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 :)