Fashion You Could Make At Home: Butterick And Co

By | June 26, 2021

test article image
Butterick inspired a new dawn of sew it yourself clothing. (pinterest)

In recent years, thanks to the helpfulness of Youtube, we’ve seen a marked rise in “Do it yourself” projects. Since watching an “expert” complete whatever deed you’ve set for yourself sits just a click away, why wouldn’t you give the old college try? However, this concept of DIY is not new. It literally started a century ago and gave rise to one of the first clothing empires in America. The story begins with a tailor named Ebenezer Butterick and his wife Ellen, who made family clothes.

test article image
Before Butterick people owned far less clothing. The company offered a more affordable way to dress in new patterns. (flickr)

The Dark Ages

In the 18th century, you had two options in regards to clothing: make your own or pay someone to make them for you. The concept of a store with racks of clothing in various sizes still lay many decades away. Since paying someone to outfit you with apparel ran roughly an arm and a leg, most people made their own clothes. That meant a person would either cut fabric freehand or manually size up or down from the singular size available per pattern.