Tag Archives: sewing patterns

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.

thrifty leather and fur

Ahh yeah, the eighties are back and with it- lots of high school memories, good and bad fashion ideas and hairdo’s– but really what era doesn’t have a fashion foul mixed in there somewhere? (If I never see low waisted pants on a person doing anything but just standing up- it will be too soon.) We sealed the deal on a recent trip to the thrift store with leather and suede cut right from the pages of 1985.
My now high school daughter is all about high waisted, pencil skirts and is thrilled with this leather find.

It’s feeling very familiar… so I searched through my patterns and sure enough…

…from my pattern collection, circa 1986. I made this skirt in high school, not in leather though- loved it, wore it until the zipper wore out. (I might also have been drawn to the hairdo featured i this pattern as well.)

Couldn’t pass this fur stole over- for $2, it will be incorporated into my wardrobe this winter when the snow flies.

I think it was nostalgia that drew me to this suede skirt- made one just like it back in the day. Once again, it’s going to feel great with a pair of boots and a soft sweater when winter comes.

Anyone remember the flounce?

Look, here’s the pattern from the similar one I made in 1987. I specifically remember losing the skirt, left it at a hair show and never saw it again- long sad story that ends with me getting grounded for a long time and living with a really bad, super lame haircut.

I made both of these shirts as well, I was a sucker for Vogue patterns, glutton for punishment.

I couldn’t pass this up either… I can’t believe I’ve never had a copy of this 1976 Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing- the sewing bible- before now.

gay plaid fruit appliqués

On Saturday my mother-in-law dropped by a pile of crafting and sewing goods that she no longer wanted and even a few things that she inherited from her mother. I’ve just begun the ‘Christmas morning’ activity of sorting through all of the ‘gifts’ she’s passed onto me– eternally grateful I’m the only one in the family that cares about this sort of thing. A gift like this is better than any Christmas if you ask me.
20120604-130920.jpgThere are loads of embroidery, quilt and crafty patterns from the 1980′s and beyond (I’ll get to those later) but the most intriguing visually, and the oldest is a Simplicity applique pattern from 1946, I want to frame the pattern and hang it in the kitchen- and see who pays attention to the fine print.

The inside actual pattern piece has never been used, I should make some fabric on Spoonflower with the sheet, it’s so pretty in it’s entirety.

By the way, don’t you think the word ‘motif’ is under used and appreciated in these times? Don’t be afraid to bring it back. Here’s the definition, so we can all sound smart:

mo·tif   [moh-teef]


1.a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.
2.a distinctive and recurring form, shape, figure, etc., in a design, as in a painting or on wallpaper.
3.a dominant idea or feature: the profit motif of free enterprise.
1840–50;  < French; see motive