In the 1940s and 1950s American culture became very dominant in Europe. The influence of movie films and the prominence of film stars set the fashion in manners, make-up, hair and clothes. Women, girls, men and youths all desired look-alike copies of outfits, accessories and jewelry worn by the most popular screen idols. It was widely believed that Hollywood glamour would rub off on you if you had the clothes and developed the look. One way to achieve the look was to make your own clothes and customize them so they had a similar look to fashions worn by celebrities of the day.
Made in an expensive fabric such as shot silk home dressmakers could save pounds by making her own dresses. When trimmed with a fashionable fake flower and a matching stole added, the outfit offered an element of originality amid mass produced goods. A dress pattern could just as easily be made up in a washable cotton as a summer dress.By the mid 50s dressmaking patterns made by pattern companies like Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity and Vogue were vastly improved. The little dressmaker had all but vanished, so middle class women began to take up dressmaking as a useful hobby. The Second World War left women craving for glamour which they were able to recreate themselves. Dressmaking Pattern manufacturers such as Butterick, McCall’s, Simplicity, Vogue along with magazines such as Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman’s Weekly all responded by creating stylish dress patterns.