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Vintage Sewing Patterns Put Into Online Database From Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, And Simplicity

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posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 08:20 AM
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I don't know if we have many stitchers here, but for those who are -- or those who would like to be -- I thought they might find this as exciting as me:

83,500 Vintage Sewing Patterns Put Into Online Database From Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, And Simplicity

Many have fond memories of visiting the local fabric store with their mothers to sift through clothing patterns and remember when the sewing machine was just as much of a staple in the household as a computer is now. If you long to recreate those moments and sew your own clothes, the Vintage Patterns Wiki website has a massive selection of vintage sewing patterns available for you, none of which came after the year 1992.

That was definitely us growing up. My mom had this amazing sewing machine table, and the machine would lower into a drawer of sorts, the top would fold back over the cabinet, and -- voila! -- look just like a table. Wouldn't even know there was a sewing machine in there! The sewing machine was like any other appliance or tool in the home. Even my brothers learned the basics of sewing and can still do their own mending.

When I made my daughter-in-law's wedding dress, I had a doozy of a time trying to find an "Audrey Hepburn" style wedding dress pattern like she wanted. In the end, I had to use a couple patterns and do my own creative thing to make it work. A couple times I actually stitched the fabric in place while she was wearing it. But it worked, the dress was beautiful and my daughter-in-law was even more beautiful! (And she still is
) If only I'd had this website then!

Searching through these 83,500 vintage sewing patterns may sound like a daunting task, but it is actually much easier than you might think. For instance, if you hanker after a particular era of clothing and a style worn by specific people like Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn, for example, you can search the database of vintage sewing patterns by decade.

When my daughter was in high school, that girl was invited to every dance there was from freshman through senior... and shopping with her was an absolute nightmare! So after a couple times of this, she started drawing me a picture of what she wanted, and I mixed and matched patterns to create her vision. It was fun. And it was a lot more fun shopping for fabrics than for dresses. She would've loved this!

Searching through these 83,500 vintage sewing patterns may sound like a daunting task, but it is actually much easier than you might think. For instance, if you hanker after a particular era of clothing and a style worn by specific people like Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn, for example, you can search the database of vintage sewing patterns by decade.

Givenchy, Dior, and others were able to take outfits worn by celebrities at the time and replicate them so that if you were handy with a sewing machine, you could also recreate the same look for yourself.

I recently inherited my mother's collection of patterns going all the way back to the '30s. I'm looking forward to going through them all. There will probably be a lot of memories when I do. But I'll love every minute. One of my mom's favorite presents that I ever gave her was a throw pillow cross-stitched with "My love to the stitcher who got me stitching." She kept that silly little trinket for 30 years... and now it's mine. And God willing I'll keep it another 30 years...

But I digress. I love to sew just for the creative euphoria. But it's also quite practical. My daughter-in-law's dress probably cost me a couple hundred in fabrics, and a whole lot of time! But to buy the same dress would have cost easily ten times as much. Same for my daughter's formal dresses. And if (like almost every woman!) your body doesn't conform to that perfectly proportioned average standard, then sewing for yourself is the best way to get the absolute best fit in any outfit, because you can make the necessary adjustments right from the start. And, of course, in exactly the color or shade or fabric that you want, instead of settling for someone else's choices.

For anyone who wants to learn to sew, Simplicity has a sewing book that is fantastic. My copy is from the '70's, updated from I believe the '50s version, and I know it's been updated since. But it's amazing because it has lots of photos and illustrations, and explains not just what to do but how and why to do it for a certain purpose or effect, or for the best result. Sewing really isn't difficult and it's oh-so-fun! If you're interested, I encourage you to give it a try!

To all the other stitchers out there -- enjoy!

ETA: Ooops! I forgot to include a link to the website with the patterns: Vintage Patterns Wiki
edit on 12-2-2018 by Boadicea because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 08:26 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

I must show this to my wife. Thanks.



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 08:35 AM
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a reply to: Trueman

You're welcome! And what a sweet hubby you are


I hope she enjoys it. If your wife's like me -- and it sounds like she might just be -- she'll feel like a kid in a candy store!!!



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 08:40 AM
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I bought a sewing machine probably 15 years ago because I thought I might make decorative pillow (they're so expensive) and curtains. to this day I've never used it. I did lend it to a friend, tho, so it has been used by someone. lol

I would love to know how to sew simple skirts as that's all I wear in the summer. maybe this year i'll bring it out and actually learn how to use it.

that's super cool you made your daughter--n-laws wedding dress - i'm sure she treasures it!



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 08:51 AM
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originally posted by: knoxie
I bought a sewing machine probably 15 years ago because I thought I might make decorative pillow (they're so expensive) and curtains. to this day I've never used it. I did lend it to a friend, tho, so it has been used by someone. lol

I would love to know how to sew simple skirts as that's all I wear in the summer. maybe this year i'll bring it out and actually learn how to use it.


I hope you do -- I'd bet you'd have fun. Once you get going, you'll be so inspired you won't know where or when to stop! And if you need some help, just give me a holler. I'll share whatever knowledge I have



that's super cool you made your daughter--n-laws wedding dress - i'm sure she treasures it!


It was cool -- I felt pretty darn honored! We looked at a lot of pics and went to fabric stores to decide on colors... she went with a combination of champagne satin for the underdress, and ivory for the lace and chiffon. And then she pretty much let me make the final choice on fabrics. I think my son really enjoyed seeing us put our heads together and work on it too. Before the wedding, I told him that as beautiful as the dress was, his bride made it even more beautiful. And she did! It was one of those times where the dress didn't make the bride, but the bride made the dress. And my son loved it. So it was a twofer -- I made them both happy, separately and together!



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 09:00 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea


thank you very much - that's very kind! my biggest hurdle will be threading the damn thing! lol

oh ya, i'm sure your son was happy to see you and his future wife bonding like that and it must have warmed his heart knowing you could get along so nicely. it was sweet of her to trust you with something so important, too.



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 09:09 AM
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originally posted by: knoxie
a reply to: Boadicea


thank you very much - that's very kind! my biggest hurdle will be threading the damn thing! lol


I hear ya! I hate threading the machine -- and winding the bobbins... which of course go together. Ugh! Just remember that you're making an "N" but working it backwards. That always helped me.


oh ya, i'm sure your son was happy to see you and his future wife bonding like that and it must have warmed his heart knowing you could get along so nicely. it was sweet of her to trust you with something so important, too.


It sure warms our hearts. Our son chose wisely! She is very family oriented and we so appreciate that. Now if only they'd give me some grandchildren to spoil and pamper!!!





posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Got a photo of the wedding dress you made?

I'm a guy but I love the old fashions, so much more elegant than whats available today.



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 11:36 AM
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originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: Boadicea

Got a photo of the wedding dress you made?


Hmmm... yes, I do... but I'll have to figure out how to get it posted... give me a few minutes!


I'm a guy but I love the old fashions, so much more elegant than whats available today.


I agree -- and so does my daughter-in-law. She wanted something she could be proud to wear in front of her great-grandparents and thought most styles were far too risque. And her great-grandparents loved it so much I ended up making another one for her cousin! The Audrey Hepburn style was perfect -- classic, elegant, feminine, and flattering to every figure. We went for the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" style. The cut and style is so simple that it complements the fancy fabrics well -- or vice versa!



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 02:16 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Yea, the world, prompted by the US, sought to create classless societies, and they've surely succeeded. Today's elites reflect are totally classles, having elevated the crass in their pursuit of reducing the society to the level of the lowest common denominator.

Sad really. About the only place I've seen any remains of "classyness" is in Milan and Venice and even there you have to look really hard to find it.



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 02:41 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Ah, thank you for this. My wife has incorporated sewing into our homeschool program and we just bought both kids their own sewing machines. She will be very interested in this.



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 03:23 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: Boadicea

Ah, thank you for this.


You're welcome!


My wife has incorporated sewing into our homeschool program and we just bought both kids their own sewing machines. She will be very interested in this.


That is so cool! My first sewing machine was a hand-me-down Kenmore for my 13th birthday and I loved that machine. I hope they enjoy them and make the most of them. So many creative ideas and things to do. I sent my daughter the link, and she mentioned how much she would have loved having this in high school to make vintage costumes for Halloween -- I never thought about that.

Happy stitching to your kids



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 04:31 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Never been shy to try new things. I learned to sew a bit. I can mend my own stuff.

My wife is better at it than me though. I will show her the website. I bet she will find something she can use.

Thanks for sharing!



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 04:40 PM
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originally posted by: TonyS
a reply to: Boadicea

About the only place I've seen any remains of "classyness" is in Milan and Venice and even there you have to look really hard to find it.

Ahhhh yes... And does anyone epitomize that class and elegance better than Sophia Loren???

I think I've got this pic posting thing figured out. The first pics are my daughter-in-law's dress. The pic on the hanger really doesn't do it justice, and I don't have a full-length pic of my daughter-in-law wearing it. (They never got their wedding pics... what a mess that was/is!) And I swear I didn't mess up the hem! I gave the hem of the the chiffon top skirt a soft scallop to complement the scalloped edge of the lace, which I hand stitched around the hem of the chiffon skirt. With the petticoat underneath to give it fullness, it was very pretty. I also cut the bodice with the scalloped edge at the neck, and at the hem of the sleeve. That was real big back in the 50s and 60s!




And this is the second dress, with the same satin skirt and chiffon overskirt with a scalloped edge, and I stitched satin rosebuds at each point, but you can't really see that. I used a brocaded satin for the bodice, instead of the lace. The belt is a deep green velvet with an ivory chiffon rose I made with the scraps from the skirt.



With all the beautiful fabrics and colors available, I could make this same basic dress again and again and never run out of new ideas and they'd all be amazing. Audrey Hepburn really set that bar high!

Okay, the preview is showing the pics... let hope it works when I post too...



posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 08:09 PM
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Oh hon. You want some originals?

My grandmother was a hoarder. I come by it honestly. She gave me 40 garbage bags of vintage yarn. over 60 bags of vintage material. Which I am stupid and got rid of about 30 bags, as I didn't know its worth.

But I still have a couple bags of patterns. Some look like they have never been opened.
I really need to break out the machine and try some.

On a cool note, I have a dress, made by my Great Grandmother, and it actually fits me! Just a simple "everyday" dress, but the material is cute as heck. Red and white checkered, with "fake" patches.



posted on Feb, 13 2018 @ 05:09 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea



Memories


www.youtube.com...


edit on 13-2-2018 by eletheia because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2018 @ 05:53 AM
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originally posted by: chiefsmom
Oh hon. You want some originals?

My grandmother was a hoarder. I come by it honestly. She gave me 40 garbage bags of vintage yarn. over 60 bags of vintage material. Which I am stupid and got rid of about 30 bags, as I didn't know its worth.


Sounds like my mom -- and I totally understand. My sister told me she had about 30 tubs of fabric and asked if I wanted them -- I don't even know where I'd put that much! So they're donating much of it to a quilting circle that makes lap blankets and such for senior homes and hospices. I requested any fine fabrics -- satins, laces, etc -- and any denim or corduroy, as well as fleeces and flannels. Those are pretty basic and I can do a lot with those. My sister said she'd pick out some cute/pretty prints from the cottons and calicos too for me. I'm not sure what all I will end up with!


But I still have a couple bags of patterns. Some look like they have never been opened.
I really need to break out the machine and try some.


I have yet to go through my mom's patterns. I'm thinking I'll wait a few months until it's too warm to do anything outside, and then just have a sewing spree. What I'm really excited about is when I have a granddaughter and I can make her some clothes with the old old patterns. That will be so much fun!


On a cool note, I have a dress, made by my Great Grandmother, and it actually fits me! Just a simple "everyday" dress, but the material is cute as heck. Red and white checkered, with "fake" patches.


That's really cool -- brings back memories. I even pictured a red and white gingham! And the "fake" patches sound adorable. Much better than the chain of safety pins my granny always had hanging on her house dresses! I bet you cherish that dress (I would too).



posted on Feb, 13 2018 @ 05:54 AM
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a reply to: eletheia

That was perfect! Thank you for adding it



posted on Feb, 13 2018 @ 06:55 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Anybody see the Star Trek TNG JUMPSUITS??
vintagepatterns.wikia.com...

Now I know what my new street gang will wear to set us apart from the others. I can't wait for our first drive-by phaseing.



posted on Feb, 13 2018 @ 08:44 AM
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originally posted by: 3n19m470
a reply to: Boadicea

Anybody see the Star Trek TNG JUMPSUITS??
vintagepatterns.wikia.com...

Now I know what my new street gang will wear to set us apart from the others. I can't wait for our first drive-by phaseing.


That was awesome. Too funny.

And no -- I haven't seen those yet! But why not? Someone had to make patterns to make those costumes for the actors, so why not sell them to the public too? Gotta love the free market! With the spandex and other stretch fabrics we have today, folks can make those jumpsuits pretty darn spiffy.

I know they have patterns for Renaissance clothing... I made myself and my daughter costumes for the Ren Festival years ago. (We cheated though and used elastic)



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