Mary Quant exhibition has sparked clothes making boom, as 30,000 people download free mini-dress pattern

More than 30,000 people have downloaded sewing patterns from the V&A website
More than 30,000 people have downloaded sewing patterns from the V&A website

For those born too late to wear a Mary Quant mini in the Swinging Sixties, help is at hand.

More than 30,000 people have downloaded sewing patterns from the V&A website, and many have posted the results on Instagram with a #wewantquant hashtag.

The popularity of the patterns has delighted curators of the museum’s Mary Quant exhibition. The first is for the designer’s classic A-line mini, while a more advanced pattern is based on her ‘Georgie’ wrap dress.

They come in sizes 6-22, with a video tutorial available as a guide.

Jenny Lister, the exhibition’s curator, told the Cheltenham Literature Festival: “We’ve made these paper patterns that you can download, directly inspired by her designs, and we’ve had an amazing response. Thousands of people all over the world are making Mary Quant dresses.

People have posted the results on Instagram with a #wewantquant hashtag

“Attitudes are changing about fast fashion. We don’t want things to be thrown away and we don’t want things to be made in countries where people are not treated properly. And I think the craft skills that Mary herself had as a young woman are coming back into force, and downloadable patterns are where the future could be.”

Quant is credited with revolutionising the fashion scene in the 1960s. In the 1980s, a Japanese company bought the rights to use her name, and the brand still operates there.

“She faded a little bit out of public awareness in the 1980s,” Lister said. “She’s 89 now so she doesn’t get out as much as she did, but we know she’s very excited about the exhibition.

“If things had been just slightly different she would have been one of these brands that has this massive recognition now, like Louis Vuitton or Balenciaga. Because she went to the Japanese market she wasn’t bought up by one of these Paris labels but she so easily could have been.

“And I would love there to be Mary Quant clothes again, and she would love that as well. You never know, it could come back.”