Butterick Young Designers – Clovis Ruffin

For someone who’s been selling vintage patterns for over 20 years, you’d think that I would have a large personal collection.  But I don’t, really.  Until just recently, I’d all but stopped sewing for myself, but being retired and having the time for lots of fun stuff, I’ve picked it back up.

I started sewing in the mid 1960s, when I was about ten.  By the time I was in high school, I was sewing pretty much all my clothes except jeans and sweaters and such, and I continued to do so until I got my first “real” job in 1977.  I love looking through an old box of patterns and running across one I used from the 60s or 70s; it’s like finding a long lost friend. As a young woman, I loved the Butterick Young Designers patterns, especially those by Betsey Johnson and Jane Tise.  There is a particular Tise pattern that I must have used ten or so times!

But I had never used a Clovis Ruffin pattern, probably because his were produced at the very end of my sewing days in the mid to late 70s.  But a couple of months ago I ran across two, and it was love at first sight!  I bought some dark blue-green “moderately stretch knit”, aka as cotton jersey, and I’ve finally gotten around to making this one.  It’s not quite finished, but the dress is super-flattering, very comfortable, and, as the envelope promised, fast and easy.

The pattern is for sell on my site, but I did make myself a copy of it and of the other one I found.  Good thing, because the other one sold this week, and now I’m really primed to make it too.

If you don’t know the name Clovis Ruffin, don’t feel too bad.  He had a brief moment in the fashion sun starting in 1972.  He produced a small but well-received line called RuffinWear, where he specialized in versions of the tee-shirt dress.  Ruffinwear was closed  in 1979,  but he continued to design for other companies, making mainly loungewear and evening dresses.  Ruffin died of AIDS in 1992.


Posted by Shay:

I started sewing for myself in 1967 or so, when I was about twelve. I used to love the Jane Tise and Clovis Ruffin patterns. So many of Jane’s patterns had a real 1940’s vibe to them. 

Tuesday, January 13th 2009 @ 8:37 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

40s vibe, definitely! That’s why I loved that particular blouse pattern so very much. 

Tuesday, January 20th 2009 @ 3:23 PM

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