Mary Quant: Butterick Patterns

Tania Mallet wears Mary Quant and James Wedge on the cover of British Vogue, October 1, 1963
Tania Mallet wears Mary Quant (hat by James Wedge) on the cover of British Vogue, October 1, 1963. Photo: Brian Duffy. Image: eBay.

Nothing says Swinging London like Mary Quant. The pioneer of the Chelsea Look will receive a major retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2019. (An earlier exhibit, Manchester Art Gallery’s Mary Quant: Fashion Icon, had to close early due to conservation issues.)

Design for a cowl neck minidress with mustard yellow tights by Mary Quant, about 1967, London. Museum no. E.525-1975. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Mary Quant sketch, ca. 1967. Image: V&A.

The V&A is seeking vintage Quant for the show, including garments — or even photos of garments — made with Mary Quant patterns. See here for more details, or email the curators at maryquant@vam.ac.uk. Update: submissions are now closed.

Ensemble of bolero waistcoat and skirt, Mary Quant, about 1964. Museum no. T.34-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Celia Hammond and Jean Shrimpton in Mary Quant, ca. 1964. Photo: John French. Image: V&A.
Mary Quant London - Made in England for Lord & Taylor 100% PVC label at the Costume Institute
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Butterick licensed Mary Quant patterns from the mid-’60s to the early ’70s. (See my Mad Men-era post.)

Mary Quant pantdress pattern 4779 in the Butterick retail catalog, November 1969
Right: Mary Quant pantdress pattern 4779 in the Butterick retail catalogue, November 1969. Image: Etsy.

For knitters, there were also ultra-mod knitting patterns. Some of these vintage booklets are available as official reissues, like these ones from Mary Maxim. (More on Ravelry.)

1960s Patons Courtelle knitting patterns by Mary Quant
1960s Patons Courtelle knitting patterns by Mary Quant. Images: Mary Maxim.

Mary Quant and her husband were profiled in Life magazine as early as 1960. (View story here.)

Mary Quant and Alexander Plunkett-Greene photographed on Park Avenue by Ken Heyman for Life magazine, 1960
Mary Quant and Alexander Plunket Greene on Park Avenue, LIFE, December 5, 1960. Photo: Ken Heyman. Image: LIFE archive.

For his 1963 Life feature on the Chelsea Look, Norman Parkinson photographed Melanie Hampshire and Jill Kennington in these Mary Quant dresses:

Melanie Hampshire and Jill Kennington photographed by Norman Parksinson in Mary Quant's Bank of England and Eton striped wool dresses, LIFE magazine, 1963
Melanie Hampshire and Jill Kennington in Mary Quant’s Bank of England and Eton dresses, LIFE, October 18, 1963. Photo: Norman Parkinson. Image: Iconic Images.

Butterick released its first Mary Quant patterns in fall, 1964. Here’s Celia Hammond on the cover of the retail catalogue:

Butterick catalogue cover showing 3288 by Mary Quant - October 1964
Butterick 3288 by Mary Quant. Butterick catalogue, October 1964. Photo: Terence Donovan. Model: Celia Hammond. Image: eBay.

The Butterick Home Catalog hailed Quant as the originator of the Chelsea Look.

London: Mary Quant. A new group of Butterick designs by the originator of the Chelsea Look and winner o the International Fashion Award for Great Britain. Butterick Fall 1964 Quant
Mary Quant in the Butterick Home Catalog, Fall 1964.

The earliest Mary Quant patterns pre-date the Young Designer line. This dress pattern even includes the rosette:

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 3499
Butterick 3499 by Mary Quant (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

British copies of this dress pattern say “featured in Queen magazine.” Jill Kennington wore this and other Butterick Young Designers in what was billed as “The Queen’s first ever make-it-yourself fashion.”

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 3716
Butterick 3716 by Mary Quant (ca. 1965)
1960s Jean Muir of Jane & Jane and Mary Quant dress patterns Butterick 3722, 3707, 3716
“How to be a self made sensation.” Right, Jill Kennington in Butterick 3716 by Mary Quant. Queen magazine, August 11, 1965. Image: eBay.

Here Moyra Swan models a mod scooter dress. Suggested fabrics include linen, jersey, lightweight wool, and knits.

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 4578
Butterick 4578 by Mary Quant (ca. 1967) Image: PatternVault shop.

This jumpsuit or playsuit came with a matching mini skirt — “the latest put-togethers”:

Butterick 5404 by Mary Quant (1969) Image: Etsy.

What to wear with a Mary Quant mini dress? Why, go-go boots, of course:

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 5475
Butterick 5475 by Mary Quant (1969)

By 1970, a Quant jumpsuit was more fluid, with a pointed collar; this pattern also includes a maxi-length cardigan. The catalogue gives a better view of the inflatable chair:

1970s Mary Quant jumpsuit and cardigan pattern Butterick 5857
Butterick 5857 by Mary Quant (1970) Image: Etsy.
Mary Quant's Butterick 5857 jumpsuit in the Fall 1970 catalogue
Mary Quant’s Butterick 5857 jumpsuit in the Fall 1970 catalogue. Image: tumblr.

Mary Quant in a more romantic mode means a sheer tunic worn with knickers. View B is a maxi dress.

1970s Mary Quant pattern Butterick 6256
Butterick 6256 by Mary Quant (ca. 1971)

After 1971 or so, Butterick Young Designer patterns had illustrations, not photos. This Mary Quant dress dates to circa early ’73.

1970s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 6916
Butterick 6916 by Mary Quant (ca. 1973) Image: Etsy.

Have you made anything from a Mary Quant pattern?

Maren Greve in Butterick 4128 by Mary Quant, 1966
Butterick 4128 by Mary Quant, Butterick catalogue, October 1966. Model: Maren Greve. Image: Instagram.

Ralph Lauren: 50 Years

Linda Evangelista in Ralph Lauren, Vogue, September 1991
Linda Evangelista in Ralph Lauren, Vogue, September 1991. Photo: Arthur Elgort. Editor: Grace Coddington. Image: TFS.

Tonight at New York Fashion Week, Ralph Lauren celebrates his company’s 50th anniversary. Here’s a look at highlights of Ralph Lauren patterns from the ’70s to the ’90s.

Ralph Lauren: 50 Years (Rizzoli book)
Ralph Lauren: 50 Years (Rizzoli, 2018) Image: Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren started out in menswear, and Vogue Patterns’ first licensing with the brand was for men’s designs. The company released its first Polo by Ralph Lauren patterns in the summer of 1975.

1970s Polo Ralph Lauren men's patterns Vogue 1237 and 1238 spring 1975 photographed by Steve Horn
Vogue 1237 and 1238 by Polo Ralph Lauren in Vogue Patterns, May/June 1975. Photos: Steve Horn. Image: Make Mine Vogue.

That’s Polo Ralph Lauren on the right in Vogue Patterns’ American Bicentennial issue:

America the Beautifuls 1976
America the Beautifuls. Vogue Patterns, January/February 1976. Image: Etsy.

This Polo trench is classic for any gender:

1970s Polo Ralph Lauren menswear pattern Vogue 1581
Vogue 1581 by Polo by Ralph Lauren (ca. 1977)

Vogue’s licensing of Ralph Lauren women’s wear began in 1979. The earliest Ralph Lauren women’s patterns are for Annie Hall and Western looks like those shown in his Fall 1981 Santa Fe collection—prairie skirts, fringe, and serapes worn with cowboy boots and concho belts.

Clotilde in Ralph Lauren’s Fall 1981 ad campaign. Photo: Bruce Weber. Image: Ralph Lauren.
1981 Santa Fe Ralph Lauren dress pattern Vogue 2881
Vogue 2881 by Ralph Lauren (ca. 1981) Image: eBay.

Ralph Lauren’s Spring 1984 Safari collection is said to have been inspired by Out of Africa, perhaps with a dash of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Clotilde in Ralph Lauren’s Spring 1984 ad campaign. Photo: Bruce Weber. Image: Pinterest.
Brooke Shields in Ralph Lauren / Ralph Lauren for Hat Attack, Vogue, May 1984
Brooke Shields in Ralph Lauren / Ralph Lauren for Hat Attack, Vogue, May 1984. Photo: Richard Avedon. Image: Pinterest.
Vogue 1547 by Ralph Lauren (1985) Image: Etsy.
Ariane Koizumi photographed by Elisabeth Novick in Vogue 1547 by Ralph Lauren, 1985
Ariane Koizumi in Vogue 1547 by Ralph Lauren, Vogue, May 1985. Photo: Elisabeth Novick. Image: TFS.

Late ’80s Vogue Career designs by Ralph Lauren feature British model Saffron Aldridge, then the face of the brand.

1980s Ralph Lauren career romper or dress pattern Vogue 2255 feat. Saffron Aldridge
Vogue 2255 by Ralph Lauren (1989) Image: Etsy.

Tartan was one of the main takeaways from Ralph Lauren’s Fall 1991 collection. (As L’Officiel observed, “For Ralph Lauren, tartan isn’t a fashion, it’s a lifestyle.”) Vogue released two patterns from this collection, a dress and trouser ensemble.

1990s Ralph Lauren pattern Vogue 2780
Vogue 2780 by Ralph Lauren (1991)
Vogue 2782 by Ralph Lauren (1991) Image: eBay.

Although the envelope for the dress shows it in solid red, the tartan looks had pride of place on the holiday covers, both Vogue Patterns Magazine and the December catalogue.

VPM NovDec1991 Great Scot! Ralph Lauren embraces the youthful spirit of tartans to balance the bold shape of a fit and flare jacket. Wear it with his elegant slim pant to create the season’s perfect ensemble
Cathy Fedoruk in Ralph Lauren, Vogue Patterns, November/December 1991. Photo: Christopher Micaud. Image: Etsy.
Vogue 2782 by Ralph Lauren, Vogue Patterns catalogue, December 1991
Ralph Lauren dress on the cover of the Vogue Patterns catalogue, December 1991. Image: Etsy.

The tartan pieces had already been promoted that same season in the Fall ’91 advertising campaign and a Grace Coddington / Linda Evangelista cover and editorial (“A Shot of Scotch”) in Vogue’s September issue.

Ralph Lauren ad campaign, Fall 1991. Model: Kim Nye. Image: Pinterest.
“A Shot of Scotch,” September 1991. Photo: Arthur Elgort. Editor: Grace Coddington. Image: Pinterest.

Some later covers showing Ralph Lauren in a less WASP-y mode:

Eva Green in Ralph Lauren photographed for L'Officiel by Satoshi Saïkusa, 2011
Eva Green in Ralph Lauren, L’Officiel, Dec/Jan 2011-2012. Photo: Satoshi Saïkusa. Editor: Monica Pillosio.
Rooney Mara in Ralph Lauren FW 2011
Rooney Mara in Ralph Lauren, Vogue, November 2011. Photo: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Editor: Tonne Goodman.

Gnyuki Torimaru (Yuki): Style Patterns

Diana, Princess of Wales, wears Yuki to a banquet hosted by Emperor Hirohito in May, 1986
Diana, Princess of Wales, wears Yuki to a banquet hosted by Emperor Hirohito in May, 1986. Image: Pinterest.

Gnyuki Torimaru, or Yuki, is most famous for dressing Princess Diana on her 1986 state visit to Japan. But his licensed sewing patterns date to the year before.

Born in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, Gnyuki Torimaru (b. 1937) studied architecture in Chicago before settling in London, where he attended the London College of Fashion. He launched his own label, Yuki, in 1972, after stints at Norman Hartnell in London and Pierre Cardin in Paris. (For more, see Suzanne Kampner, “Out Goes Majolica, In Goes Nothing.”)

Yuki London label ca. 1986
Image: Vintage Fashion Guild.

Visitors to the Boston Museum of Fine Art can see his blue, pleated gown and other designs in the museum’s extensive Yuki collection.

Blue gown with beaded panels by Gnyuki Torimaru (Yuki)
Gown by Gnyuki Torimaru. Image: Boston Museum of Fine Art.

Torimaru made his name in the 1970s with his draped jersey gowns. Jerry Hall’s cream Yuki gown, seen on the cover of British Vogue and in Barry Lategan’s editorial, “Dare the Ritz,” has a hem that doubles back as a hood. The Boston Museum of Fine Art has a silk version; model-turned-actor Gayle Hunnicutt donated her carnation version to the V&A.

Jerry Hall wears Yuki on the cover of British Vogue, July 1976. Photo: Barry Lategan
Jerry Hall wears Yuki on the cover of British Vogue, July 1976. Photo: Barry Lategan. Image: Pinterest.

Hunnicutt wore two Yuki pieces in her 1973 British Vogue editorial. The second, low-backed gown is carnation jersey, cut in one piece. She later wore it to a ball at Windsor Castle.

Gayle Hunnicutt in Yuki, British Vogue, October 1973. Photo: Henry Clarke
Gayle Hunnicutt in Yuki, British Vogue, October 1973. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: Pinterest.
VogueUK 1Oct 1973Yuki
Gayle Hunnicutt in Yuki, British Vogue, October 1973. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: Youthquakers.

Yuki also designed the costumes for Frank D. Gilroy’s romantic comedy Once in Paris… (1978), which starred his client, Hunnicutt.

Embed from Getty Images

Style Patterns’ earliest designer series includes two Yuki designs. Both dresses, one a voluminous one size fits all, showcase his trademark draping.

1980s Yuki dress pattern Style 4489
Style 4489 by Yuki (1985)

Misses’ Dress in Two Lengths: Dress is gathered from yoke. Draped sleeves are raglan. Opening is button loops. All edges are topstitched. Suggested fabrics—Fine silk or synthetic jersey, lightweight silk types, lightweight crepe types, crepe de chine, georgette. One size.

1980s Yuki dress pattern Style 4490
Style 4490 by Yuki (1985)

Misses’ Dress in Two Lengths: Dress has fitted under-bodice with draped front and back, which is gathered on padded shoulder and forms fluted sleeve. Skirt is slim with centre back split on full length version. Suggested fabrics—Fine silk or synthetic jersey, lightweight silk types, crepe types, crepe de chine.

Click the Style Patterns tag for more British designer patterns.

Yuki gown featured in Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950
Yuki gown featured in Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 (V&A, 2012) Photo: David Hughes. Image: The Cut.

Spring 2018 Designer Highlights

Catherine Nako wears a Tracy Reese dress at Red's Jazz Shoe Shine Parlor, Detroit. Photo: Ray Rushing
Catherine Nako wears a Tracy Reese dress at Red’s Jazz Shoe Shine Parlor, Detroit. Photo: Ray Rushing. Image: Instagram.

Have you seen the new designer patterns for Spring 2018?

Badgley Mischka are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary this March, so it’s a treat to see their work on the cover of Vogue’s Spring lookbook. (Click their portrait for my 2013 Just Married post.)

Badgley Mischka Key Lime cape dress V1579 - Vogue Patterns Spring 2018 lookbook
Badgley Mischka dress V1579 on the cover of the Vogue Patterns Spring 2018 lookbook. Model: Ana Kondratjeva. Image: Issuu.

1990s Badgley Mischka photo

The Spring collection also marks the return of Tracy Reese. (The Detroit native was last seen in Vogue Patterns in 2016.) The new Reese design is a dress with contrast yoke and sleeves—great for those matching sheer/opaque print combos:

Vogue 1578 by Tracy Reese
Vogue 1578 by Tracy Reese (2018) Image: McCall’s.

Sew Today’s latest issue tipped us off to Reese’s comeback:

Ana Kondratjeva wears Tracy Reese on the cover of Sew Today, February 2018
Tracy Reese dress on the cover of Sew Today, February 2018. Model: Ana Kondratjeva. Image: sewdirect.

The dark floral was a signature print in her Fall 2016 collection, where it could be seen on dresses, sheer blouses, and a long, cuffed skirt:

Tracy Reese Fall 2016 collection
Tracy Reese Fall 2016 collection. Image: Vogue.com
Tracy Reese Fall 2016 collection
Tracy Reese Fall 2016 collection. Image: Vogue.com.

Reese was inspired by Detroit for this collection, and she opened her presentation with a short film starring local model Catherine Nako:

The film stills are by Detroit-based cinematographer Ray Rushing.

Catherine Nako in Tracy Reese Fall 2016. Photo: Ray Rushing
Catherine Nako in Tracy Reese Fall 2016. Photo: Ray Rushing. Image: Instagram.

Bonus: I published my Winter/Holiday post before the McCall’s Winter release, which included two Nicole Miller patterns. This asymmetrical top and flared trousers look to be from the Spring 2017 collection:

2017 Nicole Miller top and pants pattern McCall's 7692
McCall’s 7692 by Nicole Miller (2017) Image: McCall’s.
Nicole Miller Spring 2017 collection
Nicole Miller Spring 2017 collection. Image: Vogue UK.

Miller’s Gladiator gown uses contrast binding to punctuate the classic goddess dress. (Still available in white from the designer’s retail site.)

2017 Nicole Miller Gladiator goddess dress pattern McCall's 7685
McCall’s 7685 by Nicole Miller (2017) Image: McCall’s.

The original was silk chiffon.

Nicole Miller's Gladiator gown in orange silk chiffon with pink trim
Nicole Miller’s Gladiator gown. Image: Rent the Runway.

See you in the arena!

Free Designer Pattern: Alyx Pleat Dress

At the V&A in the Alyx pleat dress. Photo: Britt Lloyd. Model: Jazzelle Zanaughtti
At the V&A in the Alyx pleat dress. Photo: Britt Lloyd. Model: Jazzelle Zanaughtti. Image: SHOWstudio.

The new Design Download from SHOWstudio is an Alyx shirtdress. Alyx was founded in 2015 by Matthew M. Williams, a well-connected American designer now based in Ferrara, Italy. (For more, see Emilia Petrarca, “Kanye West and LVMH-Approved: Meet Designer Matthew Williams” and Matthew Schneier, “Matthew Williams, Renaissance Man.”)

For the Alyx Fall 2017 collection, Williams was inspired by Berlin fetish clubs. The pleat dress was shown in two versions—black leopard print:

Siouxsie Leenaars in Alyx Fall 2017
Alyx Fall 2017. Model: Siouxsie Leenaars. Image: vogue.com.

And silver lamé:

Siouxsie Leenaars in Alyx Fall 2017
Alyx Fall 2017. Model: Siouxsie Leenaars. Image: vogue.com.

For more views see the Alyx retail site (silver | black).

Watch a video of Williams discussing a piece from the Alyx Spring ’18 menswear collection:

This year’s competition prize is an Alyx catalogue shot by Nick Knight. (Season unspecified.)

Alyx Natural Order catalogue (Fall 2016) photographed by Nick Knight
Alyx Natural Order catalogue (Fall 2016) photographed by Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.

As before, the pattern download comes in a choice of A4 or A1 sheets, each with a test line to check the scale.

Pattern pieces for SHOWstudio's Alyx design_download
Image: SHOWstudio.

Download the dress pattern (22 pieces)

Size: M

Notes: The original was silk. Skirt has bagged lining. Calls for fusible interfacing for the collar, cuffs, etc.

Notions: 3 small buttons, 7 smaller buttons + additional for concealed skirt closure; contrasting thread for edge stitching, bar tacks, piping, and belt loops.

Stay tuned for the submissions gallery: the contest closes March 30th, 2018. (Deadline updated.)

Update: View the submissions gallery here.

Winter/Holiday 2017 Designer Highlights

A look from Adam Andrascik's Fall 2015 collection for Laroche. Photo: Yannis Vlamos
A look from Adam Andrascik’s Fall 2015 collection for Laroche. Photo: Yannis Vlamos. Image: Vogue.com.

From Guy Laroche to Paco Peralta, Vogue’s designer patterns for Winter/Holiday 2017 offer a range of festive looks for the coming season.

The new Guy Laroche is a skinny jean and party top, recommended for lamé:

Vogue 1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche
Vogue 1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche (2017) Image: McCall’s

The ensemble is the first pattern to be drawn from Adam Andrascik’s debut collection for Laroche.

V1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche on the runway
V1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche on the Fall 2015 runway. Photo: Yannis Vlamos. Image: Vogue.com.

Gleaming tartan jacquard is the star of this ensemble from Anne Klein, now designed by Sharon Lombardo:

Vogue 1571 by Sharon Lombardo for Anne Klein
Vogue 1571 by Sharon Lombardo for Anne Klein (2017) Image: McCall’s.

Guinevere Van Seenus wore a similar look for the Fall 2016 campaign, photographed by Annemarieke van Drimmelen:

Anne Klein Fall 2016 ad campaign. Photo: Annemarieke van Drimmelen. Model: Guinevere Van Seenus. Image: Behance.

Like fall’s V1561 jacket, the two Zandra Rhodes offerings are from the Fall 2016 collection, which was sponsored by Kraftangan Malaysia. (Kraftangan is Malay for ‘handicraft.’) As always with Rhodes’ work, the focus is on textiles, here on a double-sided fabric such as metallic jacquard:

Vogue 1566 by Zandra Rhodes
Vogue 1566 by Zandra Rhodes (2017) Image: McCall’s.

Shot by Andrew Woffinden, the collection lookbook was styled by Grace Woodward with Nicholas Kirkwood shoes and a turban by Piers Atkinson:

Zandra Rhodes’ Songket dress, FW 2016. Photo: Andrew Woffinden. Editor: Grace Woodward. Image: Zandra Rhodes.

Vogue chose three of Rhodes’ Songket pieces—a dress, peplum top, and trousers—for the Winter/Holiday collection. Songket is a traditional metallic brocade produced in Southeast Asia.

Vogue 1572 by Zandra Rhodes
Vogue 1572 by Zandra Rhodes (2017) Image: McCall’s.
Zandra Rhodes’ Songket top, FW 2016. Photo: Andrew Woffinden. Editor: Grace Woodward. Image: Zandra Rhodes.
Zandra Rhodes’ Songket trousers, FW 2016. Photo: Andrew Woffinden. Editor: Grace Woodward. Image: Zandra Rhodes.

Paco Peralta’s latest design for Vogue is a dolman-sleeved knit top and handkerchief skirt. Festive and versatile, the skirt even has pockets:

Vogue 1567 by Paco Peralta
Vogue 1567 by Paco Peralta (2017) Image: McCall’s.

I have some Lurex in my stash, don’t you?

If you’re fresh out of shiny fabric, you might be interested in Gorgeous Fabrics’ farewell sale. Last weekend, owner Ann Steeves announced that she is closing shop after 11 years in business.

Amanda Murphy photographed by Lachlan Bailey in Laroche by Adam Andrascik, for Vogue Paris September 2015
Amanda Murphy wears Laroche by Adam Andrascik, Miss Vogue supplement, Vogue Paris, September 2015. Photo: Lachlan Bailey. Editor: Géraldine Saglio. Image: Guy Laroche.

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.