Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!

There are  a variety of things you can do with vintage sewing patterns.  One of the many uses of the sewing patterns is as a costumes for theatre.  Often the ones that make it onto the stage are not designed as costumes, but are clothing patterns.

I recently came across some dresses that reminded me of the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a musical  based on the cartoons of Charles M. Schulz.  The show premiered in 1967.  Which would account for the drop waist dresses in the show.    It looks more realistic to me when you use period sewing patterns rather then a costume sewing pattern.  Even if the period is the 1960s.

Lucy is the height of 1960's fashion in a drop waist dress

So is Sally Brown

These are the dresses that reminded me of the cartoons and the musical.

Simplicity 6783

Simplicity 7848

Simplicity 8523

This is a costume pattern inspired by the comic. 

Simplicity 7506
Simplicity 7516

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vera Maxwell's Four Way Pattern

In my business you never know what you are going to find when you acquire a new lot of patterns.  I always wonder who the person was who had the patterns before me.  Did she sew for herself or for her family?  Where some of these patterns her moms or her friends? You often get an idea of the size of the person over time as the eras change - so do the styles and sizes of the patterns.

Inside a very plain envelope came a really cool surprise for me.

Not only was there a really great sewing pattern in it.

The envelope also included a magazine article about the sewing pattern from This Week Magazine from March 2, 1947.  Notice on the last image from the article there is a section torn out, I'm sure that was the coupon that was mailed in for the sewing pattern. It is great to see models wearing the pattern rather then just illustrations!   Here is another version of the same article with the coupon included 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Dr. Denton PJ's

Do you remember wearing Dr. Denton's as a kid?  I have been seeing a lot blanket sleepers for the whole family lately.

In the late 1980's  the Simplicity pattern company produced Dr. Denton brand sewing patterns.

Simplicity 8882

Simplicity 8886

You can use the pattern to make one or two in the fabric of your choice!   Check the pattern out at Oldpatterns.com.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

As Seen on TV!

Over the summer I was contacted by the costume department from the TV show: American Horror Story.

I waited with baited breath to see if the pattern would show up in the first show.  Sure enough it did.  It was for Sarah Paulson's character Lana Winters.  The only thing they changed on the pattern was the back of the collar on the coat!  

The dress is very simple (only 4 pieces). The coat is only 2 main pieces, using a kimono sleeves. A kimono sleeve pattern doesn't use a set in sleeve and jacket and the sleeve are one large pattern piece.  I love square neckline with the cut out on the front of the dress.  It is wonderful that they kept the bow detail.

It is wonderful when the costume department uses vintage sewing patterns to get the correct era clothing.

Please check out my website (Patterns from the Past) for some more fun fashions from the 1960's and other eras!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

British Sewing Patterns During WW2

Time: the late 1940's early 50's.  The world is at war.  How did it effect sewing patterns in England?

I had the opportunity to obtain several British WW2 era sewing patterns.  They reminded me of Pevensie kids in the recent Narnia Movies.

What did the pattern companies do to support the war effort?  They dropped color printing.

Vogue 2456

I have patterns that are printed in the US at the same time.  They are using color.
Vogue 2445

Vogue dropped diagrams, pattern sizing, and descriptions from the back for the pattern envelope.

Vogue children's pattern late 1940s early 1950s

McCall's, who had a patent on printing on their pattern tissue paper  used pre-cut pattern paper.  The printed tissue sewing pattern was fairly new at the time.  In the US - McCall's still printed on their tissue paper patterns, and so did Simplicity.  TheUS Butterick patterns I have from those years are still using pre-cut tissue paper patterns.

The patterns were taxed.

Vogue 2163
Butterick reminded people of the civilian clothing restriction orders.

The designed used limited fabric.  These patterns were present in both the US and British market.  Everyone was conserving fabric. 

The paper that the patterns are printed on (at least the patterns I have) are of good quality for the pattern tissue and the instruction paper, perhaps this is a difference between British paper and US paper. I have quite a few instructions sheets from that era printed in the US, who have seen better days.

I enjoy the images, history and stories that come to me with each package of patterns that come my way.  I  enjoyed going through the  wardrobe to see this different world.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Mad Men Maternity

In the Spring of 2009 my company was contacted by the costuming department for the TV show Mad Men. Season 3 had several pregnant characters. The designers contacted me for sewing patterns for day and evening maternity wear, and outfits. I know from reading up on the show, that they use a lot of original vintage outfits for their costume department - but who in the world would save their maternity clothing from the 1960's?

I'm sure they mixed and matched elements from various patterns to put together their outfits. I am sure they also looked at image of Jackie Kennedy from when she was pregnant. What you don't see from the sewing patterns is construction details of the maternity patterns. Modern patterns have a stretch panel to help with the changing body shape of a pregnant woman. The maternity sewing patterns that I have from the 1960's use a series of ties and overlapping sections.

Here are some images of the patterns they purchased from my company. See if you can match them up with the Season 3 costumes!

Are you tired of the same old maternity designs, or lack of sewing patterns for maternity clothes? Check out the vintage ones at Patterns from the Past!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Patterns from the Past's website got a upgraded!

Happy New Year!  
The upgrade of my website if finally done. I have enlarged images on the main pages and re-scanned over 1000 sewing patterns. Other patterns had their prices reduced.
Here is a coupon code to celebrate! The code: pftp2012  is good for 20% off your order of over $50.  This offer is valid for only the month of January.  
Thank you for your patience!    
Michelle Lee
Patterns from the Past