Skirt Patterns: 1930s, 40s, 50s & 60s
Full of glamour and charmingly attractive, you will find our collection of retro skirt patterns difficult to resist. We are not skirting around this! After the Great Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s, when hemlines again dropped to mid-calf to floor-length and outfits became more modest. Pleated Skirt patterns dominated 20s fashion for most of the decade. The swinging movement called attention to a woman's visible legs. The pleats also allowed ample walking room without disrupting the column-like shape when standing. In the 1940s, skirts (and outfits in general) became even more sombre in nature, with all the restrictions in clothing during the Second World War - utilitarian fashion was the go-to look, while cheaper fabrics gained ground and simple Straight, Flutter and Waterfall Skirt designs were popular.
During the 1950s, fashion returned to its more extravagant roots, with Dior and his “New Look”. Voluminous skirts with his A-line look and Pencil skirts were on trend. A pencil skirt pattern has a cylindrical, straight up and down cut, an A-line skirt pattern has a slight flare. Lay a pencil skirt on a flat surface, and it'll look like a rectangle. Lay an A-line skirt on the same surface, and it will look like the letter 'A'... which, unsurprisingly, is the reason it gets its name. The 50s were also an important time for the circle skirt pattern. The full circle has an inner circle corresponding to your waist (with wearing ease included) and the outer circle is the hem. The half circle skirt consists of two parts, which are base of the skirt and waistband. The base of the skirt is tailored in one part and represents a half circle.
The true revolution though happened in the next decade, in the 1960s, with Mary Quant’s mini skirt. For the first time, women were given the freedom to choose the length of their skirt but the mini length was there to stay! The first maxi skirt sewing patterns appeared in 1967, and the style was adopted by the mainstream toward the end of the era when psychedelia patterns were trendy. The midi skirt pattern is designed to falls inches below the knee, and often ends up at the widest part of your calf, which results in a truncated silhouette. Thus, midi skirts are often most flattering for tall women as it defines their height. Try to avoid wearing midi if you're petite in size or curvy on the bottom. The Wrap-Around Skirt pattern is an easy to sew pattern and this design achieved their peak of popularity in the mid to late 1970s.
Our vintage sewing pattern collection is available in sizes ranging from XXS – XXL. We offer either the original pattern, a high-quality true to scale sewing pattern reproduction or an easy PDF sewing pattern to download at home.