Patti Page’s Magic Dress Designed by Joseph Fretwell III early 1960’s
One of the benefits of selling patterns is the things that come with them. People who sew are a little bit pack rat. They save newspaper clippings, magazine articles, swatches of fabric, and old patterns that struck their fancy. One woman called her mom a “Wanna-do.” “She wanted to do lots of things but never had the time so she kept the stuff…just in case she found the time” she said.
In one of the Wanna do’s pattern boxes I found an magazine clipping from “This Week”, a magazine that arrived on Sunday mornings with the newspaper. This clipping was about Patti Page’s Magic Dress. Patti Page was a popular singing star (How Much is That Doggy in the Window) and had her own TV show on ABC in 1960-1962. The dress was designed by Joseph Fretwell III, her designer (he went on to do costume design for the Exorcist and the French Connection). The dress was described as “Anywhere—Anytime Dress. According to Joan Rattner, Mr. Fretwell “came up with the idea of the basic dress with added parts…….you’ll welcome this interesting way to look different as well as pretty from morning to late evening with only one dress.”
The Dress that has everything.
Part No. 1: The dress is a “slim, flattering sheath with a scooped neck and slim belt.” One is advised to “make it in a firm fabric with contrasting textured trim.
“Part No. 2: A luxuriously full overskirt, belted over the dress and open down the front. ”
“Part No.3: A matching easy-fitting jacket finished off with a shaped band just short of the hip bone.”
“Part No.4: A filmy trapeze worn over the dress for evening. Made very full, its light chiffon folds are belted in front.”
The pattern cost $1.50 and was available through the magazine using the “coupon on page 14 …..that makes you eligible for entering a $1000 teen-age sewing contest.
Alas, the coupon is long gone and the dates were carefully cut from the clipping. Despite this, it is still a treasure to enjoy.
Don’t forget to use the coupon code BLOGGIN to get 15% off your purchase from GoofingOff Sewing
at Etsy. The code is exclusive to blog readers so feel special….because you are.
Love always….Here’s to sewing straight seams and irons that stay smooth.
Post by Eileen Patterson….who is GoofingOff.