McCall’s x Canada Dry, 1971

McCalls 2761 (1971)
McCall’s 2761 (1971) Canada Dry “Pounds-Thinner” pattern.

Happy Canada Day! In celebration, here’s a Canada Dry pattern from McCall’s.

Established in Toronto in 1904, by the ’70s Canada Dry was owned by Norton Simon, which was also McCall’s parent company. Canada Dry’s new low-calorie, sugar-free sodas showed a woman in a black leotard to match the branding for McCall’s Pounds-Thinner pattern line. New in 1971, the line is problematic today for its body-negativity.

This Canada Dry pattern envelope is a special alternate. (Compare the more often seen catalogue version.) Instead of the usual Pounds-Thinner branding, there’s a charming Biba-style illustration in colours to match the soda packaging.

Sewing and Smoking

Cheryl Tiegs in a 1975 Virginia Slims / Vogue Patterns sewing ad
Detail, Virginia Slims advertisement, 1975.

Today is World No Tobacco Day. Here’s a look at a Virginia Slims ad that ran in Vogue Patterns magazine.

The mid-’70s ad—with the famous You’ve come a long way, baby slogan—contrasts the fashionable, contemporary Cheryl Tiegs with the Edwardian “Mrs. Florine Knauff,” caught smoking during a fox hunt. Along the lower left-hand side, the caption reads, Fashions: Vogue Patterns.

Virginia Slims ad feat. Cheryl Tiegs, Vogue Patterns 1975
Virginia Slims advertisement in Vogue Patterns, January/February 1975.

Doesn’t Tiegs’ green dress look a lot like Emanuel Ungaro’s goddess gown?

1970s Emanuel Ungaro green gown with shoulder streamers - Vogue Paris Original 1135
Vogue 1135 by Emanuel Ungaro (1974)

The popular design was reissued in 2001 (as V7521).

A handful of ’70s Virginia Slims ads credit Vogue Patterns, most notably this Yves Saint Laurent couture pyjama, as worn by Beverly Johnson:

Beverly Johnson wears pyjamas made from a Vogue Pattern - Virgina Slims "You've come a long way, baby" ad, 1973
Virginia Slims advertisement, 1973. Image: Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising (SRITA).
Yves Saint Laurent Spring 1973 haute couture printed pyjama pattern - Vogue Paris Original 2912
Vogue 2912 by Yves Saint Laurent (1973) Image: Paco Peralta.

There were even promotional Virginia Slims sewing kits. This one contains FDR-made upholstery needles:

Virginia Slims needle pack cover. Image: Etsy.
Pack interior: We hope you enjoy this assortment of quality all-purpose sewing needles compliments of Virginia Slims
Virginia Slims needle pack. Image: Etsy.

Click the Beverly Johnson ad to learn more about SRITA, Stanford’s tobacco advertising project.

Trigère Designs for McCall’s, 1956

Pauline Trigère, with shears, and Anne St Marie in McCall's 3827 - McCall's advertisement, fall 1956
Pauline Trigère in an ad for McCall’s Printed Patterns, Vogue, October 1956. Model: Anne St. Marie.

Pauline Trigère, who settled in America after fleeing Nazism in Europe, appears in this 1956 advertisement for McCall’s Printed Patterns.

The model wears McCall’s 3827.

Betsey Johnson: Butterick Patterns

Betsey Johnson sketch for Paraphernalia, 1965. Image: CFDA / Pinterest.

Betsey Johnson turns 75 today. Four decades on, the designer’s 1970s Butterick patterns are still very popular. Here’s a look at Johnson’s early work, with an emphasis on more seldom seen archival images.

Betsey Johnson (b. 1942) has made a career of creating irreverent, youth-oriented clothes that stand a bit outside the mainstream. She learned sewing and pattern drafting while running a dance school as a teen, but got her official start in the business designing for Youthquake boutique Paraphernalia. By 1970 she was the designer for Alley Cat, a junior sportswear label. (For more see Vogue.com and Anne-Marie Schiro, “Betsey Johnson: Honor for a Life of Celebrating Youth.”)

Dale Fahey, Birgitta, and Renée Roberts in Betsey Johnson neon satins (Golo sandals) photographed by Howell Conant, 1966
Models wear Betsey Johnson neon satin dresses in Piper’s Alley, Chicago. Life magazine, November 11, 1966. Photo: Howell Conant. Image: LIFE archive.
Juggler stands in front of Steel Pier's mystery ride and wears fancy-sleeved mini (Betsey Johnson, $34). Life magazine, May 24, 1968
Juggling in a Betsey Johnson mini dress in front of Steel Pier’s mystery ride, Atlantic City. Life magazine, May 24, 1968. Photo: Richard Davis. Image: LIFE archive.

In 1971, Johnson won a Coty Award for her work at Alley Cat (see the New York Times notice). The following year, Butterick launched its Betsey Johnson patterns in the Spring 1972 catalogue. The designs were also cross-promoted (along with Cyrus Clark cotton chintz) with a Barbara Bordnick editorial in Seventeen magazine.

Sunny Redmond in Butterick 6530 Betsey Johnson dress
Butterick 6530 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1972. Model: Sunny Redmond.
1970s Betsey Johnson Butterick editorial "The Betsey Girl," photographed by Barbara Bornick
Butterick 6533 by Betsey Johnson in “The Betsey Girl,” Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.
Butterick 6530 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.
1970s Butterick 6535 by Betsey Johnson photographed by Barbara Bordnick for Seventeen
Butterick 6535 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.
Butterick 6532 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

The earliest of Johnson’s Butterick Young Designer patterns refer to her as Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, and most seem to predate the founding of her company in 1978. Here’s Butterick 6979 on the cover of the March 1973 issue of Butterick’s news leaflet:

1970s Betsey Johnson Butterick 6979
Butterick 6979 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Fashion News, March 1973. Image: eBay.

The young Patti Hansen in Alley Cat:

pink Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson acetate/cotton velvet dress with two Red Cobra necklaces, pink Lurex and stone bracelets by P.C. Designs
Patti Hansen in Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson, Glamour, December 1973. Photo: Rico Puhlmann. Image: Getty.

One of the first items I sold on Etsy was this 1975 issue of Butterick Fashion News with a Betsey Johnson cover. (Click to see inside.) The same embroidered pinafore was featured on the home catalogue cover:

The Romantic Pinafore: Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Fashion News, March 1975. Image: PatternVault on Etsy.
Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1975
Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1975. Image: eBay.

The pinafore also appears in this cute advertisement with Butterick 4088:

Butterick 4090 and 4088 by Betsey Johnson, 1975
Butterick Betsey Johnson ad in Seventeen, February 1975. Image: Carmen and Ginger.

This Butterick ad shows three Betsey Johnson designs that came with transfers for DIY embellishment (dress Butterick 4679, knit tops Butterick 4676, and skirt/pants Butterick 4678):

Butterick 4676, 4678, 4679 by Betsey Johnson
Butterick ad for Betsey Johnson patterns in Seventeen, 1976. Image: Gold County Girls.

The Spring 1976 catalogue used illustrated photographs to present this DIY series, which also included a hat and shoes (1st page, Butterick 4680; 3rd page Butterick 4681, with Joyce Walker on the right):

Butterick 4680 by Betsey Johnson in the Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976
Butterick 4680 by Betsey Johnson, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976.
1970s Betsey Johnson patterns in Butterick 4679, 4676, 4678; 4676, 4681
Betsey Johnson patterns in the Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976.

Another 1976 Butterick ad shows a Betsey Johnson jumper (Butterick 4956) with deep ribbon trim—perfect for a late-summer Cape Cod getaway:

Butterick ad for Betsey Johnson patterns in Seventeen, August 1976. Image: Pinterest.

Happy birthday, Betsey Johnson!

Cotton ad feat. Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen magazine, August 1973
Cotton ad featuring Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, August 1973. Models: Sunny Redmond, Betsey Johnson. Image: FinnFemme.
With thanks to Heidi at Gold Country Girls.

Bad Girls Do It Well

Late 1950s Eastman Fibers Chromspun ad feat. McCall's 5020 and Pierre Cardin suit McCall's 5099
C’est Vous! 1959 Eastman Fibers advertisement featuring McCall’s 5020 and McCall’s 5099 by Pierre Cardin.

A 1959 Eastman Fibers ad brings a note of intrigue to McCall’s patterns by photographing them in a nightlife setting, on a pair of vampy women.

The patterns are McCall’s 5020, a strapless cocktail dress, and McCall’s 5099, a skirt suit by Pierre Cardin, both shown in Wesco Chromspun fabrics.

Chromspun is the trademark for Eastman colour-locked acetate yarn from Eastman Chemical Products Inc., then a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak—in those days headquartered on Madison Avenue.

Create Your Brilliant Season

Dovima wears McCall's 4425 for Celanese, 1959
Dovima wears McCall’s 4425 for Celanese, 1959.

A Celanese advertising insert from the late 1950s shows McCall’s festive styles in the latest synthetic silks—top models and more than one tiara from the multinational chemical company that brought you cellulose acetate.

"Create your brilliant season with opulent fabrics of Celanese Contemporary Fibers" - 1959 Celanese insert
Celanese Contemporary Fibers advertising booklet, Fall 1959.

The booklet frames small, full-length photos of McCall’s designs with close-ups showing off the “brilliant” textiles. Here, McCall’s 4999 is shown in Belding Corticelli’s rayon-acetate matelassé, with McCall’s 5057 in Cohama’s Arnel triacetate faille. The model on the right is Simone D’Aillencourt:

1950s dress patterns McCall's 4999 and McCall's 5057
Left, McCall’s 4999 in Belding Corticelli matelassé; right, McCall’s 5057 in Cohama faille. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

The blue ensemble on the left is McCall’s 5023, made in Celanese Celaperm acetate satin faille from the David Hecht Co. Anne St. Marie poses in McCall’s 5029 in Onondaga rayon-acetate brocade:

1950s dress and jacket ensemble patterns McCall's 5023 and McCall's 5029
Left, McCall’s 5023 in David Hecht Co. satin faille; right, McCall’s 5029 in Onondaga brocade. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

Here, Dovima wears a shimmering gold version of McCall’s 4425 in Lawrence and Klauber printed crepe satin acetate, while McCall’s 4870 evokes Princess Grace in aqua acetate satin from William Skinner and Sons:

1950s evening dress patterns McCall's 4425 and McCall's 4870
McCall’s 4425 in Lawrence and Klauber printed crepe satin; right, McCall’s 4870 in William Skinner and Sons satin. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

Dovima closes the booklet in McCall’s 5012, an at-home trouser ensemble shown in orange and tangerine Celaperm acetate satin peau from Wedgwood Fabrics.

Dovima wears McCall's 5012 in Wedgwood Fabrics' satin peau
Dovima wears McCall’s 5012 in Wedgwood Fabrics’ satin peau. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

For more on the history of Celanese (est. 1918), see the company website.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Richard Avedon and Sally Victor: Simplicity Pattern Book, 1950

1950s Simplicity Pattern Book detail
Photo: Richard Avedon. Image: PatternVault shop.

During his early period as a fashion photographer, Richard Avedon (1923-2004) did some work for Simplicity, including the Fall-Winter 1950 issue of Simplicity Pattern Book:

Fall-Winter 1950 Simplicity Patterb Book - cover by Richard Avedon
Simplicity Pattern Book, Fall-Winter 1950. Photo: Richard Avedon. Image: eBay.

The suit is Simplicity 3310, made in Botany flannels and worn with “[m]atching hat designed for Simplicity by Sally Victor,” Simplicity 3322.

Inside, the hat is shown photographed by Halley Erskine:

1950s Sally Victor hat pattern Simplicity 3322 in Simplicity Pattern Book
Make your own hat from a Sally Victor design. Simplicity Pattern Book, Fall-Winter 1950. Photos: Halley Erskine.

The back cover is a Botany ad, apparently from the same Avedon photo shoot:

1950s Botany ad featuring Simplicity 3322 and 3310
Botany advertisement on the back cover of Simplicity Pattern Book, Fall-Winter 1950.

I have a Canadian copy of Simplicity 3322 in the shop, printed with a special Chatelaine magazine logo:

1950s Sally Victor hat and bag pattern, Simplicity 3322
Simplicity 3322 by Sally Victor (1950) Image: PatternVault shop.

For more on Sally Victor see my Mad Men-era millinery post.