Vintage Patterns Part 1

I have a bunch of sewing stuff stored under my parent’s house in Hawaii, and I’m gradually moving most of it to NZ.

This most recent trip, I brought back a bunch of vintage patterns which I inherited from my Grandmother or was given by Auntie Artie.

They range in age from the 1940s to the early 1980s, and I can’t wait to make some of them up!

Here is half of what I brought back.  I’ll share the rest next week:

Love the sweetheart neckline, and the idea of making this up in black!

Very Mad Men!

These are kind of ridiculously sweet and housewife-y

I’m not sure about the wrap effect of the one on the left.

I love the idea of the boxy jackets and shirtdresses – but the reality looks terrible on me!

Jumpsuits may be in again, but they STILL aren’t a good idea!

I actually have an outfit that my Grandmother made with the central pattern

Aren’t those pedal pushers and shorts adorable?

Wedding dresses! I have the dress made from the pattern on the left (so adorable!  And in slipper satin and beautifully finished) , and my Grandmother’s dress was made from the central pattern

Don’t you just love the black suit and gloves and tapestry bag?  So chic!

The earliest patterns. I love how the patterns were ‘sponsored’ by radio stars!  And are those overalls adorable or what?

Tee hee. Bell bottoms.

I love the dress on the left so much I’m scared to make it up for fear it won’t be as cute in person.  And how ‘Sound of Music’ is the pattern on the right!?!

I don’t know if I want the dresses as much as I want to be the women on the patterns!


  1. I love the “B” view on the first pattern. I look so good in shirtwaist dresses with full skirts; the skirt plays down my wide hips and thighs.

    I’ll note that I look terrible in boxy jackets too!

  2. Joie de Vivre says

    I love so many of these I can’t even begin to decide which ones to comment on! So gorgeous. I’m awfully taken by the dress in view B on the first one, and definitely want to see you make it, and the one that you fear making in case it doens’t work out – MAKE IT ! It is soo cute and you will make it look incredible. I even think you could make the pockets work, although as I rule I avoid patch pockets. Oh how I lust – I really do love old commercial patterns and the stories of the women who used them that they hint at. It makes me want to abandon paid employment for the day and rush home and get out all my vintage patterns so I can pat them and whisper to them about my plans for the future when I have the drafting and fitting skills to put them to use. We could just lie in the sun together, my patterns and I, and think about the world.

  3. That wrap around dress you’re not sure about was reissued, and I’ve got it. It has a straight underskirt, flared overskirt version. Actually I think the skirt on it is full circle so maybe a variation of the idea. They’re all so cute and I think the one with the ruched bust is divine and you should make it and risk it not being as cute – it may even be cuter! 🙂

  4. What a wonderful collection you lucky lucky thing, I can’t wait to see the rest. I love the black strapped dress in the first pattern what a timeless classic, and the grey dress with ‘that hat’, in the fourth image, what a dream. The thing about these drawings, and this is particularly true of this grey dress, that you have alluded to in your comment of being afraid to make the dress you love because it won’t look as good, is that the artist’s drawings on these patterns are a fantasy, if you really study them, the proportions are actually quite impossible for anyone to attain. Look at the posture of the girls in the 8th image with the pedal pushers, its almost like the Edwardian wasp waist, but with the pelvis protruding, instead of the bust. Interesting, isn’t it, what fashionable posture reveals. Anyway the dress made up will never be the same as the fantasy of the image, but which is better, the artist’s fantasy, or a beautiful dress you can wear. You simply must make it darling, never pull away from the things that you love out of fear. Oh and I love the pale blue shirt dress in the 5th image, love love love lovit. Tell me, would there be any chance of renting a pattern or two off you?

  5. Madame Ornata says

    Oh how precious, so many fantastic patterns to choose from – such treasure. Please don’t hesitate; you would look equally fantastic in any you choose to make, I’ve never seen you in anything that does not look fantastic.
    I like so many but I think top of my list are the early overalls oh so v cute. Grannie’s wedding dress, the grey dress in the last lot (on the right) and the sweetheart neckline one in the first lot. However the sweet housewifey ones, the other two with the wrap around you were not sure about are also strong contenders. And I love bellbottoms. So much choice, what a fabulous dilemma for you.

  6. Good grief what a haul, and in such good condition. You MUST make up the Anne Adams, I’m sure it will be delightful. Please? Pleeeeeeeeeease?

    Boxy coats a no-go for me, either.

  7. These are fab. I’d love to see some of them made up. I always picture myself in nice slim dresses and boxy jackets – unfortunately in reality I look nothing like my imaginary vision!!

  8. Yeah!!! What a haul! Some real treasures there!!!! I can see why your grandmother chose her wedding dress pattern – that illustration is just beautiful!
    The pedal pushers are so cute – as is the sleeveless dress pattern to the left with the gloves (I love that look!) and the Anne Adams is just begging to be sewn!

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