Vintage Patterns [Part 1]

I’m a bit out of order. Okay, maybe a lot out of order! Since abandoning my midi skirt project due to wonky fabric (see this post), I hadn’t been able to replace my summer sewing project. Until now!

During one of my trips to the thrift store, I found out my local thrift store had stopped selling sewing patterns for $1.99 each, and had bundled them up in bags! My initial internal reaction: “What a bad idea! How can you see the patterns in each bag, how can you see the sizes?!”. Until I picked up the first bag on the shelf. A previous thrifter had made a little slit on the right side of the bag! I could finger through the patterns and check the styles and sizes in each bag! I’m not going to lie… I did make a few slits myself!

I ended up buying two bags of patterns, on separate days, hence why this post will have a part 2 (the goodies from the second bag!)

The first bag contained nine patterns from varying decades, in varying sizes. The earliest patterns in that bag was from 1967, this cute skirt pattern from simplicity!


Here’s the thrilling part: In the photo above there’s a name, Linda Jones. (Her name is on another pattern that was in this bag)

But the jackpot was found in this pattern:


This pattern is pretty much the entire reason I bought this pattern bag! With just a tiny modification of the collar (not so 70’s pointed), it could become such a versatile wardrobe staple! Versatility of the pattern aside, here’s what I found inside:


Here’s a close-up of the type-written note, so you can read it:


The only thing that would’ve made this find better would be a picture of Linda wearing her turquoise dress with contrast tabs! How about that cost too, $6 ?! I could probably make this dress for under $6 if I could find thrifted thread and fabric… (New challenge?!)

Here are the other patterns that were in the bag:


This pattern is in my size, but I’m not sure I will even use it… maybe the button down shirt-dress? I think it’s too much 80’s for me!


I haven’t checked what size the pattern is cut in, but as long as it’s not 14 I would LOVE to make view 1 or view 3 in a beautiful striped knit fabric… like breton stripes or nautical stripes!



Unless there are crazy amounts of ease in the simplicity pattern above, I won’t fit into a 30 1/2 inch bust… which is a shame because the collar and 3/4 length sleeves of view 3 are so chic!


This is another one I won’t fit into!


This is a great pattern, from 1969 that I would probably never sew… even if it did fit me (we’ve already discussed that 30 1/2 inch bust…). I just love the illustration though, how cute is that puppy?


Here’s another 30 1/2 inch bust pattern from 1971, I wish they hadn’t put the photo on the cover, the illustrations are much more adorable!


Here’s the last one! From 1972, easily identifiable by the contrast gingham cuff on those outrageously patterned pants ( no but seriously, there are rainbows, mushrooms and planets on that print). I just cant get over the middle outfit! It’s just such an “and” outfit! She’s got a blazer and a shirt and suspenders and a bandanna and flare pants and combat boots and yellow socks (and a hint of blue eyeshadow)! Putting the middle outfit aside, can we discuss how simple and chic outfit # 3 is? A gorgeous neck-tie blouse with a fitted red blazer and a pleated white mini skirt… perfection! If only it weren’t made for that 30 1/2 inch bust!! A pleated mini skirt is definitely foreseeable in my future though!

That rounds up the contents of bag #1! I’m not sure what to do with the patterns that don’t fit… any suggestions? I don’t really want to sell them, seeing as I didn’t pay very much for them. The actual patterns all seem to be in excellent condition, but they’ve all been cut! I’m not sure if that’s something people don’t like (I personally strongly dislike cutting pattern pieces out of that darn tissue paper). Stay tuned for bag #2 (which includes the top that i’ve already made a half muslin for!!)






    1. Really?!

      I would’ve thought Europe would be a much better place to find vintage sewing patterns since you have a much stronger sewing tradition (maybe that’s just my perception?)!

      It’s just a matter of time until they get expensive though! One example: records used to be 25 to 50 cents, then they got popular as a decoration, now they cost 2.99$ at the local thrift store!

      (also, the hat that you found in this post, I will forever be jealous of it! It is so beautiful, I can never find anything like that here except at the expensive hand-made hat store!)

  1. This is making me giggle. I’ve been sewing for ever – I learned on my mother’s Singer treadle machine in 1963 when I was 11 years old. (Yes, you can do arithmetic, too.) The giggles because over the years – I bought some of these, in New Zealand, when they were newly published. I even remember some of the garments I made with them. Simplicity 7181, with belt, was in a hideous light brown and white dogstooth cotton. It was horrible fabric, NOT chosen by me, but all I had available at the time. Then thinkgs got better, and I particularly remember being very pleased with the McCalls shirt. I wore the first one out. What a hoot!

    1. That fabric for simplicity 7181 doesn’t sound too appealing, but I’m sure the skirt looked lovely! It seems to be a shape that wouldn’t have gone out of style, and been flattering. I can’t imagine wearing the McCalls shirt out as is, I made up a muslin of a shirt, not from the McCalls pattern, but from another pattern from 1987 and the amount of ease was ridiculous! I could fit my head in the sleeves!
      I don’t think I’ll be touching patterns from the 80s until I learn to perform alterations to get rid of all the ease elegantly! Thankfully the 60s and 70s were more elegant, in my opinion!

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