Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vintage Sewing Patterns

Hi Vintage Lovers, welcome to our Little Shop of Treasures Blog. Follow me, I want to share a few of my favorite items in our shop.

This week we are featuring vintage sewing patterns. 

We love vintage fashion and vintage sewing patterns. The thing about these patterns is you will not see your next door neighbor wearing the same outfit. You will have created a one of kind dress, shirt, pants . . .

We hope you will be just as delighted with these beautiful and amazing clothing patterns as we are. They are too amazing to be discontinued. These are the original items, not reproductions. 

Vintage Simplicity 5541 Sewing Pattern

This Simplicity pattern is from 1973. 

It is a girls size 7.

Hey I was about nine years old at the time. My Mom use to sew some of our clothes. I wonder if I have any pictures in my photo album of my sister and I wearing Mom's works of art.  

This package has patterns for: 
    *  pants, 
    *  short sleeve or long sleeve dress and 
    *  short sleeve or long sleeve shirt.

It is in good condition. All the tracing paper pieces and instructions are included in the package. 

The dress is absolutely adorable. I can picture it in my granddaughters favourite colour. Or it might be my favourite colour for her - pink of course. 

I would probably make the dress a little longer or pair it up with capris. You could also use the pattern for the pants and make matching shorts instead.

I think the shirt would be fantastic in a cool spring floral pattern -  minus the sleeves. My granddaughters love pockets whether it is for their hands or small toys. 

Vintage  Simplicity 7785 Sewing Pattern

This Simplicity pattern is from 1968 in size 4. Wow! That is forty-five years old. Amazingly, it is good condition. Other than a red marker across the front and a sticker, the package and entire contents are clean, tidy and neat.
These patterns are cute classic designs. The package includes patterns and instructions for:
* girls skirt
* girls jumper,
* girls top,
* boys top,
* boys vest and
* boys pants. 
You don't have to stretch the imagination to picture these clothes being worn by the children of today. Change the material colours and patterns - make them in cotton for spring and pair them up with t-shirts instead of turtleneck sweaters. And look more pockets!

Vintage Simplicity 8189 Sewing Pattern

This Simplicity sewing pattern is from 1969. 

It's for a size 14, Bust 36". 

These adorable dresses are classic in design and feature two different neck lines with three sleeve options. Mix and match - the options are limitless.

I especially adore the white dress. All three dresses have the classic A Line shape and elegant tailored fit.

The yellow dress is wonderful too - minus the bow.

You could eliminate the ruffle on the red and white dress and pair it up a  little cover up.

All the paper pieces and instructions are included in the package. It is in good condition other than a few minor tears near the top of the envelop.

Vogue Couturier Design 2432 Sewing Pattern

This is a Vogue Couturier Design by Pertegaz from 1971.

The pattern is for:
     *   size 10
     *   bust 32 1/2"
     *   hip 34 1/2"

Pertegaz's design is very classic high-fitting, a-line dress with cutaway armholes. The jacket is loose fitting with a round neckline and full length sleeves.

The pattern has been neatly cut, and all the pieces have been accounted for. In good vintage condition.

As a side note, Designer Manuel Pertegaz (b. 1917) became known as one of the great Spanish couturiers. His clothing was highly structured and tailored. 

In the 1940's Vogue Magazine started to include designer patterns in their weekly sewing pattern give away - designer patterns like Parisian haute couture, bringing designer patterns into the sewing rooms of the world. They were extremely popular because women could could wear the same outfits as the rich and famous.

Vintage Sewing Patterns

Commercial sewing patterns are full-scale tissue paper clothing patterns created for the average home-sewer to make garments and accessories. 

Some of the oldest patterns date back to the mid 1800's. 

There is an association called the CoPA project which electronically records commercial pattern information and preserves the records of European and American culture. 

Collectors of vintage patterns are drawn to styles that represent a specific era of a bygone time. My daughter seems to be drawn to clothes of the fifty's and early sixties. The seventies are a bit too funky for her. 

You don't have to be a collector to appreciate vintage patterns. The patterns can still be used today. 

Reinvent & Repurpose Sewing Patterns 

The fun thing about patterns is you don't have to reproduce it exactly as shown on the envelop cover. You can be creative and re-invent them to fit in with today's fashions with your personal style.

Here are 13 ways to re-invent and repurpose patterns:
  1. Lengthen or shorten hem lines.
  2. Add or remove pockets.
  3. Remove arm sleeves
  4. Remove collar
  5. Choose different material colour
  6. Pick a different type of material
  7. Eliminate or add a ruffle
  8. Resize it for fit
  9. Use pattern tissue paper to wrap hand sewn gifts
  10. Use the tissue paper to top up a gift bag.
  11. Make a bouquet of pattern tissue paper  flowers.
  12. Frame the front of several pattern envelops for instant vintage fashion art.
  13. Decoupage: trinket boxes, an old dress form, lampshades, train cases, furniture, tin cans, mason jars ...

Please keep in mind that sizing has gone through several changes so the only way to be sure the garment you are sewing will fit is by your bust size.

TIP: iron pattern pieces on a low setting so they will lay completely flat.

If you find a vintage sewing pattern that you absolutely love but it is in the wrong size, don't fret. You can re-size it.


So you found a pattern but its the wrong size, relax. You can re-size it!
  • measure yourself to obtain accurate measurements,
  • lay the pattern pieces flat
  • measure the pieces that require adjusting,.
  • compare your measurements to the measurements of the pattern pieces to determine the the amount you need to increase or decrease the pattern
You will require the following supplies.
  • cardboard with a printed grid,
  • French Curves for tracing the curvy parts such as armholes, necklines, hips
  • tracing paper to copy your original vintage pattern, so you don't alter or damage it
  • Inexpensive fabric such as muslin
For detailed instruction follow this link:

Quality and style are always in fashion.

What era is your favourite clothing style from? Personally I love Scarlet O'Hara from Gone With Wind but I think I would look a little silly walking down the street dressed like that.

Thanks for stopping by. If you interested in any of these or other vintage items, stop by our Etsy Shop or check out this free printable calendar.

If you would like to receive our blog updates please join or subscribe via email.

Thanks again for visiting Little Shop of Treasures- for all things vintage, and have a fabulous day.


  1. hi, i following the "weekend social mix" blog hop. i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it.

    new follower bev

    1. Hi Bev, thanks for stopping by and for the follow. I checked out you blog - looks pretty interesting.

  2. What a wonderful post! I love love LOVE vintage patterns! Thank you for joining the Chain Linky Party! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    1. Hi, Im' glad you love the post. Here is the address for a vintage pattern community board on pinterest it's pretty cool.
      Bye for now, Darlene

  3. Oh, this is fun! Thanks for the resource. Linda

    1. Hi Linda,
      I am so glad you enjoyed it Linda. Your welcome. It took a bit of time to find examples for every project with instructions that I had in mind but I think the effort was well worth it.
      Bye for now, Darlene

  4. Thanks for linking up an awesome project! Stop by again next week and link up some cool stuff!

    Have a great week!

    1. Hi Susie,
      I look forward to linking up next week. Thanks for the compliment.
      Bye for now, Darlene

  5. I love the framed pictures. That is such a cute idea for the patterns. Hope you have a great day.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

    1. Hi Heidi, Thanks for stopping by. The framed vintage pattern envelops are cute aren't they. I also really like the lamp shade. I looks like it gives off a wonderful warm glow.

  6. I love vintage patterns! I'm also in love with that flower wreath! wow.

  7. The flower wreath is very pretty. I also like the glow that's cast from the patterns applied to the lamp shade.