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Tuffin Dress

Added Sep 15, 2013

by alekat

Sydney, Australia






I have been reading the Foale and Tuffin biography recently and as an insight to the name of this dress, I have named it after Sally Tuffin. Dress designer of the pair of “two cocky, feisty bolshy, arty, clever-clogs young women”

For those of you who might not be familiar with them, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin met at the Royal College of arts in 1955 and eventually went on to design wholesale together for various retail stores including Woollands 21 shop, before opening their own store. They were featured early in their careers in Vogue in 1962 and travelled with Mary Quant and few other British designers to America for the ‘Youth quake’ tour in 1965. They made clothes worn by Cathy McGowan, Modelled by Jenny Boyd and with Mary Quant and Barbara Hulanicki, form my own version of the “holy trinity”

The pattern of this dress is the Burda Mondrian Dress. The dress pattern is very interesting – a creative version of a drop-waist dress, with a nod to 1965. The Burda version is colour-blocked with a different colour for each piece.

As shown in the illustration, this dress is supposed to have a belt and pleated skirt. But through mainly happy accidents, my version ended up as such

The instructions don’t give you a pattern piece for the skirt, so I just measured out a piece as it said. Maybe I was supposed to double it or something because the skirt just ended up a plain skirt without the pleats. I decided I liked the straight skirt as a pleated skirt could become the victim of a gust of wind and show everyone that which they are not supposed to see!

I did actually make the belt, but it didn’t sit as nicely as I’d hoped and the only buckle I could find was quite heavy and just made the fabric sag down at the front so I took it off.
I think I’d rather it in this minimalist version – just the red and white without the fussy decorations.

The dress is actually a wraparound dress – and closes at the left shoulder, kind of like a dentists jacket. I used a few different sized press studs to close the dress. The while buttons are purely decorative but pop against the red

If you like 60s style sewing pop over to my blog for more!

Material Notes

The fabric I used was a Ponte de Roma – a stable double knit which is light enough for summer and wrinkle resistant. I added white bias to the arms and left-hand closure.




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Mod, Preppy

7 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Yukipinterest-1354485950_600_large

    Sep 29, 2013, 03.27 PMby Yuki M

    Sweet mod style as always ! Love the red and white contrast. I like your version more than original as everyone say.

    1 Reply
    • Catherine_a-01_large

      Oct 1, 2013, 11.29 AMby alekat

      Thanks! I hoping someone else will make it now too! Its a pretty comfy pattern

  • Photo_me_2017_large

    Sep 16, 2013, 04.04 AMby Manic Pop

    Ahh! I’ve wanted to make this dress! I saw the pattern before on here and was like, “Hmmm…” So cute on you! I think it’s odd that they wouldn’t include the pleated pattern, but maybe because it would take up too much printing paper?

    1 Reply
    • Catherine_a-01_large

      Sep 16, 2013, 04.11 AMby alekat

      i think so, and because it would just be a boring shape to include. I’m pretty sure i measured it correctly, but it just wasn’t enough!
      you should totally make it! you could make it like your other dress with the alternating fabrics?

  • Img_1822_large

    Sep 16, 2013, 03.46 AMby bethmaryharley

    Wowee! This dress rocks! I like your version much better than the original – it’s a bit Sergeant Pepper! :-)

    1 Reply
    • Catherine_a-01_large

      Sep 16, 2013, 04.11 AMby alekat

      oh thats a great compliment! Thanks

  • 7477921d82b9cd62dad6abe75756cb0b30ea2282_large

    Sep 15, 2013, 10.46 PMby flowergirl22

    that is really lovely,, funky 60’s is perfect for you

    1 Reply
    • Catherine_a-01_large

      Sep 16, 2013, 04.12 AMby alekat


  • Img_5861_large

    Sep 15, 2013, 06.14 PMby caireen

    Your dress is super cool. I love the contrast between the red fabric and the white bias tape and buttons. Yours looks better than the original in my opinion!

    1 Reply
    • Catherine_a-01_large

      Sep 16, 2013, 04.13 AMby alekat

      thanks! I think this pattern suits a mod look, with white and red

  • Img_9194_large

    Sep 15, 2013, 02.50 PMby kihli

    I love your version of this dress! It’s great with the colour combination and the white buttons! I also like your skirt variation (no matter that it was unintended).

    1 Reply
    • Catherine_a-01_large

      Sep 16, 2013, 04.15 AMby alekat

      Thanks! i think in this fabric, the pleats wouldn’t have sat well anyway

  • 20170310_191639_large

    Sep 15, 2013, 11.58 AMby Mary Athey

    Gorgeous dress, i love what you’ve done with this pattern. the dress looks fabulous on you and i much prefer your version. x

    1 Reply
    • Catherine_a-01_large

      Sep 16, 2013, 04.17 AMby alekat

      thanks Mary! You always have the nicest things to say!

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