17 August 2011

My Vintage Pattern Collection

I thought it was about time I took a little inventory of my vintage sewing patterns. I've collected these over the last year or so from charity shops, antique shops, eBay and as gifts from friends. I've dated as many as I can, but there are a few for which I haven't yet identified years - if you know the answer, please share.

I've sewn up relatively few of them, but I love just looking at them just as much as making them - holding a piece of sewing history in my hands and thinking about the people who have owned it before me, what stories may be behind the pencil marks and scissor snips on the pattern pieces. Aren't they dreamy?

Simplicity 3263 (1950)

McCalls 8861 (1952)

Simplicity 4255 (1953)

Le Patron de Paris (?)

Simplicity 1011 (1954)

Advance 8622 (1957?)

Advance 9050 (1959)

McCalls 6120 (1960?)

Simplicity 6162 (1965)


Simplicity 7032 (1967)

Butterick 3030 (?)

Butterick 3354 (?)


Style 2587 (?)

Simplicity 7341 (1976)


Simplicity 7915 (1977)

Woman 432 (?)

And finally, the oldest of the bunch...

Standard Fashion Co. 7661 (c.1910)

[Soundtrack: 'Honey Bee' by Muddy Waters]

31 comments:

  1. These are great! I particularly love the top one and sepcifically the version with the collar! Like you I have many vintage patterns and I too enjoy looking at them as much as sewing them up *sigh*!

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  2. Hey! There's that pattern that I bought in Mablethorpe and used as a giveaway. Ooh, it brings back loads of memories (and the smell of the sea) just looking at it.

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  3. Oh I especially love that Patron de Paris - what a beauty. There's something about vintage sewing pattern envelopes that just make my heart jump. In fact, I just pulled out my collection last night and had a "look" at them. What pleasure! xoxo, Sunni

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  4. Really fun collection! So many nice gems. I think the wraparound blouse in the 1953 pattern is particularly fun and whimsical.

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  5. These are gorgeous. I love the first one and the third one. I agree with you about just holding them. It's especially cool when the original owner wrote little notes on the pattern envelopes. :)

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  6. Thanks for sharing those--they are fantastic.

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  7. Ooh Advance 9050 is my favourite (the red version of course!) I'm always getting my vintage patterns out and playing with them, I love them so. I get a lot of pleasure from simply reading the instructions and sighing at the cover pictures. x

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  8. such a lovely collection.
    I especially like the last one from 1910 talk about a piece of fashion history.

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  9. oh my god this patterns are so adorable, especially the blouse with the big bow and the dress with the sailor collar, where did you get them? maybe i might have to look at ebay, i actually want to create a dress with sailorcollar but couldn´t find any pattern yet:(
    love and kiss,mary

    http://maryloucinnamon.blogspot.com/

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  10. these are really wonderful! the advanced pattern half way down with the tops that have buttons up the back is my favourite, so cute! x

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  11. They're all gorgeous. And I just bought a copy of the first one a few weeks ago myself, that's so funny.

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  12. Oh my goodness how lush are these? My favourites: Le Patron de Paris, McCalls 6120, Simplicity 6162 and look at the Butterick 3354! Look at that ruffled neck?! Simply gorgeous.

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  13. What lovely patterns! What's really fascinating is how the sizing has changed over the years. Just scanning through, a size 14 seems to have started off as a bust 32", then becomes 34" and then 36"! I don't own any vintage patterns myself (yet!) but I'd be interested to know if they include actual garment measurements, or the amount of ease that is included in the pattern.

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  14. The 1977 skirt pattern is the one I had to make for my school sewing project. I made it up in a print that looked like embroidered denim with pockets all over it - very chic at the time. Memories... :)

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  15. i'm so jealous! all these patterns are adorable! (:

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  16. Wow, so many pretty ones! I'm with you—some I may never make (I rescued a Woman's Day pattern in a size far, far too big for me once just because it was gorgeous), but they're a joy to look at. The writing of previous owners makes them even more precious to me...

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  17. I just love the envelopes. They're so chic - I'm always half-tempted to buy them just to frame them.

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  18. The shirt with the buttons up the back is so cool and I love your Simplicity 7341.... so much in fact, that seeing the dress you made, I went and found a very similar version to make myself one!

    You should add your name to the pattern envelop that you use in your banner, to keep the tradition going :)

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  19. These are great, thanks for sharing. Like you, I have more patterns than I know what to do with, but they are so dear to me, I would never part with them. And you can learn so much about technique from the instructions.

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  20. You have many treasures there, but the Standard Fashion Co. is new to me. I have never seen one. Thanks for posting it!

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  21. What a gorgeous collection. I also enjoy just leafing through my vintage pattern collection - it's the perfect source for endless daydreaming!

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  22. Tilly, you have great patterns. I have found newspaper pieces in my patterns before. They are fun to read. I guess they used the newspaper as tracing paper. A lot of my patterns have ladies names on them with sewing details and instructions in pencil. It's fun for sure.

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  23. Ooh, they're so lovely. I know what you mean about not sewing from them, though. I have a huge collection (which you've just inspired me to pull out and document!) and just having them feels like enough. So many beautiful things have to be inspiring, I think :)

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  24. They're gorgeous, Tilly! I recently made a thingy from clear pvc (kinda like a shoe pocket hanger) so I could have all my vintage patterns on show. I've hung it on the wall beside my sewing desk. It's so much nicer than having them stored away in a box!

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  25. What a beautiful collection! I love the Advance 8622 blouse pattern... I have a thing for back buttoned blouses.

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  26. Wow I wanna make them all! Loving the 50s dresses and pretty blouses :)

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  27. you are causing me bankruptcy! :) So many lovely projects on your blog and all these patterns are great. I have a list of my lovely's on my blog. Have a look if you have time. love your blog! Hope you do not mind but I have linked you on my following page for others to find you.

    http://elationcreations.wordpress.com/places-to-buy-fabric-and-supplies/

    happy sewing elle

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  28. I always love "peeking" at another sewer's vintage collection; it's always so neat to see what treasures they've found! You have quite a few; some of those mid-century dresses are gorgeous; and that Edwardian pattern is beautiful.

    I think one of the things that draws me to collecting (erm... amassing!) vintage patterns is the history aspect. It's a connection to a personal history; not a big, overarching text book history. I always wonder what sort of lady bought the pattern, what she wanted it for--did she ever make it? The best are ones with names written on the front, or little notes slipped inside the envelope! My favorite is one I picked up last year that has a note on the front about making the garment for a lady with adjustments to be made; I'm assuming either a dressmaker bought it or a friend who was willing to sew for another! ;)

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  29. They are indeed dreamy. I could look and dream at vintage patterns all day. I have only just started buying and making. Thought the buying of patterns is far outweighing the making of them!

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  30. Ahhh I have that first one and I wanted to make the view in white, with the cute collar, but when I opened it there were only instructions inside!! So sad...

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  31. I am really just getting my vintage pattern collection off the ground, but I agree. They are just as much fun to have as a collection, but I can't wait to sew my first one. I took a peek at the directions and was thrilled that they made total sense. Sewing is a great connection to the past.

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