Some patterns from Madame Weigel in the 1920s, 30s & 40s




MADAME WEIGEL comes to the Sunshine Coast


My book and postcards also on sale at the Pine Rivers Historical Museum, Old Petrie Town. 


The Pine Rivers Heritage Museum at Old Petrie Town on Queensland's Sunshine Coast is next to host the Madame Weigel exhibition, on tour from Templin Historical Village, Fassifern. Dates are Friday 8 March to Sunday 19 May 2019. Entitled "Madame Weigel: colonial fashion entrepreneur", the show will open on International Women's Day and focus on just how remarkable Madame Weigel was as a colonial business woman and entrepreneur of her day. Make sure to visit!

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Listen to ABC Radio National's BOOKS & ARTS DAILY for

"MADAME WEIGEL: colonial fashionista" ... Michael Cathcart interviews Veronica Lampkin

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Madame Weigel's paper pattern series was a vital part of life for many women who sewed at home. Started in 1878, Weigel's patterns spanned nine decades and gathered many devoted followers who needed, and loved, Madame's work.

With Weigel's publications distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand, Madame Weigel soon became a household name. She worked alongside her husband, Oscar, to become the first commercial manufacturers of paper patterns in Australasia, and to publish Weigel's Journal of Fashion (1880-1915) and Madame Weigel's Journal of Fashion (1915-1950). Finally, after 91 years of business and millions of patterns sold, Madame Weigel's paper pattern business closed in 1969.

Madame Weigel's patterns represented high fashion to the readers of Weigel's Journal of Fashion, and this was how she issued her new patterns - through her journal, a key marketing tool. She also repeated many patterns in the journal, now found to represent more everyday clothing - those garments that were useful time and again and in steady demand for practical home sewing.

Patterns in the Madame Weigel series show what women were sewing, who they were sewing for, which patterns offered the latest fashions, and those that were popular time and again, sometimes for decades. Madame Weigel had an enormous following of loyal readers, including many women who used her patterns across the generations, and across the lifecycle from babies to 'matrons' - her term for the mature woman.

If you’re interested in the history of fashion and clothing in Australasia, in home sewing, vintage or retro fashion, then Madame Weigel will fascinate you.

Now retrieved from the archives, her paper pattern series offers a fascinating tour of 90 years of Antipodean clothing, fashion, and style.