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Back in the Summer of '69

If you're looking for a little inspiration for your summer sewing, take a trip with me back to the summer of '69 with this June issue of Burda Moden pattern magazine!    I have the entire year of 1969 issues, and love to look through them once in a while.

To get you in the right frame of mind, here is what was happening in 1969-
-Richard Nixon became President of the US in January.
-Apollo 11 landed on the moon in July.
-The Woodstock festival in New York had over 500,000 attendees.
-The top song of the year was "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies.
-The Brady Bunch was the most popular TV show.  
-We were watching the Love Bug and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (both released in 1968), and also Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider released later in 1969.
-The opposition to the Vietnam War increased and more and more people attended anti-war demonstrations.
This was what was going on in the US, but I have no idea what was happening in Germany.
It was innocence and innovation mixed with disillusion, but from this issue, everything was all sugar and spice, and everything nice. 

White belts and pastels.  Yummy.  Gosh I would love to have this umbrella!  It would have gone so well with my white lace up go-go boots.  (And no, I'm not joking!)

 Lavender shades and a head scarf.  She is totally groovy. But wouldn't it be hard to put the sunglasses over the scarf and around your ears? 

How about this chiffon butterfly wing dress, Mrs. Draper?

Heidi trades in her dirndl for a breezy summer high necked, pleated skirt combo.  I don't speak German, but it looks like they are blaming this one on Paris. 

The pantsuit in a pink floral.  This is groundbreaking- the January issue didn't have any pants for women at all!  So cute!  If you enlarge the photo, you'll see that they don't include all patterns in all sizes.  That pantsuit is just in size 36!

This is probably my favorite dress in this issue.  I love the asymmetrical front buttons.  Not in my size though.  Drat.  That must have been frustrating for subscribers- either that or they got very good at grading their own patterns.

My fourth grade teacher dressed just like this.  This would have been the go-to type of dress for professional women back then.

Don't forget the kinder!  Whatever happened to RicRac on everything?  And socks with sandals?  The girl in the blue pumps must be an executive now.  

And last but not least, not one, but two all white pantsuits.  Unconventional wedding attire for the time?  Or an outfit to wear to the Moon landing party you are planning in July?

I'm happy that the current Burda magazines don't have advertisements, but I have to say that some of the advertisements in these are just so fantastic and telling of the times.

Here I believe is an advertisement for three different kinds of stockings- old school with garters, thigh high, and the revolutionary waist high.  

And here must be the beginning of the disposable diaper era (which will end in about 500 years when these have finally decomposed):

An advertisement for a new type of fiber that doesn't need to be ironed?  This might be the equivalent to our Dacron Polyester.  The next decade will be flooded with polyester.

The Europeans have always been more open about sexuality than us.  This ad for deodorant shows two people not wearing any clothes.  That would have been taboo in an American magazine.

 And they've also been not afraid to show their slightly insane side, as this shampoo ad demonstrates:

I hope that you've enjoyed this blast from the past!  If you want to see more, here is a post I did about the January 1969 issue.  If you speak German and I've misinterpreted any of the pages, please let me know.

Happy Sewing!



  1. Fun!
    I'm pretty sure the Crimplene is saying that it washes clean, no spots.

  2. Oh this is so cool Ann! We have something in common--I too had white gogo boots! They were HOT!!!

    1. Haha! I can see you in them! I'm surprised they haven''t resurfaced in fashion. They were wonderful!

  3. Wow, a trip down memory lane. I remember the first Crimplene. It was a beautiful knit imported from the UK at $17. dollars a yard and that was a lot back then. Unfortunately cheaper versions came out later.

    1. Interesting! I wouldn't have thought that it would have been British. I just found this on Wikipedia:
      Crimplene (polyester) is a thick yarn used to make a fabric of the same name. The resulting cloth is heavy, wrinkle-resistant and retains its shape well. Britain's defunct ICI Fibres Laboratory developed the fibre in the early 1950s and named it after the Crimple Valley in which the company was situated. Crimplene was used in garments that required a permanently pressed look, such as skirts and trousers.

  4. Oh the 70's polyester! Fun to see the vintage magazine.

  5. Great photos - I've got loads of Burda's from the '80's - hey, I liked the '80's! My copies have the German adverts but some of the pattern descriptions are in badly translated English!

    Crimplene was a very popular fabric in the UK. I remember having a light green/dark green Crimplene green trouser suit as a child in the '70's, and the fabric was quite thick. It had a bumpy texture to it was a bit rough. Fortunately the clothes that my Mum used to make us were out of cotton, so there wasn't too much crimplene in my life!

    1. I have another year from 1976, and it is so different from 1969 that I can hardly believe the changes. I would love to see what they do in the 80's! I did sew with double knit in the 70's, but I don't remember if it had a name. It also was thick and rough- we've come a long way in polyester knits.


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