The ‘cut out dress’ from the 1960s

by Mermaids Purse on September 10, 2013 · 9 comments

in 1960s,Dresses,Mail Order Patterns,Vintage Sewing

Hey there We Sew Retro community.  I had a fabulous time at The Auckland Vintage Textile Fair, I pick up some lovely sewing patterns a pair of gloves and I came across some mail order ‘cut out dress’ packages, complete in their original packages.

This one with lilac fabric is a ‘Woman and Home’ cut-out dress, the rest are ‘Woman’s Weekly’ ones.

All ordered from London and posted to New Zealand Aotearoa.  I love them, I am keen to make one up – but might have to trace one and try it.  I have more photos over on my blog, mermaids purse, and I would love to hear from anyone who has come across or used them before.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Glyn September 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Wow! What a fabulous find!


Dellis September 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm

You all have the bestest vintage things down there!
Sorry I can’t answer your question.
Wishing you success with the patterns – post piccies when you’re done.


Bella September 11, 2013 at 5:21 am

Interesting; never seen that before! I used to get abayyas in Oman that were pre-packaged like this…Already cut out with a fancy embroidered bodice & cuffs…the tailor just measured you & made it up. Problem was, I could only find polyester versions.

Thanks for posting!


Catherine Alekna September 11, 2013 at 7:41 am

wow how cool! I sometimes wish things came pre-cut for me! The jade green one looks rather nice, the little bow at the front is rather dinky!
My mum grew up in NZ, but i never remember her talking about pre-cut patterns. I would assume these cost far more then the paper patterns at the store.


Carolyn September 11, 2013 at 8:28 am

Wow, what a seriously interesting and cool find!


Catholic Bibliophagist September 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

My goodness! I’d never even heard of these before!



Mermaids Purse September 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for your comments.

Yes Catherine, I also suspect they would have been an expensive way to make a new dress, though in the 1960s, I think off the rack clothes would be quite pricey too.

I was stunned as there were quite a few more, all complete and ready to sew, will let you all know what I do with them in the end!


Lauriana September 14, 2013 at 3:07 am

I’ve never seen anything like these!
It is pretty cool not to have to guess about the weight and hand of the fabric a particular vintage design was made for.
Of course, the disadvantage is that you have to find them pretty much exactly to your size because you can’t cheat and add a couple of cm when cutting the fabric…
I’m looking forward to seeing what you make of them.


seamsoddlouise December 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I found a couple of these in my Nan’s stash. They were from woman’s weekly too. Sadly, my Nan is no longer around to ask about them, but my Mum remembers the cut outs and said they were very popular and much cheaper than RTW. Not sure what I’m going to do with my cut outs as my Nan was a size 16 and I’m a size 8.


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