#VintagePatternADay – Day Four

Today’s lovely vintage pattern is McCall’s 9364 from 1953. This pattern is for a sleek misses’ dress, jacket and dickey. The dress has a long, straight skirt, belt and front buttons.

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Suggested fabrics for the dress are linen, lightweight wool, shantung, cotton broadcloth and gabardine. For the jacket, gingham, linen or denim are suggested. The dickey/bib should be done in linen or pique.

I adore the gloves, simple flap purse and solid colored flats, as well as the pale blue shade of the dress, which works well with the blue and white plaid of the jacket.

Which view is your favorite?

#VintagePatternADay – Day Three

Today’s #vintagepatternaday is a mail order pattern for a ladies’ vest, top or jerkin with a nipped waist and button detail. It is not dated, but my best guess is late 1940’s/early 1950’s.

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I’d love to make this in view B in a bold plaid, or view A as a solid-colored vest over a cute top. Miraculously, this pattern appears to have never been used or even ever unfolded. All instructions are included. I love the model’s neck scarf and the thin sweater she’s wearing underneath.

How would you style this top?

#VintagePatternADay – Day Two

Today’s pattern is a beautiful Advance pattern (number 5113) from 1949.

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This lovely dress has a belted waist, long skirt with or without pockets and offers a collar or boatneck. The collared version also has buttoned short sleeves and front buttons. The belt can be in the same color as the dress or contrasting, likewise with the cuffs and collar. This is luckily in a 42″ bust size and 45″ hip size, so only a bit of modification will be needed to size it up to my size.

The hairstyle is very late 40’s – so pretty! The dress could be made in different fabrics for more of a house dress vs. an evening/going out dress.

What fabric would you make this dress in?

#VintagePatternADay – Day One

You guys, I did a thing!

I bought a mystery box of vintage patterns from a lovely woman on Facebook Marketplace.

Look at this treasure trove:

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This box is chock full of vintage patterns from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. They were obviously collected by someone who took great care of them, as each pattern is in a plastic sleeve or envelope and all pattern pieces seem to be included. Many are not even cut. This is, quite literally, the JACKPOT of vintage patterns, and I want to share them with all of you.

My plan is to post a #vintagepatternaday to showcase the beauty of these garments. There are so many I plan to make, and some I will end up parting with. Those I plan to sell via my Etsy shop. I will attempt to include some historical notes for each pattern.

Here’s a little tease of the types of patterns contained in this box:

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My nine year old son has already requested the devil suit for Halloween this year!

This gorgeous McCall’s pattern is from 1961 and includes two versions of clown costumes with hats and a devil costume with cape, tail and hood.

What do you think I’ll find in this box?

My Vintage Pattern Collection Pt. 2 – 1960’s

Along with my love for 1930’s and 1940’s fashion, I absolutely adore the clean lines of 1960’s fashions also. Jackie O. dresses, skirts and jackets, late 60’s minidresses and a-line swing dresses are flattering on nearly every body type and easy to sew. Here are some of my favorites:

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This gorgeous dress or dress and jacket set from 1962 features a belt, edged sleeves and neckline and a knee-length straight skirt.

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McCall’s 5810 is a dress with two skirt variations from 1961. Both have a wide belt at the waist. One features sleeves a bit longer, while one variation offers a full skirt and the other a straight skirt.

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This pattern, obviously from the later 60’s (1967, to be exact), is an a-line minidress. There is a sleeveless option and one with short sleeves.

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McCall’s 6947 is a jumper-style dress with an optional belt. The skirt is straight, with a simple bodice as well.

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This gorgeous Vogue dress pattern from 1967 is a classic mod minidress with a variety of neckline and sleeve variations.

Which one of these classic 1960’s pattern is your favorite?

My Vintage Pattern Collection, Pt. 1 – 1930’s and 1940’s

Many many years ago, when I was in middle school, my mom signed me up for one of those craft classes at our local library that introduces you to sewing and using a sewing machine. I made a bag and a pair of sweatpants – crucial in the 80’s, I know. Later, when I was in high school, I took home economics, where I made another bag and learned how to hem and how to patch holes (quite important during the grunge era when everyone was making their own patched jeans).

Fast forward many years and, as a busy wife and mom of three, I realized I didn’t even own a sewing kit to stitch my sons’ scout badges and insignia on their uniforms. I watched the Spanish tv show “The Time in Between” (El tiempo entre costuras) on Netflix, which features a seamstress in Spain, Morocco and Germany in the leadup to World War II. This began my obsession with vintage clothing from this time period. Then my mom bought me a brand new sewing machine for Christmas last year, so I decided to dive back into sewing. But before I could sew, I needed some patterns.

I wanted to work on something simple at first, so I bought a classic straight skirt pattern and some fabric. While working on the skirt, I started researching historic patterns and discovered a whole world of fashion. My favorite time periods, the 1930’s and 1940’s, are full of gorgeous dresses, skirts, suites, blouses and coats. I quickly started amassing quite the collection of vintage patterns.

One of my favorite recent purchases was from Etsy: two reproduction issues of a vintage French fashion and pattern magazine from the 1930’s. The magazine was called Eclair-Coupe Paris, and was a system of dressmaking that involved using a measuring tape, sold separately, that matched your measurements, then sizing up the included patterns according to a system that is explained in the issue. I purchased the Fall and Spring 1935 issues, and the garments are absolutely gorgeous.

I plan to work on one of the straight skirts to see how well the pattern cutting method works before attempting one of the more complicated dresses or coats.

I bought three of Simplicity’s retro reproduction patterns from this time period, which combine the lines of the original garment with the assistance of clear modern instructions. Simplicity 8248 is a 1930’s pattern for a an afternoon or day dress with ruching at the bust, decorative pocket and collar details and puff sleeves. Simplicity 8463 is a 1940’s two-piece dress with a gathered peplum at the waist, and Simplicity 8242 is a 1940’s suit or two-piece dress with a double-button top or jacket with a waist peplum.

Next, I grabbed a few 1940’s vintage patterns from eBay and Etsy:

The first pattern is Hollywood Patterns 805. Hollywood Patterns was created by publishing giant Conde Nast in 1932 to mass-market patterns featuring popular movie and radio stars of the day. Pattern 805 features Brenda Marshall, the star of the Warner Bros. picture “Captains of the Clouds,” released in 1942. It’s a simple shirtdress, with or without pockets, with a belt and decorative neckline.

The second pattern, McCall’s 7204 (ca. 1948), is a simple and pretty cap sleeve dress with or without a belt, while the third is Simplicity 1425 – a one-piece belted dress, with or without a collar. I have not been able to locate a date of publication for this pattern, but it fits in with early to mid 40’s dresses.

My sewing role model is my grandmother, who passed away a few years ago. Growing up, she always had a sewing project going, and sewing makes me remember her and her passion for clothes. Besides sewing her own outfits, she also had a job working at one of Richmond’s downtown department stores in the 1940’s and 1950’s, so she was always wearing the latest styles. My holy grail would be to find a pattern that matches the dress she’s wearing here:

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I’ve seen a lot of peplum suit and dress patterns, but none with the three edges at the waist. If anyone comes across one, please reach out and let me know!