Dating vintage mail order patterns

Others collect them because these slim envelopes filled with tissue give a glimpse into a lifestyle that many of us no longer have the luxury to live.They are, in, and of themselves, a documentation of fashion sewing of the past.A few years ago I did a heavy amount of researching and preparing for a lecture I gave at Costume College.I had been asked to post this to my blog, so I am finally getting around to doing it!Other related items that can be collected along with vintage patterns are old pattern books from fabric stores and departments and monthly or quarterly pattern magazines that were issued by the pattern companies.These publications are invaluable tools for designers, students of apparel design, the custom clothier who specializes in vintage fashion, and the vintage fashion enthusiast.

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I’ll also use this as a tool to help explain what I do with Wearing History patterns, since they’re often called “reproductions”, but, in actuality, after you follow through the series, you’ll come to see how pattern companies that offer “reproductions” differ from each other and also from the original source materials. If you’ve ever pulled out a vintage pattern that has holes instead of printing, it may seem like a giant puzzle piece.Butterick’s graded tissue paper patterns had a wide-reaching impact, offering access to high fashion to almost anyone who could sew, in the United States and various countries around the globe.By 1903, Butterick was one of the largest manufacturers in the world.In this series I will offer tips for using vintage patterns based on my experiences and research.The biggest factor that seems to dissuade sewers from using vintage patterns are the perforated, or unmarked, patterns.Vintage sewing patterns open up a whole new world of collecting for someone interested in vintage fashion.


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