Thursday, 30 June 2011

Mysterious Pattern Alert!



When do you think this pattern is from? I found this vintage petticoat pattern in an antiques shop in California, but I'm having a little trouble identifying the date.

The pattern is numbered 7661, a "ladies' six-gored princess slip or foundation". It's made by the Standard Fashion Company - some internet research tells me that this was a subsidiary of Butterick, in operation from 1888 to 1926. At the bottom of the pattern it says 'Patented October 4, 1887, and September 5, 1889' - I assume that's referring to the company, not the individual pattern. 

The closest thing I can find online is pattern no. 7241, a very long straight skirt which looks to me like it's from about 1910. The closest dated pattern I can find is no. 5592, which someone has identified as being from 1889. Could my one be from about 1910 too, before skirts started getting shorter?

If you've got a better idea, either from your knowledge of underwear history or access to a pattern dating resource, I'd be really interested to know!



The sewing instructions are... erm... brief! (And I thought 1950s instructions were bad...) The pattern pieces themselves are in extraordinarily good condition. The markings on the pattern are perforated rather than printed, so at first glance it looks like you're opening some blank pieces of paper.


I paid... actually, I'm not going to tell you how much I paid for it! Take a guess... how much do you think I paid for it, and how much do you think it's worth? I'll reveal all in good time, promise. Not that I'm planning on selling it... unless someone has a burning desire to acquire it for their collection. Even though it's a simple slip, and I probably won't use it, I can't stop looking at the fine illustrations and the text font. A real piece of sewing history in my hands :)

27 comments:

  1. I think the Pattern is from around 1910.
    I have a vintage book (Die Welt der Frau = Woman´s World) from 1910 which has pattern reviews and there is a similar one in it.

    Greetings from Austria
    Patrizia

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  2. Hi Tilly, it sure does look like a 1910ish pattern. Raterh gorgeous too. I wouldn't be surprised if you paid 50GBP for it. I would - it's pretty special!

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  3. The "pigeon" bust looks Edwardian to me, too. I think this would be anything from 1900-1920. Great find!

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  4. My first thought was around 1910 too, purely because it looked similar to a lot of the costumes in Titanic

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  5. Never sewn unprinted before? ('S ok, I hadn't until last month) The thing is, the earlier the pattern is, the less instructions there actually were because women were expected to know how to sew. Since this is a slip or "Foundation garment" I'd say it's anywhere from the late 1800s to 1920ish. And if you paid more than 20 -25 bucks for it, you were had. I've seen patterns from as early as 1860 for that.

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  6. I couldn't begin to guess what you paid for it or when it was from, although it does have an Edwardian look to it.

    Nevertheless, it's fantastic! I love getting hold of things like that! There is something about that font ... no idea what it is but it's lovely! I love old books that use that font as well, regardless of what the subject is!

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  7. That is an amazing piece of history. Whatever you paid for it, if it makes you happy it was worth it. But I don't see you as someone who's reckless with money (!) so I'm going to say ten bucks!

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  8. No guess; I don't know that much about early 20th century fashion. But it's sooo very cool. Are you going to try to make it?

    And if you want, I can probably find some resources for you to really be sure.

    Great find!

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  9. Wow - what an interesting find. I have a few patterns from before the 1930's but nothing like this. Can't wait to see what else you find out about it.

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  10. ugg that would be no help not on help. Typos

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  11. The shape of the lady on the front does look very Edwardian, but apart from that I haven't a clue I'm afraid. I've got a 1930's pattern that I constantly get out and gaze at, purely because it's so old and precious so I can totally understand why you have to keep looking at it. It doesn't matter what you paid for it, it's a fab addition to your collection and a fine piece of sewing history. Hoorah. x

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  12. I'm guessing it's to be worn under a sheer dress of 1910-1912 era. My oldest find is a 1932 dress pattern. This one you have is amamzing. One of my favorite time periods of fashion.

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  13. Awesome find! Congratulations on your acquisition! I would guess it's from 1900-1920 too. It really looks like the fashions from that era, but I'm no expert. I'm envious!

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  14. No matter when it was made or how much you paid for it (I'm thinking you got it for a steal, but will keep checking back for an update), the dresses are simply stunning -- nice find! :)

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  15. Becky V. from NC30 June 2011 14:37

    I'm guessing 1914-1915. My mom is theater costumer and that seems to be the time period... Lets see??? with such a delicious find I would think it wouldn't come cheap, but for fun I'm gonna say...$7.00, why you ask?? That is the first number that came to my mind :)

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  16. pretty! i love finding stuff like this, mostly for the illustrations & typeface :)

    i am gonna echo everyone here and assume it's from 1910~ish. it looks very titantic to me. and i wouldn't be surprised at all if you got it for next to nothing - a couple dollars or less!

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  17. The patent must refer to the pattern. You can't patent company. They renewed the patent. Possibly they modified it. Those are the dates.

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  18. Well, at least it seems it's not earlier than 1903 based on some quick online research I did. I'm an architectural historian and worked in NYC; I inputted the 12 Vandam address in the NY Times archival database and found a Dec. 2, 1903 article where a man fell to his death (yikes!) from "the new building of the Butterick Publishing Company". The building is still there if you look at Google Street View, 15 stories! :)

    Anyway, here's the NYT article, bottom of the page, 2nd column. I love doing research like this, especially reading old newspapers, dorky me!
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B00E5DE1539E433A25751C0A9649D946297D6CF

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  19. Hi Tilly!

    Glad to have found your blog last night! Anyway - I have a bit of Costume History background so I would say it's circa 1880s to 1910.

    Seems to be the kind of slip made for skirts/dresses with bustles laid on top - or the tubular shape could be underlayer for the straighter/more tubular shapes of the 1900's - 1910 era.

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  20. I think the pattern is from around 1910, it is extremely similar to some that my great grandma had in her stash of patterns. As for how much you paid for it, that really depends on where you live or were traveling to because prices are different depending upon region. I'm lucky enough to live near some really awesome antique stores that offer vintage patterns for as little as $2 each. But whatever you paid for it, as long as you are happy with it is all that matters! :)

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  21. What a beautiful piece of sewing history indeed! I'm curious to know how much you paid for it, be it little or lots, you've acquired something special ;o)

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  22. Fabulous find!! wow! It is absolutely from around 1910- that pigeon breast was very popular then. You can see the different silhouettes here on Tuppence Ha'penny's blog: http://tuppencehapennyvintage.blogspot.com/2011/06/abreast-of-developments-changing-shape.html
    I am jealous of your find!

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  23. Ooh how fascinating, I have never seen a pattern that old. Reminds me of a slip for a Gibson girl.1900 to 1910 I would say..

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  25. Prior to 1910, petticoats were fuller, since skirts were more A-line at that time. After 1914/15, petticoats were shorter since skirt hemlines began to rise at that time. This pattern dates between 1910-1914, and I'd feel most confident with something around 1912, give or take a year. Think Titanic.

    It is a beautiful pattern, and quite an excellent find! :)

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  26. it's fantastic! I love to find a 100 yr old patterns. I know it might be disadvantage to not able to match or attachment for sewing. There is so interesting!!

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  27. This is similar to your pattern. Its from 1912.
    https://vpll.3dcartstores.com/1912-Ladies-Princess-Slip_p_493.html

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