I Heart Disco: Bob Mackie for McCall’s

June 30, 2012 § 7 Comments

McCall's 7138 by Bob Mackie

McCall’s 7138 by Bob Mackie (1980) Image via Etsy.

Bob Mackie (b. 1940) is known mainly for his work as a costume designer for performers like Carol Burnett, Diana Ross, and, of course, Cher.

Cher in Bob Mackie one-shouldered beaded dress and feathered headdress, c. 1973

Cher in a costume by Bob Mackie, c. 1973. Image via Vanity Fair.

In the late 1970s and early ’80s, McCall’s licensed a handful of Bob Mackie designs for stretch knits. The summer heat always makes me think of disco, so here’s a selection of disco-era Bob Mackie patterns:

McCall’s 6838 is a long-sleeved wrap dress in two lengths:

McCall's 6838 1970s Bob Mackie disco wrap dress pattern

McCall’s 6838 by Bob Mackie (1979) Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ dress – for stretch knits only. Long or short wrap-dress (without side seams), softly pleated into front waistline has shoulder gathers and long sleeves. Shaped sash is tacked to right side seam.

The second pattern in the series, McCall’s 6839, is a dress that’s high-necked in the front but has a deep cowl in the back:

McCall's 6839 1970s Bob Mackie disco evening dress pattern

McCall’s 6839 by Bob Mackie (1979) Image via eBay.

The envelope description reads: Misses’ dress – for stretch knits only. Low-backed dress in two lengths with shaped seaming has long sleeves, flared skirt, back zipper; softly draped bias collar snaps in back. Rhinestone trim is optional.

The third in the series, McCall’s 6840, is a halter dress with pleated cowl bodice inset and a shaped front hemline:

McCall's 6840 1970s Bob Mackie disco evening dress pattern

McCall’s 6840 by Bob Mackie (1979)

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ dress – for stretch knits only. Back zippered halter dress in two lengths has flared skirt, shaped hemline with front slit; upper edge binding extends into ties. Loose, pleated cowl is included in side fronts only.

McCall’s 7134 includes a true disco jumpsuit—shaped at the waist with pleats and gathers, and with tapered legs designed to crush at the ankles. For extra fluidity, the pants and skirt have no side seams and are cut on the bias:

McCall's 7134 1980s Bob Mackie disco jumpsuit or evening dress pattern

McCall’s 7134 by Bob Mackie (1980)

The envelope description reads: Misses dress and jumpsuit – for stretch knits only. Back zippered, fitted dress in two lengths and jumpsuit have slightly extended shoulders, low V-neckline, soft front waistline pleats and slight gathers in back. Dress has front slit with shaped hemline and pleated belt included in center back seam. Jumpsuit has purchased belt; length allows for crushing at ankles. Note: skirt and pants, cut on bias, have no side seams.

Interestingly, the McCall’s patterns pre-date Bob Mackie’s ready-to-wear line, which was launched in 1982. It’s difficult to find details on the designer’s work outside show business; Unmistakably Mackie, the catalogue from the Museum at FIT’s 1999 Mackie retrospective, focuses mainly on his costume work. The Bob Mackie patterns could be glitzed up or down depending on the sewer’s preference. I wonder whether they were designed exclusively for McCall’s?

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , ,

§ 7 Responses to I Heart Disco: Bob Mackie for McCall’s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading I Heart Disco: Bob Mackie for McCall’s at PatternVault.

meta

%d bloggers like this: