Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vintage discoveries

After my mum passed away I inherited her dressmaking patterns along with all her sewing paraphernalia.  Sadly the patterns have been sitting untouched for many years.  Although I kept her patterns because I loved them, I had never really looked at them.

As my interest obsession in vintage patterns has been growing since I joined the blogging community and my discovery of other vintage lovers blogs like Casey, Debi, Gertie and Rosy, also Sew Retro, I decided today was the day to check out what was actually in the chest where these patterns have been stored since 1995.

After opening the chest and removing a few sewing related boxes and books of mum's this is what I was left with.   

Treasure chest
I had the most wonderful time going through them all.  I thought the best way to sort them was to start with all the pre 1960's patterns.  I then sorted them into women's, men's and children/babies.

Damaged pattern envelopes
I've found that I have many wonderful patterns like the lovely lingerie on the left and the beautiful evening coat on the right.  Sadly, as can be seen above, many of the envelopes are damaged although I'm sure all the pattern pieces are accounted for.

Being the compulsive list maker that I am I started an excel file to catalogue the patterns and put them in some sort of order.  Some patterns are dated however, most are not.  I would love it if anyone can help me out with some dates.   Here are a few of my discoveries.

McCall 3912.  I love this evening gown but it's very low cut and I probably wouldn't wear it. (Actually, I can't imagine Mum did either)

Dress 7219.  This one was ordered through the Melbourne newspaper "The Sun".  I can't find any information about these patterns.  I'll be making this one for Summer.  I may even do a contrasting top.

Dress with attached six gored skirt - Butterick 1411.  I love view A (the larger one on the left). 

Housecoat - McCall 5737.  The short version will definitely be joining my wardrobe.

Blouse - Butterick 6887.  I want to make a blouse and was hoping to find a long sleeve one, but nup none however, I did find this one.  I love the version in the center with the wing collar.
I will show you some more in another post.  I have spent a most delightful afternoon making some wonderful discoveries.  What do you think...


  1. I absolutely love the blouse pattern you found. The evening gown is awesome, but not appropriate for a lumpy 50 something like me.

  2. What an AMAZING collection! I am hyperventilating over McCall 3912! so pretty!!!! I really enjoy using the Vintage Pattern Wiki to find dates on patterns. You can search by pattern company and number and see if they have that pattern listed or one close to it and see if the date is listed. Though some numbers repeat (i.e. McCall 5600 may be 1940's or 1950's)!

  3. I agree, start with the Vintage Pattern Wiki, but if you get stuck I might be able to help...but some will remain mysteries. I think that's as it should be. ;-)

  4. Thanks Debi and Tina, I will try searching the Vintage Pattern Wiki.

    And yes Debi, that dress is gorgeous and made me hyperventilate too as did a few others which I have saved for another post.


Comments! Yay, I love comments...