Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shopping Secondhand - Vintage Patterns

Patterns 1

Ahh. Vintage patterns. One of the few bargains truly left. These little slices of fashion history can be yours for mere pennies. The six patterns in the photo above were all purchased over the weekend at a flea market, all from the same booth. They set me back $0.50 each. I've seen vintage patterns at thrift stores for as low as $0.10. Almost every store has at least a basket of patterns.

With all the revivals of various styles, buying vintage patterns makes sense. The 70s are going to be huge for spring and all these patterns just happen to be from the 70s. Look for whatever decade interests you most.

What to look for in a pattern:

1. Ideally you want one that is uncut (unused). Barring that, having all the pieces would be nice. Chances are you are not going to pull all the pieces out in the store, so if you like it and the price is right, I say go ahead and risk it.

2. Make sure the pattern is your size. Remember, this is vintage sizing, which is similar to modern day pattern sizing. Know your measurements and check them against the back of the pattern. I'm a modern 2/4 and a vintage pattern 14. Talk about 40 plus years of vanity sizing.

3. If you're new to sewing in general, look for patterns marked "How to Sew", "Simple to Sew", "Super Simple", "Learn to Sew for Fun". These phrases indicate that they are for beginning sewers and should theoretically be easy to use.

Also don't forget your family members as a resource, maybe your mom, grandma, or aunt has some patterns stashed away from back in the day.

Patterns 2

One of the first pieces I will attempt is the brown dress in this nubby yellow fabric. I'm thinking I'll make it a little shorter though.

Patterns 3

I also think that I'll make the flutter sleeve dress in this vintage Hawaiian fabric. Hopefully I can alter this pattern and have a boat neck, not a square neck. I may have to call back up reinforcements (aka Grandma) on this one.

Patterns 4

I'm totally obsessed with these pants. They aren't included in the pattern, but they are the exact high-waist, wide leg jeans I want for spring. What goes around truly does come around.

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