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Seeing Red through Decades of Vintage Sewing Patterns

The color red evokes strong emotions. Some are positive, some - not so much! I am not a huge fan of red clothing as I am not the type to draw attention to myself.

The color red has a range of symbolic meanings across cultures, including: Life, Health, Vigor, War, Courage, Anger, Love, Religious fervor. Red is the color of blood, so it has historically been associated with sacrifice, danger, and courage. It's also associated with heat, activity, passion, sexuality, anger, love, and joy. Red can symbolize: Action, Strength, Energy, Passion.


Red can also have negative associations, such as: Danger, Revenge, Aggression. Red's symbolism comes from its associations in the past. For example, prehistoric people saw red as the color of fire and blood, which represented energy and primal life forces. Responses to red can depend on past experiences and cultural influences. For example, some may find red fun and playful, while others may feel it is too bold, exciting, or even dominating. Red is a color that symbolizes passion, love, and desire. It can also symbolize strength, confidence, and authority. Red is considered one of the most emotional colors and has more psychological and emotional connections than any other color.

Red comes in many shades from deep burgundy to sweet, soft pink. I am focusing on mostly true Red and Pink. See the chart below for colors and the numbers.


Red has been a staple in wardrobes throughout history. People wearing red are consistently rated as more attractive by the opposite sex. For example, in a study out of South Korea, male participants rated a female model as more attractive when wearing a red shirt compared to gray or blue shirts. Lets take a look at patterns through the decades that the artists used red in the images on the envelope.

Let's take a look at Vogue 9422 from Redcurlzs on Etsy.

Not only did they choose red fabrics, the design itself evokes power and confidence. The large shoulders and belted waist emulate a strong male's triangular shape. So in this instanstance, Strength and Power is what red is symbolizing.

I continued to look through all of the Member shops for Patterns that had Red garments on the cover. Mrs. Depew Vintage has this lovely 1950s Cocktail Dress pattern #5709.

This use of red says something different than the first example. In some ways it says the same thing yet, it isn't perceived to be the same. This use of red in this case symbolizes love, sexuality and, passion. I however see a definite connection between this beautiful, sexy dress and the big shouldered jacket above. Power. Yes ladies, you wear a dress like this one and you have power. Undeniable power. Go buy some red fabric and this pattern now!

Sleeveless fitted sheath dress 1950s sewing pattern
Ginny's Vintage Patterns Fitted Sheath Dress Pattern

Another red dress is this deep scoop-neck

Mid-Century "Mad-Men" number from Ginny's Vintage Patterns. This classic dress has all the right curves in all of the right places!

This adorable Maternity blouse Advance 5847 is available at

Candy Goeller Patterns on eBay. I love the details that they put into this pattern. The asymmetry of the buttons and the unique pockets on the swing top are fun! The skirt has an open front panel and the back has ties that wrap to the front and tie. What do maternity patterns have to do with red? In some cultures, RED symbolizes Joy. What could be more joyful!

Another Red Maternity pattern is Butterick 2616 from The Vintage Pattern Market. This demure dress conceals everything having to do with pregnancy. The side pleats expand as your

belly expands. It can also be worn post-pregnancy

during your recovery period. A very stylist knee length dress.

She looks Joyful!

Jerry Silverman knew what he was doing when he designed Vogue 1404

Choosing the fabrics for the photo shoot is sometimes more influential than the design itself. This dress with it's timeless design could become a family heirloom. The high front neckline and deep v-back with the waterfall off of one shoulder is truly breathtaking. The design would look stunning on many body types and sizes as well. Stop by The Gingham Life to see this Pink Beauty and many more! Pink embodies the emotion of Passion

beaing heart

McCall's 6229 is a sweet, rockabilly dance dress made in solid Pink or a Pink Floral. I love the tie on Bolero Jacket! It's a young version of Passion. Sweet, innocent, young Passion! Sew Betty and Dot has this sweet number in her shop just waiting to be snapped up! Don't wait too long!

If you love to sew, the shops represented here are all reputable and will assist you in any way they can to make the right selection when shopping for vintage sewing patterns.



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Unknown member
Sep 30, 2023

A great read!


Unknown member
Sep 29, 2023

Great choices! I especially like Mrs. Depew's dress pattern. Perfect for the up-coming Christmas parties.


Unknown member
Sep 26, 2023

I love red! And I love your creative posts…thanks for another good one!

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