Here at FIT, we have many resources that offer possibilities to inspire you. As I reshelved materials one morning, I came across a title from the 1950s that I’d never looked at before. It offers patterns and measurements for laying out a range of fashionable contemporary garments. Since I love that era for fashion, I immediately scanned a few articles to show you.
The Maker Up was a trade magazine for British garment manufacturers. It seems to have begun in 1939 (Volume 1), and later merged with a competing magazine, Manufacturing Clothier, in 1974. The Gladys Marcus Library is fortunate to have fairly complete holdings of The Maker Up from 1954 through 1965.
Describing itself as “The accredited organ of the garment-making, wholesale clothing, made-up furnishings, smallwares and fabric-laying industries,” this London-based magazine has reviews of Paris shows, reports on fabrics for the next season, advertisements for all kinds of manufacturing equipment, notions, fabric mills (complete with many swatches), and other tools of the trade. But from the point of view of a tailor with patternmaking skills and a penchant for 50s vintage looks, I find the most interesting articles in this magazine to be those that include pattern layouts and details and cutting instructions for new and trendy garments.
Here is one such set of pattern with instructions. This big A-line coat would be perfect for the variable weather of spring, and fits into the current trend for architectural shapes. Each of the construction layers, such as interfacing and lining are included in the diagrams.
If you want to take a look at this pattern in the original, come to the 6th floor Periodicals and Electronic Services Department desk and ask for The Maker Up, February 1957 issue, pages 146-9.