Mary Quant Tester Pattern for the V&A Museum!
Free pattern on the V&A website!!
Let me just start by saying this pattern is absolute genius! There are so many variations from which to choose from! I feel like you could create so many outfits from this! Then, you can add contrast to make it even more exciting! Take a look at some of the Mary Quant inspiration.
I will briefly discuss:
-Pattern layout and cutting/marking
- Notes about corduroy/needlecord
-Styling your garment
I wanted something with a little bit of body to hold the A-line shape of the dress, so I used a quilting cotton Liberty of London fabric that I bought from Guthrie and Ghani on sale (the actual fabric is no longer available, but they have many other lovely choices)! I also used some linen/cotton from Joann’s fabric for the sleeves, collar and pocket facings. I had bought it a while back and it was in my stash! The only reason I used a contrast sleeve was because I didn’t have enough fabric for the dress! I wanted something to really contrast the dark green fabric, as it was a little boring for a Mary Quant dress all on its own! I absolutely love how the colors complement eachother, and now I find myself wanting to add a contrast sleeve to everything!!
The main change I made was adding the contrast fabric. The sleeves, pocket facings (for the round pocket), and cuffs were cut out using the mustard linen/cotton!
I also decided to sew the belt a little differently than the pattern recommended. I decided to give it a more snug feel and move the attachment of the belt on both sides closer to the side seam. This way it is not loose and tucks me in at the back a little. I only moved it over about an inch on each side. It essentially pulling the dress in at the back instead of laying flat when hanging on the hanger.
Pattern layout and cutting/marking:
There was nothing special or confusing about this part, other than cutting out a contrasting color for certain fabric pieces.
I did’t change much other than grading a lot of the seam allowances when we were not necessarily instructed to do so. I found this helped with the bulk, especially at the collar! I had some trouble with the keyhole opening and even though I had stay-stitched this area. It still stretched out to be bigger than the facing. Stay-stitching is a line of stitching applied with the same stitch length or smaller just inside the seam allowance to stabilize the seam yet to be sewn. This is done right after you cut out the fabric. I had to gather this area a bit with a basting stitch and then attach it to the facing. It had still stretched out! Next time, I might add some fusible stay tape there!
All in all, I believe the pattern fit would have been great, but I think I made a size too small for myself! It still fits but it would have been better for me to make a larger size to fit under my arms and my shoulders and maybe do a small bust adjustment to fit the smaller bust. My bust is a little larger than a 32 but I went with the 32 bust size. Just a point of reference so you will know what size to make!
Oh my goodness this part was so much fun! It was pouring down rain, so I had to hold my umbrella but I thought that it was a good fit since it reminds me of Mary Quant in London! I loved it with my high heel boots! If I would have had GOGO boots I would have worn those! But, those are not really prevalent in my wardrobe! Enjoy styling it!
Dress: Mary Quant pattern by Alice and Co Patterns
Pattern on the V&A website
Mary Quant inspiration photos are from:
1) ITV Report: How 1960s fashion icon Mary Quant's revolutionary clothes liberated women https://www.itv.com/news/2019-04-03/how-1960s-fashion-icon-mary-quants-revolutionary-clothes-liberated-women/
2) The Vintage Style for Old Souls: Mary Quant – Dress Advert https://the-vintage.org/2015/05/03/mod-issue-2-dedicated-followers-of-fashion/tumblr_mynqtyeism1qadocxo1_500/
3) Tech Style Fashion Group: Reimagine Fashion: The Unquantifiable Mary Quant https://techstylefashiongroup.com/reimagine-fashion-unquantifiable-mary-quant/