Simplicity 8469 MEN’S AND BOYS’ DOUBLE BREASTED FITTED JACKETS, copyright 1969 Simplicity Pattern Co.
Maybe you are familiar with one of the best childrens’ books of all time? Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel?
I loved it then and love it now for the super-attractive version it presents of What It Means To Be An Adult. Primarily: bell-bottoms and hanging with your bff non-stop.
There are five stories collected into Frog and Toad Are Friends.
The one that sent me diving into my pattern box is called A Lost Button, in which Frog and Toad return from a walk, and Toad discovers he’s lost a button from his (excellent window-pane green and brown plaid) jacket, and Frog is like ‘it’s cool man, let’s just retrace our steps,’ and then they go everywhere they had been before and buttons are just coming out of the wordwork and none of them are the right button.
Like, Frog keeps finding buttons, and random birds and racoons keep coming up and saying, ‘hey check it, I just found this button,’ and Toad is like, ‘No, no, no,’ (while collecting all the wrong buttons), and finally he has a freak-out and shouts,
The whole world is covered in buttons, and not one of them is mine!
So then Toad runs home all mad and slams the door and sees his missing button right there on the floor and feels super-bad for putting Frog to so much trouble.
So then he does this:
And then he gives his jacket to Frog! And Frog loves it! And then for all the rest of the stories in the book, Frog is wearing Toad’s jacket with the buttons all over it!
I love this story for three reasons:
1) It is really funny when Toad has his freak out, because by that point, as the adult reader of this story, I too am wondering what is the deal with this forest and how is it, like, awash in buttons.
2) Toad has a sewing box in his house and knows how to use it and it’s no thing, and I like for my son to see that.
3) Toad is the grumpy one in these stories, but he really loves his best friend Frog and it’s just the sweetest and the best and that’s all.
So, after reading A Lost Button, I remembered that I had Simplicity 8469, and that it says Men and Boys, and that it’s double breasted which is not exactly like Toad’s, but it’s from the 1960’s which is the right vintage for Toad, and I thought wouldn’t it be fantastic to make this jacket up in an oversize green and brown plaid and sew buttons all over it, and how my kid would love it and I would love it,
So I dug the pattern out of my collection and saw that the size on the front reads CHEST 38 MEN, and I was like OH NOOOOOOOOO, and I got out all the pieces and sure enough, athough it has a range of man ages on the cover, the pattern inside is only the 38 mens.
So that was when I made the red and grey coat instead.
Sew It or Throw It:
Throw it. There are no size 38 mens in my life, and I’m not willing to hang on to this pattern for the decade or so it’ll take for my kid to get there.
Plus tailoring, blah.
So far, I’ve been donating my Throws to the thrift shop.
Does anyone want this pattern? I’d be happy to trade it for one pattern from the 1960’s or 1970’s, two patterns from the 1980’s or 1990’s, or three patterns from the 2000’s on.
If you want it, let me know via comment or email before my next thrift shop run. I’d be happy to mail it to someone who might really use it. The pattern pieces are uncut, I assume because whoever bought it originally was also going to make a Toad jacket and then was denied.