm going to have to tighten up the elastic so that it doesn't drag the skirt right off of me!

Fifty Year Old Burda Magazine: March 1969


I haven't had much time to sew lately, and when I'm not able to sew, I like to go through my old Burda magazines and get ideas.  My oldest Burdas are from 1969- not that I've been subscribing that long!  I bought almost the whole year of 1969 on Ebay a few years ago.   This is the March issue, so it's exactly 50 years old.  I've snapped some photos to share with you.  I don't speak German, so your guess is as good as mine as to what the text says, but the photos say a lot!


This was the cover story.  Without the hat, I think you could wear this today! But with the hat, it  really feels like a stewardess uniform.


I really like the giant houndstooth print of these dresses.  And take a look at those long pointed collars.  So many dresses were shown with neck scarves and belts too.


They really liked showing pairs of models together in coordinating colors. In current issues, models are rarely shown together unless it's a wedding or mother/daughter theme spread.



I really like the design of the cream colored dress.  Wouldn't it be nice if they would bring that one back?  Not many pairs of women's pants in this issue- just three.  Pants for women weren't mainstream yet.  I also have some issues from 1976, and by 1976, pants, and particularly pantsuits, were heavily promoted.


White footwear and kneesocks!  I definitely remember wearing knee socks with skirts as a kid.  They were always falling down so I had to keep them up with rubber bands.  I know that white footwear is making a comeback, so maybe the return of kneesocks isn't far behind!  Now that we have lycra, they would be a whole lot easier to keep up!



I like both of these dresses too.   Burda had seamstresses with impeccable skills- I'm sure that they still do.


A good section of the magazine was black and white.  I wonder if that odd hand position meant something.


These are super pretty jackets over matching dresses.   And side barrettes!  I almost forgot about them, but I always had my hair pulled back with a side barrette like that. 



These wrap dresses would totally be in place in 2019.  Diane Von Furstenberg was supposed to have invented the wrap dress in the 70's, but it looks to me like Burda beat her to it in 1969!


I LOVE that they used models that were of all ages and sizes.  Definitely, most of the models were younger and thinner, but at least they included some older and larger models in every issue.  Why don't they still do that?????? 


In these old issues, you didn't get every style in every size.  For example in the photo above, if you were a size 46, you could make the one on the left, and if you were a size 48, you get the one on the right!  I suppose people were very adept at grading between sizes.  We're pretty spoiled now with all of the multisize patterns.


There were a lot of pretty racy ads for underwear.  I don't think this ad would be PC today! 


And there were several ads for fabrics.  I think that there was a lot of innovation going on with the introduction of polyester and knits into society and seamstresses had to be sold on the idea. 


Burda also included some gorgeous interior decorating shots!  I just love this one.  If you lived in this house, you were pretty cool- Don Draper cool. 


Although I do like to dream, I will probably never actually make anything from these old issues.  Not only do I not speak German to understand their instructions, but I also don't speak whatever this nonsense is!  It's amazing anyone ever made anything, having to trace this tangled mess!

I hope that you've enjoyed this trip back to March of 1969!  What do you think of these styles?  Would you wear them today?

Happy Sewing!

Ann