How to Make 60s Mod Style Dresses

Written by lanh ma
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The 1960s were a time of great social change, and in many cases that change was reflected in women's fashion. The mod dress, brightly coloured and structured significantly more simply than the dresses of the 1950s, was a big part of the fashion scene of the era. Mod dresses are attractive in their use of colour and cut, and a mod dress can be a great wardrobe addition or a terrific costume piece.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pattern
  • Fabric
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Matching thread
  • Needle

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  1. 1

    Find a mod dress pattern. These patterns can be difficult to find unless you know what to search for. Two available vintage patterns that show off the mod look are Simplicity 8686 and Simplicity 8129.

  2. 2

    Choose your fabric. Traits that distinguish the mod look include bright colours, busy prints and strong contrasts. In many cases, dresses made of one solid colour are trimmed in a strongly contrasting colour. With their crisp hang, synthetics are a great choice for mod dresses, but wool and cotton can look great as well.

  3. 3

    Wash your fabric. Put the washer on a setting as rough as what you normally use for laundry.

  4. 4

    Dry your fabric. When you put it in the dryer, look for a setting that is consistent with the material that you have chosen. If the fabric is natural or if it is a blend it should shrink now, not after you have sewn the garment.

  5. 5

    Cut out your pattern pieces. If you have a vintage pattern, such as the two listed in Step 1, you will need to check how your size is listed. If you are a size 10 in modern patterns, do not be surprised if the size that best suits your measurements in vintage patterns is a size 12 or 14. Double-check your size before you cut.

  6. 6

    Lay out your fabric on a clean table or on a freshly swept floor.

  7. 7

    Pin your pattern pieces to your fabric.

  8. 8

    Cut out your fabric.

  9. 9

    Sew the pieces together. Your pattern likely will give you instructions for doing so, but in most cases, you will piece together the front and the back, fit the sleeves and then sew the dress up the sides. If there are separate top and bottom sections, you will piece them together before you sew them together.

  10. 10

    Hem your mod dress.

Tips and warnings

  • Mod dresses in the 1960s usually did not have fasteners and could be pulled over the head. Some of the larger dresses, with flowing sleeves and fuller skirts, could be belted at the waist.

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