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Mary Quant, Butterick Patterns' Young Designer Passes at 93

written, and edited by Ellen and Mary Beth

Mary Quant was a British designer who epitomized the Swinging Sixties with her miniskirts, brightly colored tights, and PVC raincoats


(Wet Clothes) died April 13, 2023 at the age of 93.

She and her future husband, Alexander Plunket Greene, opened their first boutique in the heart of Chelsea, London, England in 1955, followed by a second in 1957. Ms. Quant stocked outfits that she and her friends wore: short skirts, knee socks, tights, funky, colorful jewelry, and berets.

Butterick April 1966 Flyer Featuring Young Designers including Mary Quant

Available PDF Download at The Gingham Life on Etsy


A decade later, Mary Quant was a global brand. J. C. Penney carried a Mary Quant line, as did boutiques in New York stores. Her products included make-up packages in paint boxes, false eyelashes, lingerie, tights, shoes and outerwear. There was even a Mary Quant doll

named Daisy, after her favorite flower.






In 1964, Butterick began a series which they dubbed Young Designer as they tried to appeal to the younger generation. Ms. Quant believed that young women on a tight budget should still be able to look chic and hip. Her shops became the center of British fashion, and her distinctive bob haircut made its creator, Vidal Sassoon, famous. The models most frequently associated with Mary Quant are Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, and Pattie Boyd (who married George Harrison wearing a Quant mini dress).



This Mary Quant Design is available from Old Patterns. It's a fast seller so don't wait too long!



Patterns by Mary Quant are still popular and sell fairly quickly. Her designs are usually fairly simple making them a good choice for beginners and young people. Collectors also seek out her patterns.








A picture of some of Mary Quant;s Mini Dresses displayed at V&A

in 2019.






Mary Quant's very own Fashion Doll Daisy!

Daisy had a wardrobe available as well as

household furnishings that were very

mid-century modern chic!





Here is a picture of her in her adorable Vidal Sassoon

Bob Haircut and one of her own Mini Dresses.

She's rocking the look with a pair of just below the knee white boots!







Here is a Mary Quant from the 1970s.

Still a mini dress but incorporating the now popular pants into her designs.







Kinseysue has this RARE Mary Quant Pattern In Unused Condition.















In the spring of 2019, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London exhibited 120 pieces of hers as well as a montage of photos and memories from women who responded to the V & A’s request to share their beloved pieces.

Our very own member, Sherri, of SewBettyandDot, was fortunate enough to attend this exhibit. The following pictures are courtesy of Sherri and may not be used without her permission.


Pictures Provided by Sherri of SewBettyandDot who went to the

2019 Exhibit in London.










I love that Mary Quant marketed her line of clothing in affordable venues. It was her goal to make fashion affordable for everyone.



As always, the accessories make the dress and Mary Quant knew this well. She made some fun accessories in cluding these amazing Polka Dot Tights!

In closing, I always liked her designs but now I really like her as a human. She cared about the masses and didn;t want to be part of the "exclusive" designers "club" who sold their clothes for exorbidant prices. Selling at JC Penney's made her clothes affordable for everyone. I was a little young for her clothes, I missed out by 10 or 15 years but I'm sure I would have bought a dress or two and the polka dot tights.





In the mood to sew a Mary Quant Dress? Victoria & Albert Museum has a Free Download of her Georgie Dress HERE

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Unknown member
Apr 17, 2023

Love her! Ah, those fab tights... I'm not sure many of us realize all of the accessories she designed (I didn't, in any case.)

I looked up how many Quant Butterick patterns were listed in the Vintage Pattern Wikia and I couldn't believe how many there were. I think it is so great that a young person could sew up a Butterick Quant pattern and have their very own designer clothing. (I love the fact that Butterick issued that entire line of Young Designer patterns, including Betsey Johnson and Kenzo.)

--Sherri

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Unknown member
Apr 16, 2023

Loved her outfits! I, at one time, decades ago, had a suit by Mary Quant. I wonder where it went.

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Unknown member
Apr 16, 2023
Replying to

Gave it away? Donated it? Who knows! We always look back wondering why we didn't save things. My husband still has a Leisure Suit from the 1970s and a beautiful designer suit too. He has a lot of cool old clothes! They don't fit him anymore!

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