Sunday 14 August 2011

Shopping in a Crochet Dress

Back in March, I wrote about the Hand Made Tales exhibition at the Women's Library in London - here's the link to my post.  One of the items in the exhibition was a copy of Stitchcraft from March 1965, and the caption said that the dress featured on the front was designed by Eve Sandford, a knitwear designer who had fulfilled a long-standing ambition to have one of her designs on the cover of Stitchcraft

Stitchcraft, March 1965
That issue of Stitchcraft has now come to light at Lee Mills, so I can show Eve Sandford's design.  It turns out that it is actually crocheted not knitted, but I suppose I shouldn't be prejudiced against it for that reason. The man is wearing a knitted cardigan, and it looks as though they have been shopping.  He seems to have bought a barometer, and what looks like a bronze statuette.   I can't work out what she has bought - it isn't very heavy, evidently.  There are green leaves sprouting out of the top of the bag, and possibly a trowel handle.  Maybe they have been to a garden centre combined with the 1965 equivalent of an antiques fleamarket.

He is clearly very proud of his new barometer, because he is next shown posing next to it - he has found a good place to hang it in their house.  The cardigan is very smart - just the thing for weekend shopping in the mid sixties, with a knitted tie.


Later, they go to a drinks party, and he swaps his cardi outfit for a jacket, and a less casual shirt and tie, whereas she decides that the dress is smart enough for day-into-evening wear. (I think she should have added some jewellery though.) They appear to be swapping opinions on the other guests - not very sociable.

Given the fashions of the time, the dress seems to me a successful design.  Although it now looks too long (to me anyway), the below-knee straight shift dress was very current in the mid-sixties - Mary Quant was only just beginning to introduce the mini-dress that we tend to think of as typical of the whole decade, and Stitchcraft readers would not have been trend-setters.   I think Eve Sandford was quite justified in feeling proud of her achievement.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your funny narrative to accompany the lovely old images! I do like the dress too.


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