Subversive Femme

Skirts to flatter every figure – Box Pleat Skirt Instructions, circa 1957

Finally, I’ve gotten my hands on two Enid Gilchrist sewing books and had to share this skirt pattern with you. It’s from Enid Gilchrist Patterns for Women and Teenagers (c. 1957-ish)

I’ve been asked a few times about how I made the pleated dirndl skirts, it was almost exactly as Enid described in the below booklet.

enid gilchrist sewing patterns book 1950s

These skirts are so easy to make, you can literally turn one out in a few hours. Why are you still waiting – go make one now!

Enid Gilchrist was an amazing pattern designer and drafter – she published many books and magazines from 1940 – 1970. During the late 50s and 60s she worked with New Idea magazine to produce pattern and drafting books (like mine above) so that sewers could produce the latest fashions at home.

Her pattern booklets are amazing, and typify the fashions of the late 50s-early 60s.

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  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 1:50 am

    My mother used these books for herself and for our clothes in the 50s, and I used what must have been the last editions when I was sewing for my kids in the 70s. We both used to buy the short ends of rolls of unused newsprint (really cheap from newspaper publishers in those days) to draft the patterns onto for cutting. I don't suppose you can even buy that any more! I seem to remember the patterns were still in inches, which would have been one reason they didn't get republished, I guess. Thanks for the memories.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2011 at 6:06 am

    thanks for that…I will make myself one today!

  • Reply
    Jen (pieKnits)
    April 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Ooh thanks for sharing this! I love your skirts you made.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Wonderful. I am making one tomorrow. Tahnk you so much for this. You blog is amazing !

  • Reply
    September 23, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Sorry about the belated comment — I envy Australian vintage buffs, you can't get Enid Gilchrist on this side of the Pacific for love or money. Someone would make a bundle putting her designs on a cd or on a download and selling them online.

  • Reply
    Girl Maverick
    May 29, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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