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November 8, 2011

Vintage Patterns – Some of My Favourites

By Andrea

I am a big time pattern collector (some might say that my collection borders on a hoard, hah!)  Combine that with my love of vintage, and you get someone who is a sucker for vintage patterns.  I was trying to impart some organization to my patterns the other day, and I thought I would pull out a few of my faves to share here!

Simplicity 3476

Simplicity 3476 – This pattern is the oldest in my collection – it dates to 1940.  (If you have vintage patterns that you’re looking to date, Cemetarian has a wonderful page here, in addition Vintage Fashion Library has a bit more of a general page here, but they cover some more unusual brands)  I like this pattern because I bought it from a garage sale from the original owner, and it’s such a perfect example of the military-inspired suits that were popular during WWII.


Hollywood B816

Hollywood 816 – This apron pattern dates to 1942, and it is still in it’s unprinted, factory folded condition!  I drew inspiration from this pattern when I did my Retro Ruffled Apron Tutorial, but this apron is for the homemaker who means business, and is ready to get down and dirty with her cooking and cleaning.  I love the fact that it covers everything, it’s really almost like a dress, but it’s still feminine and cute.

Hollywood B668

Hollywood 668 – This is another one dating to 1942, and it’s also still in it’s unprinted, factory folded condition.  I absolutely love this one because it is such a classic style – you could make it up today and it would still look fresh and current.  In fact, it’s on my list of patterns to grade up and sew.

McCall 1082

McCalls 1082 – This one dates to 1943.  I find the illustrations on this one to be so utterly adorable – the babies look like little dolls!  I also find the leggings to be intriguing as they look like they really cover a toddler who’s probably going to get dirty otherwise.  I think I might take a crack at them for for my daughter come spring.

Simplicity 4219

Simplicity 4219 – This one might actually be the pride of my collection!  This pattern dates to 1953.  Most people seem to think that dressing dogs is a modern concept, however this pattern proves otherwise.  I also love it because I design and sew coats for my two chihuahuas, so they are definitely going to be getting some vintage reproduction coats!

Simplicity 6565

Simplicity 6565 – This one dates to 1966. I love this pattern because it’s adorable, a classic baby style, and has a funny story.  I bought this pattern when our fearless mid-century blog leader, Ruth, sent me a link to it on facebook.  My mom saw the link, and said that she used the exact same pattern to make me a dress when I was little!  Simplicity must have produced this one for a long time (or reproduced it), since I wasn’t born until 1978.  However, it’s really not uncommon for pattern companies to produce classic styles for years and years, or reproduce them.

Simplicity 6495

Simplicity 6495 – This pattern also dates to 1966.  This was a fairly recent thrift store acquisition, but when I saw it, I HAD to have it.  Why?  Because, when I saw it, I instantly thought of this dress that Peggy wore on Mad Men last season:

If I make the view with the short sleeves, tuck the shirt in, do the skirt in the two colours, and add the button details, it would be a dead ringer, I think!

What about you, readers?  Do you have any favourite vintage patterns?

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18 Responses to Vintage Patterns – Some of My Favourites

  1. Betty Crafter Reply

    November 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Ok. The dog coats are beyond awesome. I’ve been looking for knit patterns for the chihuahua we adopted this summer, but now I think I’m on the hunt for some sewing ones as well!
    And you must make the Mad Men dress. *drool*

    • Andrea Reply

      November 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      OK, Betty, I totally need to see some pictures of your Chi! Chihuahuas are totally my favourite breed. I have two, and being in Canada, the poor guys definitely get cold here, so I made sure that they are very well clothed.

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    November 8, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Wow, you have some really awesome patterns there Andrea! I love them all. And yes, I agree with Betty, you MUST make that Mad Men dress!!!!!! 🙂

  3. RetroRuth Reply

    November 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Andrea! Those dog coats are just too much! And yes, you MUST make that dress!

    Ha! I am so glad that little dress pattern worked out for you. As soon as I saw it, I thought you would love it. 🙂

  4. Andrea Reply

    November 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I am thinking I will need to do a post on the Mad Men dress once I finally tackle it – does it sound like something you guys would want to see?

    • Betty Crafter Reply

      November 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      Andrea, what do you think about doing a sew-along for the mad men dress? I’d be interested…. I’d just have to find that pattern!

      • Andrea Reply

        November 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm

        Hey – that’s a pretty good idea, Betty! If anyone else is interested in a sew along, leave a comment here!

        • RetroRuth Reply

          November 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm

          Oh my gosh that sounds SO FUN! Yes! Let’s do it!

          • Andrea

            November 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm

            Sounds good! There are some other similar patterns out there that could work as well. I’ll get an intro post ready for my next posting, to give people time to acquire a pattern and get ready!

  5. Pingback: Vintage Patterns on No Pattern Required! — Sew What?

  6. deb Reply

    November 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Love them all!!

    • Andrea Reply

      November 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks, Deb!

  7. Cynthia at Interior Design Hound Reply

    November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Love, love, LOVE the Dog pattern! Dogs have been pampered & wearing clothes for a very long time. Pet boutiques were all the rage in Paris & France in the 1800’s and the Dog clothing was custom tailored. Woof!

    • Andrea Reply

      November 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Hey – that is a really cool bit of knowledge, Cynthia! I had no idea that dressing dogs went back so far, very interesting! 🙂

  8. Camille Reply

    November 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I am seriously coveting that ruffled apron pattern. No matter what apron I wear I still get dirty somewhere. Thanks for sharing these awesome patterns.

    • Andrea Reply

      November 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks, Camille! I am thinking I may have to try out one of these full coverage aprons sometime – for some jobs, they are definitely needed, I think!

  9. Betty Crafter Reply

    November 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Ok, my pattern is purchased! There were a couple more on etsy too. I’ll start thinking about fabric choices! Whee!!

  10. Lynn Reply

    November 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I have a huge vintage patter collection too. Mostly kids patterns. My mother in law gave me all of her patterns a few years ago. She was quite a seamstress back in the day and had some classic patterns from the 40s and 50s. I would love to have seen the garments she made from them.

    I have both of the kids patterns that you show here. I have always liked the cover on that toddler one.

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