Do-It-Yourself Ivy, 1965

Back in the heyday, if you couldn’t afford to shop at the right stores and mom was handy with a needle and thread, you could get your very own homemade Ivy League jacket for a fraction of the cost, as these images from a 1965 McCall’s pattern book show. It’s possible the in-crowd might not even know the difference.

16 Comments on "Do-It-Yourself Ivy, 1965"

  1. And they probably lasted longer than some if today’s garments. As a Yankee, I fully support this type of do-it-yourself-ness.

  2. The skill level would have to be high to pull this off, but in days gone by many gals could do it. There are also carriage trade fabric outlets.

    I had a friend in the mid 70s who’s mother made them a Ralph Lauren Burberry knockoff trench coat. Designer patterns were available, they might still be.

  3. When I was about 14 (1970) my mother set out to make me a blazer. I think it came out very nicely, but it took so long that by the time it was finished, it was already too small. It went to a (small) adult cousin.

  4. I guess it is time for me to start developing my skills. This would probably solve a lot of problems, but create many more.

  5. Every real man knows how to sew or tune a motorcycle. 😉

  6. Michael Mattis | September 7, 2012 at 9:59 am |

    Ride, fence, shoot, sail & sabre champagne.

    Sewing is for wives and tailors.

  7. Never fenced, which I guess explains never having to sabre champagne.

  8. Timely enough for this post, I just lost the left back pocket button off an almost new pair of khakis, Just the thought of sewing it back on gives me the jitters. Wives do not sew, at least mine doesn’t.

    Sewing is just something I never thought I’d need to do. How silly of me. Another reason to miss Mom.

  9. Every man misses his mom. Your father teaches you to be a man, your mom teaches you to be a human being.

    Impress your mom:

  10. I once made a buttondown (with crappy fabric) for an art class back in high school. Truly, a humbling experience. I have nothing but respect for clothes makers of all types now.

  11. Thanks for the heads up that this exists. My girlfriend just found the jacket pattern on Etsy for $9.00. Now to source some fabric. And hours of her time.

  12. You really have to consider fabric. A good wool easily would run a minimum of $40/yard. @Oliver check out G Street Fabrics for beautiful wools and tweeds. They are in Maryland just outside of DC but have a website. Beautiful fabrics. Don’t forget the details, horn or brass buttons!

  13. Sewing? How quaint, now that we live in a world of Velcro, a needle and thread are truly historic.

  14. In a world of velcro fasteners, the U.S. Army taught me how to sew (you were issued a sewing kit, everyone called the “housewife”). Keep in mind there is a big difference between sewing and tailoring.

  15. Theresa in Tucson | October 25, 2020 at 8:52 am |

    There are a number of men who sew as a hobby. Check out the blog “Mainely Dad” who just published a post on his latest makes full of wonderful details. Shirts are fairly easy, as are trousers, but jackets take a different skill set and mastering fitting is a never ending quest. A Canadian company, Thread Theory specializes in patterns for men. They even have “sew-alongs”. The men I know that sew consider a sewing machine as another “power tool”, so guys, you have no excuse.

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