Tim Gunn Would NOT Approve!

Drawing and Designing Childrens and Teenage FashionsDrawing and Designing Children’s and Teenage Fashions

Submitter: Found this 1979 gem today at the public library I work at. I had to weed it in case any moms were tempted into a summertime retro sewing project!

Holly: What the heck is the kid on the far right wearing?  Nice pants.  This cover is horrible!  I can only imagine what’s on the inside.


  1. Are we supposed to infer that all teenagers wear overalls? And how about that terrier hiding behind Mr. McBoots on the right, there? Toto looks TERRIFIED!

  2. I would send this one to ebay, because it’s actually kind of awesome. Great little time capsule, but I’d never subject a child to wearing one of those… what IS that on the far right, I don’t even…?

  3. Love the title of the post! Make it work…

    The kid on the right looks like he’s auditioning for his local theater company’s production of Spamalot…

  4. Confession is good for the soul. As a mom in the 70’s I made several similar looking outfits for my kids. They looked cute in them and were right in style at the time.

    1. No, You did not—you looked adorable. 🙂 In 30+ years what you’re wearing now will look ridiculous, but it’s cute now. My kids were cute as buttons wearing what was in style then and their pictures prove it. I can show them to you if you have a minute.

  5. We called them knickers, and I had a pair of navy blue ones to wear to school and a pair of gold lame ones I wore with gold ballet flats, a white silk blouse, and a black velvet vest when my mother took me to the ballet.

  6. I had a pair just like the ones second from right in 3rd grade (1978). They had a brand label right on the front pocket: “Space Legs.” LOVED them.

  7. I had mauve corduroy knickers, and wore them with matching argyle socks and a button-down vest. It was the late 70’s and I thought I looked great.

  8. Another thing popular in the 70’s were knickers,and they were gross looking. Blame it on The Waltons,I think.

  9. Speaking of Tim Gunn, some of those kind of look like the fashions that one of the teams did on last week’s Project Runway. *shudder*

  10. Actually: if you just take the pants part from the one on the right, they would be pirate/harem pants. Something that has been very popular in certain countries in Europe for several years now. Sure, it’s alternative, but I think it’s pretty cool to wear poofy pants! 🙂

  11. Actually, while the illustrations and photos are eye-burningly awful, a lot of my best sewing information comes from books that age and older. It seems like most of the stuff being published these days is on a very basic level, and not very informative unless you’re just starting out.

  12. it’s actually a book on technical fashion illustration rather than pattern cutting and making i’m guessing (i have a similar ‘grown-up’ version from the same guy) so it’s not that outdated really, more as a costume archive type book for fashion/ textile students. e.g how to correctly draw x-type of pocket/sleeve/collar etc 🙂