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Aug 19, 2010

1960 MAD MEN Wiggle Dress Pattern GIVEAWAY!

Good morning, all!

As you can probably guess after Wednesday's pre-dawn post, I spent most of yesterday in bed trying to catch up on my sleep.  I am happy to report that, not only do I feel rested and refreshed, I also look ten years younger.

Michael made the most refreshing summer drink with dinner, which helped.  Here's the recipe: 


To a (room temperature or cool but not iced) half-gallon-sized pitcher of filtered water add:
  • Several stems of basil (leaves and, in this case, basil flowers)
  • Several stems of mint leaves
  • One yellow cucumber, sliced thin (green will do, peel if not organic)
Refrigerate for one hour.  Serve over ice, with a bit of maple syrup to taste.

Refreshing and so invigorating!

But let's get back to sewing...

Friends, as you've pored over Cathy's photo shoots featuring the styles of so many different eras, you may have noticed that the period conspicuously absent is the late Fifties-early Sixties, currently known as the MAD MEN era.

I do not own a television set, so all I know about MAD MEN is what I read on the sewing blogs, increasingly my sole source of information, period.  I know it has something to do with wiggle skirts, advertising, and Brylcream.

As far as women's fashion goes, I'm not fond of this era.  Of course, this was the height of the Doris Day sex comedy, and Doris was undoubtedly fetching in those cinched-waist, wiggly-skirted sheath dresses.

They just look so uncomfortable to me and Cathy -- who refuses to cinch -- isn't fond of them either.  Or the hair, or the shoes...

Anyway, my loss is your gain.

I think it was reader Kelly who sent me this pristine, 32" bust, McCall's classic wiggle dress pattern from 1960 and I believe I received Kelly's permission to give it away.  If it wasn't Kelly and and if I don't have permission to give it away, well, you never should have sent it to me in the first place.

(Click on photos to supersize.)

Your pattern is complete and in excellent condition.  It has been sniffed by dogs but that's the extent of it.  Again: It's a vintage Size 12 or a 32" bust.

To vote, please leave a comment below.  However, this comment MUST rhyme.  It can be as simple as:

In that pattern
I'd look like a slattern.


Girls in wiggle dresses
Rarely are successes.  

Those are my rhymes; you'll you have to come up with your own.  A simple couplet is sufficient.  Sonnets are welcome but won't earn you extra points.


Deadline is Friday, 6 a.m. EST.  I will announce the winner (chosen at random) on Friday morning.  I'll need your mailing address ASAP as I'm leaving town on Saturday, or else you'll have to wait a week.  Sounds fair, right?

I'm opening this up to my readers all over the globe, so Aussies and Kiwis, rev your engines.

Have a great day everybody.  Get out your rhyming dictionaries!


  1. Sheathed in that dress,
    I'm a lady, not a mess!

  2. Peter,

    I love your blog. Read it every morning. And I appreciate how you've grown as a sewer. I hope to get better in time.
    You've got to find Mad Men on DVD. It's the best.
    Anywhoo, I'd love to have this dress.

  3. There was a cute dress with a wiggle
    Whose curves made me instantly giggle
    A 32 bust
    For me is a must
    And the deep, curving back makes me jiggle!

    Sorry. I know it's a little early in the morning for limericks.

  4. Tia, were you rhyming "best" and "dress?" Hmmm....I don't know...

  5. Oh Peter, I am too fat to look good in that!
    I wish that I really was thin,
    My Spirits are fading at the thought of pattern grading,
    So please let some Skinny Minnie win! xx

  6. Here from a young lady in Den Haag,
    Who would love to make this dress, ja graag!
    The sizing, she found out, would be a cinch,
    After calculating from cm to inch.

  7. I sew because I can,
    It is what I like to do;
    Making something with my hands,
    An outfit brand new.

    But is this the pattern for me?
    My waist hasn’t been seen in years,
    When was the last time I showed my knees?
    Opaque, dull fabrics reign in the closet here.

    So although the ‘wiggle’ dress would probably never get made –

    I want it just the same-send it my way!

  8. While Mad Men's becoming a fad,
    Wiggle skirts are certainly rad:
    I'd cut one out,
    sew one up,
    and be one stylish grad.

  9. For a girl nearing fifty
    My figure's quite nifty
    I'm really quite skinny
    Look good in a pinny
    But it's time for an up-lift
    So get stitching a cute shift
    And I reckon this pattern
    Is just the thing to do it...and I can't think of anything to rhyme with "pattern" other than "slattern" and you've used it already so I give up. How's that?!

  10. I can wear that dress
    but I probably wount run
    and I don't like Mad Men
    rhyming is more fun

  11. Dearest Peter,
    Would you be so kind
    As to make that pattern mine?
    I really must have it
    Besides being a great fit,
    It would added to my collection
    And I would show you mucho affection.


    Here’s my try. I’m in no way a poet.

  12. Peter,

    Did Michael buy the basil from a greenmarket or local grocer? I've never seen basil with flowers.

    I think that episodes of "Mad Men" are viewable online. I started watching only last season, but it's a fascinating show; real social commentary told through interesting characters. I love that Robert Morse, who originated the role in "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying," has a small role.

    Sixties corporate fashion was not an attractive look for women, in my opinion, even though the actresses on the show tend to be very good looking. I keep hoping for a touch of "Mod London." They're up to 1964. Maybe that's coming.

    Actually, I don't like most vintage looks after 1935. I like to look at the clothes in order to study the techniques.

  13. Mad Men is super, rhyming is fun
    Doggerel great, and sew is a pun.
    But figure too oldish to wiggle with charm
    So pattern should go to much younger marm!

  14. This pattern is devine!
    I have to make it mine!

    Sorry, its all I can think of right now!



  15. There really is nothing that's worse
    than the temptation to write doggerel verse.

    But don't it to me; I'd never say "It fits"
    It'd never fit over my great big .... breasts"
    (substitute a word that's synonymous)

    I think I'd rather remain anonymous.

  16. Good grief, oh Lord!
    Your examples be thick
    much like your gourd.
    'Slattern's' no trick.

    As Cathy's a dish,
    imagine the wiggle new
    free from pattern & kitsch
    keep 5630 I beg you

  17. Oh no. I wrecked a divinely horrible verse by poor proof-reading. The above should say "Don't *send* it to me" on the 3rd line

  18. I must confess,
    I need that dress!

    It's my size too! Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. To say that the dress is a jest
    Is surely an quite unfair test
    Made with love and the right detail
    and wore with perhaps hat and veil
    I, for one think that just possibly
    It would end up being in truth lovely

  20. The one good thing
    to being non-boobalicious
    In a dress from this pattern
    I'd look quite delicious

  21. Since I'm in Germany, here it goes:

    Ich liebe dieses Kleid, es ist so chic!
    Dazu meine hohen Schuhe- Diese machen klick, klick!
    Jeder würde mich beneiden, würde ich mich so Kleiden.
    Bitte schick mir das Schnittmuster zu, Ich näh' das Kleid im nu.

    The Google translation is a little wonky but I think you'll get the picture.
    You can watch Mad Men here:

  22. I could draft this myself
    But this post is like a Christmas elf
    Gift-giving to the max
    Santa Male Pattern Boldness's blog is like Saks
    Fifth Avenue style
    Wiggle dresses that beguile
    That dress is slamming and hot
    Not some pattern that time forgot
    X-rated like an underage teen
    Made up in cotton sateen
    This sheath dress against my skin
    Can unleash the inner diva within


  23. A 32 bust dress is sure to rip
    Buying pattern paper would be worth the trip
    There's no size that fits
    I have to increase the tits
    (I can't think of anything that rhymes with full bust adjustment.)

  24. In a wiggle dress,
    I'd look a mess.
    But give me one from 1930
    And I'd look right perdy.

    Ok, I'm not Shakespeare....

  25. Guys, the rhymes are great; the meter on the other hand...

  26. "La mode passe, le style reste."*
    That pattern will be quite the test.**

    *Chanel ("Fashion passes, Style endures.")

    **I have no interest in the "patron." Just entering this in the spirit of good fun.

  27. This Kiwi lass
    Doesn't need a new dress
    Because she has dresses galore
    But this little number
    Woke her up from her slumber
    And she decided she needed one more!

  28. not milne, a.a.
    nor barackus, b.a.
    "this dress is for me",
    said cummings, e.e.

    "à chacun son goût",
    I say to you.

  29. Only 12 more hours
    To share your poetic powers!

  30. My, what boldness to tempt us with 5630,
    A design quite ladylike and passing sleek.
    Yet, on second thought, I’d call this playing dirty
    As regrading, for many, would be more than a tweak.
    Though vintage men might be mad for reasons other,
    Women endured the era’s most vexing hurdle.
    Even now some might recall the hectoring bother
    Of beginning every day wrenched into a girdle.

  31. There once was a girl from Seattle,
    She decided to enter a battle,
    She was quite a mess,
    But she fought for the dress,
    As the poems stampeded like cattle.

  32. Though a 32 bust wouldn't fit,
    The Mad Men style is a hit.
    I've had fantasies
    Being down on my knees
    What I might do - not for it, but *in* it!

    (Oh, hell, yes, I'm posting Anon on this one...)

  33. Biba, Cardin, Cashin, Quant

    How's that for a Sixties' rant?

  34. My husband, he feels,
    in that dress and some heels,
    we'd make some deals,
    to take me out for some meals.

  35. I haz no TV
    Was born in teh sixties
    But not into wiggle
    though you post made me giggle

    Why no haiku?
    To hauty tauty for you?

    I dig that recipe
    Thanks for sharing with us peeps.

    Can I stop rhyming now?
    My brain wants to melt down

    Oh not posting for the pattern
    Where'd you come up with Slattern?
    You didn't think Saturn?
    Not even cavern?

    Well shucks this was fun
    Love ya, gotta run!

  36. Vintage pattern with a 32 inch bust?
    Don’t send it to me, it will just gather dust

    phew thats more than enough rhyming for me! Actually it wouldn’t gather dust if my daughter fancied it, so perhaps you could send it to me!

  37. My mother who is quite petite

    With stilettos of red on her feet

    In the bright autumn of 59

    Rocked this number quite divine

    Her daughter alas and alack

    Has never been that compact

    Upon using this cute vintage dress

    Would find all her assets compressed.

  38. An ode to Cathy

    Who would have thought
    That she could have caught
    A man, without her girdle?

    But sparkling eyes
    And come-hither thighs
    Can triumph any hurdle.

    And a 36 bust
    Is really a must
    To carry off frocks with elan.

    Oh, curse my small waist
    And addiction to taste
    I'd renounce it all for a man!

    (Or possibly a day of girly gossip with the lovely You Know Who. Failing that, the pattern).

    Thanks for your lovely blog.

  39. I have a large-scale acid green houndstooth
    That I don't relish matching, in truth
    A simple shift will be best
    And this one is perfect for my flat chest!

  40. Hey!

    I've entered a contest to win a walk-on role on that retro-licious TV show, "Mad Men".

    If you wouldn't mind taking two seconds to vote for me, I would really appreciate it.

    Click on my name above to go to my blog and vote.

    Thanks so much!



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