Category Archives: vintage

vintage costume patterns and ideas

As I have been organizing my collection of sewing patterns, I came across quite a few vintage costume patterns I’ve managed to collect over the years.  If you’ve got an eye for detail, here are a few 1970’s and 1980’s treasures to feast upon this Halloween week:clown costume 1975I made a clown costume a few years ago, by sewing together a bunch of bright silky scarves my mother-in-law had given me. It turned out great, and made loose enough, warm clothes can be worn underneath the costume for those in colder climates. Some good (slightly creepy) but simple clown makeup shown above as well.

vintage cheerleader costumeThe classic cheerleader, baton twirler, Jan and Marsha Brady short skirt or dress pattern. Ice skates, roller skates… oh the memories come flooding back from the days I dreamed of being all of the above.

hippie shirt patternOh yes, the hippie shirt. Jazzed up in so many different ways, don’t overlook the turtleneck option, subtle collegiate.

ballerina costume pattern 1975Classic ballerina, sparkly ribbons and rainbows, for Halloween or everyday.

kids cowboy costumeBasic cowboy and indian looks. I have a very easy indian vest tutorial that looks like the cowboy one above and indian headband tutorial for those in the market.

poodle skirt with tractors The poodle skirt, with tractors. Which means that you can really put whatever picture you wish on the bottom and it’ll work… especially if your waist looks as small as the gals in the pattern picture.  (google search:  “where can I find a corset”)

barbie doll clothes patternSo many possibilities here… for barbies. It’s so not fair, Barbies have it all (a dream house, Corvette, closets full of clothes, great hair….) including their own line of patterns.

1980's gunnie sax patternI think I had this outfit, or at least I wished I did in my 80’s childhood. Just go back and watch Say AnythingSixteen Candles or any teen beat 80’s movie to see this ensemble in action. Denim, lace and ruffles all readily available at any local thrift shop.

princess/angel/witch costumesThe easily transferrable princess, witch, angel, nightgown robe garment. With the right fabric and add-ons this costume can be reinvented every year. Just a few last minute ideas thrown your way. I hope your costumes are coming together this year- ready in time for the big day!

a collection of vintage sewing patterns

sewing patterns 1942- todaySewing patterns are one thing I feel no shame in collecting or hoarding, depending on your point of view. It’s kind of like collecting books, creating a pattern library in an admirable, archivist kind of way. -sigh- I could look through them all day. Oh the history of fashion and unlike a picture on Pinterest, all the tools to make the clothes again are right there, in your hands. Here are a few beauties from my collection of vintage sewing patterns:

1960's American Weekly dress patternIt’s no wonder this was a popular pattern back in the day, with a promise of the tiny waist size pictured, who could resist this pattern?
1960's dress and hat patternA style that’s a bit more forgiving in the waist-size department. I’ve been annoyed to find no dates of publication on any of the vintage Vogue patterns- your guess is a good as mine. But thanks to Mad Men, and the dated and very similar McCall’s pattern below, I’m putting this one at 1963.

1961 vintage dress and hat patternLove everything about this one- and the heat transfer page, with the fruits and flowers all ready to do their thing with a little bit of heat.
heat transfer pattern pageThe heat transfer page is kind of like a treasure map you have to decode in the mirror or with an iron.

1965 mens bathing suit patternMen’s bathing suit and jacket pattern from 1965. Love the possibilities- pocket or no, stripes or plaid, sunglasses on or off (mostly off).

bathing suit pattern 1963Swimming suit pattern, from 1963, with all the extras- shirt, scarf and top AND trimmed in rick rack. So glad the high waisted swimming suit bottoms are making an appearance again.
bathing suit 1963 pattern back

Next, I’ll show off some great Halloween costume patterns- or what can now be considered a ‘costume’… perhaps a little something from the 70’s and 80’s.  For a few more vintage sewing patterns look here.

vintage apron pattern

full apron with fancy necklaceAhh, an apron for women, that could very well be a summer dress because it wraps all the way around in the back, better than many wrap skirts in fact. But, from the looks of it on Linda (the dress form) it’s perhaps at it’s best advantage as kitchen lingerie. Let’s take a closer look at the vintage apron pattern.

McCalls vintage apron patternI love all the pictures, I always do on patterns. They’re always so promising with Barbie doll proportions portrayed in the drawings, how could you not purchase the dream of the impossibly tiny waist and ridiculously long legs- in any decade?

back McCalls apron patternThe year on the pattern is 1975- bell bottoms, feathered hair and wide collared shirts to remember a few treasured looks from that era. As you can see, it’s billed as “Misses’ Butcher Apron” whatever that means.  I knew it would sew up quickly… I had to try it for myself.

full front apronI altered the neckline a bit. I do not enjoy the feel and pull of a tie-behind-the-neck apron. I changed it to fit more like a collar and not be a nuisance on the back of the neck. There are two darts on either side of the bodice area, to fit the fabric better around the bosom.

full wrap apron backFull coverage across the bottom- from hip to hip in fact (hospital gown designers could take a page from this pattern). Much better suited as a wrap dress than apron, although with the semi-fitted bodice area, showing sexy back- why not consider the look for something sassy to wear in the kitchen? With as much (or as little) as you like underneath…  “Misses’ Butcher Apron” I think not!

vintage wood grain fabricThis floral fabric is lawn cotton, a very lightweight, soft and semi-transparent fabric to add to the apron’s flirty appeal. A swatch of wood grain fabric for pockets, blends but doesn’t overwhelm, keeps it down to business, lest you be misunderstood in any way.  Oh and don’t forget the necklace… and heels.

Do I need to stock my etsy shop with this apron, perhaps for Father’s Day?