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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MaryW
Date: 07-24-2007, 12:25 PM (1 of 25)
Why are vintage patterns so popular now? Really, I don't understand it. Some people look drop dead gorgeous in anything. Those I can understand but it seems everyone is just dying to get their hands on vintage patterns.
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User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: Addicted2Sewing
Date: 07-24-2007, 05:01 PM (2 of 25)
I just recently bought a 1975 childrens apron pattern, which said it was Vintage. I don't know anything about Vintage patterns, I just liked the style of that apron lol.
User: Addicted2Sewing
Member since: 02-01-2007
Total posts: 133
From: Sancin
Date: 07-24-2007, 05:41 PM (3 of 25)
I have wondered the same thing, Mary. I wonder if it is because of the elegant lines (aprons?). When I recall my earlier sewing I usually sewed Vogue patterns and rich fabrics. And was very careful. Now, because of new fabrics and techniques as well as social changes, I tend to look for quick and easy designs and throw away soon fabrics. Perhaps my age and changed shape has something to do with it. Or perhaps it is that some fabrics seem industructable and I get bored wearing them rather than wearing them out. Fitting and intricate sewing didn't seem to last as long as looser designs and zig zagged seams and I handled my clothing more carefully. Fine woolens certainly aren't handled the same way as polyester mixes. :nervous:

Further, I recall dressing up a lot more in the past. I always wore a suit to church and now usually just a pair of slacks and a clean shirt or sweater. Out to dinner meant a type of cocktail dress and a dinner dance called for a long or at least luxury fabric dress. When going out for the evening one dressed 'to the nines' as it was a special occasion. Now every business and/or event is open all the time. I also live in a different type of city than I did in the past, though visiting large cities I lived in in the past I notice changes.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: Sherri
Date: 07-24-2007, 06:50 PM (4 of 25)
I like Vintage patterns. Because in my experience the lines are better, the fit is better and the instructions are better. My dd looks very good in Vintage (like 60's/70's) styles. And guess what for me they are cheaper.

So Yes I do go a little Vintage Crazy every once and awhile.

My website
User: Sherri
Member since: 02-07-2001
Total posts: 357
From: MartySews2
Date: 07-24-2007, 07:15 PM (5 of 25)
Because people are craving "the good ole days" when crime was lower; people dressed better; and life was a lot more simpler than it is today; has created a niche for vintage patterns. Pattern directions were more straight-forward and the styles are classics that endure the test of time. I think folks seek an "Ozzie and Harriet" lifestyle in today's world of busyness. Just some thoughts.
User: MartySews2
Member since: 05-03-2007
Total posts: 293
From: MissTaraTara
Date: 07-24-2007, 09:24 PM (6 of 25)
I don't know much about vintage patterns. I will, however, confess that last year I won a lot of vintage children's patterns (100+).:bg: So far I've only completed 2 items ( but they have been fun to use; naturally I chose easy styles. I hope to use more of the others before my daughter outgrows them.:smile: I have yet to start sewing for myself so I don't have any vintage adult styles.
User: MissTaraTara
Member since: 01-24-2006
Total posts: 227
From: paroper
Date: 07-24-2007, 11:31 PM (7 of 25)
It seems to me that we are seeing the best designs of the late 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's, even a few 70's. I'm loving it!!!! My daughter went absolutely crazy over a dress that I'm currently making is a simplicity sun dress with a jacket. She saw it in plaid but the store didn't have any so I bought red polka dots. When it is finished it won't look all that different from Lucy. I'm planning to have it ready for Sunday.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: DorothyL
Date: 07-24-2007, 11:36 PM (8 of 25)
I'm with Pam. I love the era. The fashion, the music, the movies....
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: PaulineG
Date: 07-25-2007, 02:42 AM (9 of 25)
I've got quite a few but I have to admit the main reason I buy them is price - 20c or 50c each. Having said that I will only buy ones I really like even though they're cheap. I might only like one aspect of a pattern (sleeves or somthing) but I figure if I tuck it away I'll be able to use part of the pattern or instructions.

However not all of the instructions are better. I opened one some time ago (clown costume) that had no printing on the tissue itself at all - only a few holes punched out and very little in the way of instructions. At that stage I had even less idea what I was doing so it went straight back in the drawer. If I needed to I'd probably give it a go now.

If there's such a craze for them maybe I should start an ebay business selling them off. :bg: The profit margins would be good.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: grandma C
Date: 07-25-2007, 08:56 AM (10 of 25)
I agree that the clothing from bygone eras had beautiful flowing lines and in the ventage patterns women are encouraged to be women in all their glory and shapely beauty. I just wish I still had my shape to wear them :re: :bg: but I think I have even found a pattern or two that might work for me to disguise my flaws and enhance my strengths.:up: It has prencess seams.
User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: paroper
Date: 07-25-2007, 09:35 AM (11 of 25)
People do quite well selling the older patterns on E-Bay. I've got a fortune in the garage! You should check out the pricing!!! They don't usually go for 50 cents there!

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: weezyrider
Date: 07-25-2007, 10:12 AM (12 of 25)
I think a lot of this is a critique on the designers. Also on sewing techniques included on patterns. I won't touch anything before the 70's since I don't care for dressing up - but I don't want the opposite either! Thrift stores seem to have quite a few of these patterns.

User: weezyrider
Member since: 08-19-2003
Total posts: 218
From: MartySews2
Date: 07-25-2007, 12:29 PM (13 of 25)
Out of the Ashes Collectibles is one vintage pattern site that offers them for $7 & up. Quite pricey in my opinion. However, I've been able to get some great sewing books for a lot less than that. Guess I'm vintage as some of the 70's patterns in this website are in my stash in the attic. LOL!! :re: :re:
User: MartySews2
Member since: 05-03-2007
Total posts: 293
From: Sancin
Date: 07-25-2007, 08:38 PM (14 of 25)
Belinda - what a hoot - I was thinking the same thing about my body and the fit. Most of the vintage patterns that are on the vintage pattern sites don't seem vintage to me - simply my old ones. I hung on to many for many years and as Pauline does, used some of the pieces for design pieces. A couple of years ago my daughter threatened to disown me in my old age if I didn't get rid of some things. Of course, you know the rest of the story - I looked for them after I got rid of them. :yawn: I think I may have to clarify with her what she considers old as she is definitely not around much now! :sick:

I recall there used to be more pattern pieces in the vintage patterns and I learned a great deal sewing with them. After years of using different and many pieces I am more comfortable making patterns or pattern pieces. I do enjoy the trips down memory lane when visiting the sale sites. :cool:
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: EmaCon
Date: 07-26-2007, 04:05 AM (15 of 25)
I agree with you Mary. Vintage patterns, just as they are, seem dated to me and are not particularly appealing. It would be more interesting for me if designers took some vintage details and updated them in some innovative way.
But don't worry, like all trends, this will also pass.
User: EmaCon
Member since: 07-28-2006
Total posts: 67
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 07-26-2007, 04:55 PM (16 of 25)
I had to laugh when I read that about the pattern pieces with only holes punched and no markings.. Way back in the dark ages when I first learned to sew.. (40's) some of the pattern companies were still marking the pieces with holes only ! ! ! I remember them, but I like the printed word a whole lot better.. The holes were different sizes and shapes to designate the various functions they covered.. I have 20-35 patterns that I have saved since the late 50's and on till now that are really vintage.. Every once in a while, I just look at them for laughs and memories.. Maybe I should sell them.. Reckon I could get rich ??? LOL..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: Sancin
Date: 07-26-2007, 05:41 PM (17 of 25)
are not particlularly appealing. ...... took some vintage details and updated them in some innovative way.
But don't worry, like all trends, this will also pass.
Well - we have already had the big shoulders renewal, which I was glad to see move on again. As someone with shoulders like a football player, I always found them ugly Are shorter skirts a renewal of the mini's? I wonder what is next?

FYI Over on Thread's Gathering discussion list there is a vintage dressing gown discussion ongoing.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: temom
Date: 07-28-2007, 06:21 PM (18 of 25)
I was given a bunch of vintage patterns not too long ago on freecycle. The person had advertised patterns, and asked people to reply with what sizes and types they would like. I had no idea they were vintage. I was gifted a bunch of them, & I fell in love with some of them! They were cute and DIFFERENT than what is available now.
Unfortunately, my daughter quickly outgrew my favorites, and I didn't feel that I had the skill to alter them, so I passed them on to someone here.
I felt that they were a fun bit of history, and wanted to pass them along to someone else who would enjoy them. Also, since they had been given to me, I felt that they should go without strings to the new recipient.
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: Bama
Date: 07-28-2007, 10:59 PM (19 of 25)
I love looking at vintage patterns. There's not that many I would actually make,(maybe 2 or 3 that I have) but I do find them interesting. I've framed some of the envelopes to hang in my sewing room. I bought another big bag full of them at the thrift store a couple of weeks ago. Couldn't resist them for $1.50 a bag. There's a dress pattern from the 40s (no pattern company name, was a mail order pattern) that has no printing on the pattern pieces. The holes punched in them are different letters for each piece.
It's interesting to me how the sizes have changed. This dress is a size 14 with a size 34 bust. :shock:
I love that the pattern companies are making retro patterns now. :up:

Theresa, That was so nice of you to pass them on.
User: Bama
Member since: 03-21-2000
Total posts: 2116
From: blackie
Date: 07-29-2007, 12:15 AM (20 of 25)
I have never seen a vintage pattern I wanted to sew. As far as "the good old days", bosh. There was plenty going on back then that wasn't too fun and I'm glad to be out of this kind of social mindset (1955):

To my 30-year old mind the times may have seemed simpler in retrospect but people have always been complex.

I do notice vintage patterns are "in" and I am curious - but not curious enough to try my not-too-advanced personal sewing skills out on them. I am still trying to get my mind around sewing and wearing something that isn't jeans and t-shirt. When I start having fitting successes I know I will be more brave.

Of course, my current project IS a Victorian corset - for Halloween - and I guess that's pretty dern vintage.
see the mundane life of a housewife.
User: blackie
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 594
From: bridesmom
Date: 08-01-2007, 09:55 PM (21 of 25)
I'm not too hot on the vintage patterns either, but it is fun looking at them as mom used to make alot of those 50's styles for my older sister.
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: sewmuchfun
Date: 08-03-2007, 03:45 PM (22 of 25)
I have a bunch of the advance patterns with no writing on them. The holes actually denote a letter that corresponds with the picture of the pattern piece on the instructions. When I buy I usually buy children's or classic styles similar to chanel. They do not go for 50 cents more like 15-20 dollars a pieces if uncut. They are very expensive. I happen to find a bunch of infant and doll patterns that are just classic daydresses and christening gowns.. that's what I'm doing this afternoon ironing the pattern pieces to interfacing to preserve them. The link is a dress from a pattern that my Mother used to make me and my 2 sisters a dress in 1963. I made this one for a little friend of mine.

Love vintage patterns!!



User: sewmuchfun
Member since: 07-22-2005
Total posts: 67
From: ddreev
Date: 08-03-2007, 03:55 PM (23 of 25)
That dress is darling. I love the old children and baby patterns. Most of them are so classic.

Dorothy D.
Dorothy D.
User: ddreev
Member since: 05-29-2007
Total posts: 69
From: mommyx4
Date: 08-04-2007, 09:38 PM (24 of 25)
My 16 year old daughter loves the "new" vintage patterns that some of the companies are now carrying. She likes to wear things that are different from what everyone else is wearing. I made her prom dress from a pattern that was based on a gown from the 50's for her prom and she received many compliments. (she also wore this gown with her great grandmother's coat which actually was from the 50's) It's nice to see some real classics coming back.
User: mommyx4
Member since: 07-11-2007
Total posts: 3
From: Cathie.Tombs
Date: 08-07-2007, 05:03 PM (25 of 25)
I grew up with vintage, as my mother had her costume books that I poured over, and, my Grandmother, born in 1878, had a lot of beautifully made older clothes for me to fondel and touch. I think it is fun to be our own designer, and pick and choose whatever suits our shape and fancy. It is empowering, and fun. I have a way to go with fit, but the design possibilities are really exciting. As for cost, I generally pay 25 cents each at thrift shops. Also, some Designer Vogues "borrow" and transform from the best of what has been created before. Lots of fun!!!!!!
User: Cathie.Tombs
Member since: 08-27-2006
Total posts: 44
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