Free Designer Pattern: Mary Quant Georgie Dress

Georgie dress by Mary Quant (ca. 1962) Image: V&A.

As part of its recent Mary Quant exhibit, the V&A shared a pattern for an early Quant design. The Georgie dress dates to the Bazaar days, before Quant’s deal with Butterick.

Photo: Richard Davis. Image: Harper’s Bazaar.
King's Road plaque: Dame Mary Quant, Fashion Designer, opened her boutique Bazaar on this site in 1955
King’s Road Bazaar plaque. Image: Fashion Network.

The V&A’s Georgie dress— purchased new in Truro, Cornwall — is striped cotton lined with cotton batiste.

'Georgie' dress, Mary Quant, 1962, England. Museum no. T.74-2018. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Given by Sarah E. Robinson
Georgie dress by Mary Quant, ca. 1962. Gift of Sarah E. Robinson. Image: V&A.

As Quant’s archive shows, the dress was also available in taffeta-lined chiffon as the Rosie, in black, pink, or jade.

1960s design for 'Georgie' and 'Rosie' dress by Mary Quant
Design for ‘Georgie’ and ‘Rosie’ dress by Mary Quant (ca. 1961-65) Image: V&A.

The Georgie pattern was developed from Quant’s original by London’s Alice & Co Patterns, a mother and daughter team with a connection to the museum: the younger generation, Lilia Prier Tisdall, works there as a costume display specialist.

Mary Quant’s Georgie dress in Ray Stitch fabric. Sewing pattern designed by Alice and Co Patterns. Image © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The dress has a surplice bodice, three-quarter sleeves, pleated skirt, and sash belt. For the original’s lively, reverse stripe effect, cut the skirt on a different grain than the sleeves and bodice.

Technical drawing for Mary Quant’s Georgie dress. Image: V&A.

The pattern gives detailed instructions, including for the pleated trim.

Making the Georgie dress. Image: V&A.

Download the Georgie dress pattern. (Instructions here.) The pattern has 7 pieces, arranged in 3 formats: A0, A4, and US Letter. Test square included to check scale.

Size: Two size ranges, UK 6–16 and 18–22

Yardage: 4m (4.5 yds) of 45″ fabric, 1m (1 1/8 yds) lining

Recommended fabrics: Soft cotton, cotton blends, or glazed cotton.

Seam allowance: 1cm (3/8″)

Notions: 56 cm (22″) flat zipper, interfacing for belt.

Notes: Skirt, frill, and belt pieces are to be drafted.

Click here for more instalments in my Free Designer Patterns series.

Georgie dress by Mary Quant, ca. 1962. Gift of Sarah E. Robinson. Image: V&A.

Free Designer Pattern: Juliana Sissons Hobble Dress

Scarlett Cannon photographed by Monica Curtin for Blitz magazine, 1985
Scarlett Cannon in Blitz magazine, 1985. Photo: Monica Curtin. Image: V&A.

As part of the current V&A exhibition, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, Juliana Sissons is sharing a pattern for a hobble dress designed in 1984 for London club kid Scarlett Cannon.

In the early 1980s, Sissons had an in-club boutique, Call Me Madam, at London’s Heaven nightclub, where Cannon hosted the Cha Cha’s club night. As Sissons later recalled, her early designs had “a high fashion punk influence,” with Call Me Madam catering to “the alternative types, such as Leigh Bowery, Boy George, dancers, entertainers, fire-eaters, pop stars…” For i-D’s 2012 profile of the designer, with recent and archival photos and video, click the photo below (update: profile no longer online):

Scarlett Cannon and Juliana Sissons in 1982
Juliana Sissons and Scarlett Cannon, 1982. Photo: Daniel Faoro. Image: i-D.

(The exhibition catalogue by Sonnet Stanfill is entitled 80s Fashion: From Club to Catwalk; on London club style see also Graham Smith’s photographic history, We Can Be Heroes: London Clubland, 1976-1984.)

The Scarlett Dress is a low-backed hobble dress with pleated hip drape and three-quarter sleeves. Inspired by Old Hollywood, the original was made in red stretch ciré jersey and worn to Cannon’s birthday celebrations at the Camden Palace and Bolts in North London.

Front / Back - Scarlett sketch

Cannon lent the dress to the exhibition, where it’s styled to fall off the shoulder, accessorized with a Judy Blame bead necklace (Blame’s first piece: photo at Gilded Birds). You can see Cannon’s photos of the exhibition setup on her blog.

Juliana Sissons technical drawing - Scarlett schematic

Download the Scarlett Dress pattern. (Pattern here; instructions here.) The pattern has 10 pieces, arranged over 30 pages of A4 sheets.

Size: UK size 12 with added ease (bust 93cm, waist 72cm, hip 96cm = bust 36 5/8″, waist 28 3/8″, hip 37 3/4″ approx.)

Recommended fabrics: stretch fabrics

Seam allowance: 1cm (3/8″)

Notions: 1.5cm (1/2″) shoulder pads

N.B.: It seems the download will be available only for the duration of the Club to Catwalk exhibition, which closes February 16th, 2014.

Update: The download is still available as of spring 2014.

Click here for the other instalments in my Free Designer Patterns series.