Category Archives: Vintage pattern finds

Goodies from the bloggers meet up

Would you believe it? I completely forgot to gloat over share my new goodies from the Wellington bloggers meet up!

The first lot are three patterns I bought from Unearthed, as we made our way down Cuba St. There were so many other lovely patterns I wanted to buy there, but as far as vintage patterns go they were a bit on the pricey side, so I restrained myself and only bought three. (Ha! Like I need more patterns. Oh well!)


  • Simplicity 1225 – a lovely 1944 suit pattern. It’s too small for me, so I’ll have to practice my grading skills with this one. I have a hankering for a wardrobe of 1940’s suits for some reason…. I’m building up a bit of a collection of patterns for them, now I just need to make them….
  • Weigel’s 1783 – I like the double-breasted cross-over style of this bodice, I’m curious to see how it would work made up.
  • Academy 2414 – for a 4 year old boy, shorts and a shirt. I love how the shirt buttons onto the shorts so they stay tucked in!

And then from the patterns and fabric swap we held, I managed to get my hands on these three pretties:


I also got this lovely fabric:


  • A burgundy shirting with blue pinstripes through it
  • Black lightweight cotton with a pretty floral design

We’re planning the next Wellington bloggers meet up for mid-late January, and we’re each planning on making something from something we acquired during the November meet up. I’ve narrowed it down to four choices so far I think – the Weigel’s dress (assuming those buttons on the bodice actually work and aren’t just for show!), the Simplicity shirt waist dress, or one of the lots of fabric. What do you reckon I should make up first out of those three? Whichever one gets the most votes will get made for the January meet up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pretty vintage crafty things

A couple of weeks ago, I had a visit from my friend Faith, who I went to primary school with many many years ago, and who I hadn’t seen for years! It was just a quick visit – we’re definitely going to have to catch up longer another time.

Faith came by to give me a lovely present – some vintage fabrics, patterns, and a couple of things she’d made. Thanks, Faith! You totally made my day. ๐Ÿ™‚

She’d been in a second hand shop and spotted these vintage maternity patterns and picked them up for me:

Simplicity 7913 from 1968 and Simplicity 7393 from 1967.

And there was this gorgeous fabric, two pretty vintage fabrics:

(I’m going to wait until I’m not pregnant to use these – they’re far too pretty to only wear for a few months!)

And this cute wincyette (brushed cotton) with teddy bears all over it, that I’ll be using for something baby-related:

She also made me this adorable pin cushion and a fox badge (a fox because of the crafty group I’m part of – the Crafty Foxes:

How cute are they?!?

Thanks Faith! ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I’m off to figure out what to use the teddy bear print fabric for first….. Any suggestions?

Fabric-a-brac times

Down this way, there’s a lovely twice-yearly event held, that goes by the name of Fabric-a-brac. It’s a mecca of sewing goodness, with lots of stalls where people sell sewing-related things. Fabric, notions, patterns, other random sewing/knitting/embroidery things – it’s all there. It’s held as a fundraiser for the local hospice, with money from stall hire, the tea-coffee-and-cake stand, and the hospice stand all going straight to the hospice. The hospice stall is one of my favourite parts – lots of people donate fabric and other sewing things and it gets manned by volunteers. There’s always a fascinating collection of things on it, and some good bargains to be had. And all for a good cause!

(I’ve helped out the last few times it’s been run as well, helping set up the hospice stall (measuring and pricing fabric donations) and run it on the day. It’s a good day – being surrounded by fabric, lots of crafty people, and donating time for a good cause. Gotta love it.)

Anyway, the latest Fabric-a-brac was held two weeks ago (yes, it’s taken me that long to finish this post!), and crammed full of people selling crafty things!

Now, this is where volunteering is actually a bit dangerous. You see, you’re behind the hospice table (which is actually 2-3 tables), putting out all the donated fabric for sale. I dare any of you crafty types to do that for even half an hour without buying some fabric yourself – you’re the first to see it when it goes out, and it’s all for a good cause. I find it pretty much impossible to resist!

So, yes. I walked home with two bags stuffed full of fabric and related goodies. Ahem. So much for not adding to my stash…..

(But it’s for a good cause, right?!?)

Wanna see what I got? (Whether you do or not, I want to show it off, so here goes!)

A few non-fabric things – several metres of pink lace, a couple of spools of thread, and a vintage pattern that I picked up to have as a giveaway item sometime soon (as soon as I check all the pieces are there).

Dusky pink wool/acrylic type blend and matching lining, which I was rather excited to find as I’ve been wanting to find some good coat fabric to make a 1950’s style swing coat that fits over my bump for winter. Yay!

Here’s something else I’ve been wanting to find for a while – interesting, and good quality, swimsuit fabric! Far more than I need – I haven’t measured this, but I’m guessing there’s a good 4-6 metres there.

Lots of cute cottons and blends for pretty summer tops and blouses. (The teal blue floral even had a matching zip and a ‘Veilla cotton lawn’ tag pinned to it. I’d love to know the stories behind all these pieces of fabric and how they made their way to the hospice stall.)

Two vintage-looking prints – not really my colour, but how could I pass them by?? Especially since they’re border prints – not something I come across very often, so gotta grab them when I find them.

A length of blue floral tshirting for some bump-friendly tops.

A couple of types of lingerie fabric, which is something else I’ve been meaning to get for ages, so I was pretty happy to find these for $1 each! There’s a good 4-5 metres of that plain pink one, even. I need to make some slips that fit over the bump – my regular one is getting a bit tight.

Some pretty blues – an acrylic-blend (I think) woven plaid, and a cotton drill with diagonal stripes through it. There’s a good 5 metres of that blue with stripes – one day, it’s destined to become a 1950’s style dress with a full skirt. Or maybe a 1940’s dress with a sailor-style collar…..

And this synthetic stuff – I have no idea what it is, but it seems pretty vintage-y to me. I’m thinking 1940’s (post-pregnancy) dress with this one. It’s got a good weight to it and I think it’ll drape beautifully.

And last but not least – Steve was the official photographer on the day, and in his mission of getting photos of the stalls he found this 1970’s Golden Hands magazine and bought it for me. Check out the crochet outfit!

Pretty vintage patterns gift

A few weeks back, I had a lovely comment on one of my posts from a local lady, Jo, who offered me some vintage maternity patterns she’d found. How exciting is that?!?! Thank you so much, Jo!!!

Jo gave me four lovely patterns – three maternity ones, and one that could very easily be worn during maternity times. Here they are:

Australian Home Journal 8821, a cute maternity smock with two variations.

Australian Home Journal 5427, a maternity “frock” with two variations. I especially like View A, with the collar and little cuffed sleeves.

Simplicity 7088, from 1967. While not technically a maternity pattern, I think this would work really well due to all the volume in the back.

Australian Home Journal 8332, a maternity suit with a cute little Peter-Pan style collar and slim skirt.

So, I’m about to start work on making up one of these patterns. Want to guess which one? Just for the fun of it, I’ll send a little prize to the first person who correctly guesses which of these four patterns is next up on my cutting table. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Play fair though – only one guess each!)

Thanks Trish!

The other week I received a very exciting parcel in the mail, all the way from the lovely Trish over in Australia! She kindly sent me a bunch of vintage maternity patterns and children’s patterns, and a darling little jersey for when the bump turns into a baby and grows a bit. Thank you so much Trish, I love them all!! ๐Ÿ™‚

She also added lovely notes to some of the patterns, which I’ve added below the pattern images here, just because I loved them so much I wanted to share them, haha!

Want to see what she sent me? Here it all is! (I’ve just finished sewing up one of the patterns as well, so expect to see one of them appear here later this weekend. Anyone want to guess which pattern I started with?)

Simplicity 9176. “A great basic tunic minus frills and lace!”

Simplicity 6865

Simplicity 5368. “Cute dress on trend Peter Pan!”

Simplicity 7100. “Love the back of this one!”

Butterick 3950.

Butterick 476.

Burda 4333.

Op shop pattern finds from Milton

On our road trip down South, Steve patiently waited while I went and explored op shops in some of the small towns on the way, in my never-ending quest for, well, interesting things.

Here’s what I picked up in the Salvation Army op shop in Milton. Quite a large op shop, considering the town is quite small (it’s a two-cafe town, Milton is) – there were two rooms to it.

I found me some patterns:

Butterick 5723 – a maternity pattern from the 1970s

Style 2845 – a maternity pattern from 1969

Maudella 4995 – a men’s shirt pattern. I’m guessing it’s 1950’s?

Academy 3038. I’m guessing this is 1940’s, based on the style (and the hair styles). It’s in very beaten-up condition, but I couldn’t leave it sitting there when I found it – after all, 1940’s wide leg trousers in my size! I’ve been wanting some of these for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

Vintage patterns haul

This weekend the first ‘Vintage Bazaar’ was held here in Newtown, so I wandered along with my lovely friend Natalie.

Sadly, I must admit we were both a bit disappointed. It wasn’t particularly well set up, and almost everything was vastly overpriced. (There were also a lot of ‘vintage styled’ garments, which weren’t vintage at all, selling for far higher than they should have been.) However, I did find a decent little haul of vintage patterns for $1 each, lurking amongst a couple of large boxes of most 1980’s and 90’s patterns, so all was not lost. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wanna see what I got?

First up, Simplicity 4298 from 1958. This one appeals to me as it’s a “7 day wardrobe” pattern. How neat is that? One pattern to make an entire week’s wardrobe! It even has the plan for what you wear over those seven days. Something about wardrobe patterns really appeals to me, I think it’s the self-contained-ness of them.

Next is one of my favourites from this haul – Academy 2006. Sadly the instructions are missing, but I’m hoping all the pieces are there as I think I should be able to figure it out anyway. Academy patterns never have dates on them (or none that I’ve seen have, anyway) but this one’s looking 1940’s to me.

The one maternity pattern I found is this one – Simplicity 5678 from 1963. I’m planning on making up the sleeveless version soon as I reckon it’ll look cute over long-sleeved merino tops and tights for winter.

Sadly Simplicity 4909 is missing it’s envelope. The pleated skirt in this one appealed to me, so home it came.

Poor Academy 4420. It’s missing half the front of the pattern envelope and, sadly, its instructions as well. It appears to be a formal dress or a wedding dress, probably from the 1950s. One day I will rescue it – make it up, write up the instructions, take a picture and save it from obscurity. One day….

I debated about Woman W.9 for a while, but once again the lure of a wardrobe pattern pulled me in. Everything from a work suit to a beach outfit – how many other patterns have that type of versatility?!?

While I don’t ever see myself making up the jumper from Simplicity 6276, the collars on versions 2 and 3 of the blouse are adorable. (Just don’t look at version 4. The 1980’s may have got a bit of inspiration from there.)

I also unearthed four books of vintage knitting patterns for the grand sum of 25c each, once again from a box of 1970s and 80s knitting patterns. (I have no shame when it comes to sitting on the floor hunting through these boxes. Sad but true.) The stall owner seemed happy that someone was interested in the patterns – the entire time I was at the bazaar, I didn’t see anyone else even glance at any of them.

While I’m not exactly the worlds best knitter, my mother is pretty amazing, and has been building up a collection of 1940s knitting patterns, so I’m always on the hunt to add some to her collection. Especially since she just knitted up a 1940s cardigan for me, and there is a promise of more to come. (Exciting!!) I’m planning on showing some of my favourite patterns from inside these four books later this week. I love 1940s and 1950s knitting patterns – so elegant and sweet. (I just wish they’d put dates on them. *sigh*)

Anyone have a preference about which of the knitting pattern books I share with you first?

Pattern recording

A while back, I started recording my vintage pattern collection on a separate blog, putting them into clear zip-lock bags, and filing them, so that they were safe and protected, easy to find, and I could still enjoy flicking through them without worrying about damaging the envelopes. (And as an added bonus, if I’m making a garment for a friend/family member in another town, I can now send them the link to my pattern blog and they can look through and choose what they want me to make them. Far easier for everyone!)

It turns out I’ve somehow collected a fair number of vintage patterns this year. For which I completely blame the Sew Weekly, as it was my portal into the wonderful world of lovely girls who sew vintage styles and write about them. What was a growing interest at the start of the year is now an obsession. Oops. Needless to say, it’s taking a while to record all these patterns!

I spent an hour or two tonight to record a few more (adding them into the Vintage Patterns Wiki as I went). And just for the heck of it, I thought I’d show you the ones I recorded, bagged and filed tonight. ‘ere they are:

Butterick 9808

Hollywood 646

Academy 4373

Druleigh 932

Butterick 6987

Butterick B4790

Weigel's 2259

I’m really looking forward to making up the Hollywood dress – it’s a sailor dress style. Cute! It just arrived in the mail today. Now I just need to decide which fabric to make it up in…..

Fabric-a-brac awesomeness

Hello lovely people. Remember how several months ago I posted about Fabric-a-brac? A wonderful fabric extravaganza held in my town (my suburb, even. Just two blocks away, in fact!) to raise funds for the local hospice? Well, it was on again on Saturday. Yay!

Just like last time, I volunteered to help out on the fundraising stall. (Fabric-a-brac raises funds in three ways – people can sign up to have a stall there to sell fabric/wool/craft supplies/etc, and the stall fees go to the hospice. They have a tea-coffee-and-cakes stall, which also raises money for the hospice. And then there’s the donations table – they collect fabric/patterns/etc donations before the fair, then sell them on the day and all the money collected from that also goes towards the hospice. And that’s where I come in – helping with the donations table! I went along to help measure and price donated fabric on Friday evening, then was at the fair all morning on Saturday (and early afternoon), helping to sell it. Lots of fun, and we raised quite a lot of money for the hospice. A feel-good, fabric-surrounded day, all in all. ๐Ÿ™‚

I spotted quite a few of the local crafty blogging girls there as well – Trees, Ria, Karen, and for the very first time I met Kerry, who’s lovely blog I discovered recently. We had one of those ‘hey, you look familiar… do I know you? Oh, you write a blog, don’t you!’ moments. Good times. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a few pictures from the day:

Of course, one of the downfalls of helping man the donations stall is seeing all the donated fabric first, as it comes out of boxes. Um, yeah. I may have gone completely over my budget for fabric purchases for the day. But it’s all for a good cause, right?

I’m not going to list everything I bought here (I’ll save some for later this week). But here’s a few of my finds….

I’m not sure what this is – some sort of rayon or synthetic? (One day I will get good at identifying fabrics that aren’t cotton or merino….) It looks vintage, and is nice and floaty. I’ve got around 4 metres of it, so I’m thinking 1940’s style dress.

This one’s a nice, soft cotton. I have enough for a dress out of this one too – I’m thinking something pinafore style (perhaps the Colette Parfait?) so I can wear it all year around – the colours call out ‘winter’ and the softness of the fabric is calling ‘summer’, so I’m going for a compromise.

I’m not sure what this one is either – something synthetic. It’s not my usual colour/style, but it just wanted to come home with me and probably become a 1940’s style blouse. So I thought I’d humour it.

I also scored a whole bunch of patterns, mainly from the 1970’s. Since I was helping out on the day, I stayed right until the end to help pack up, and someone was throwing out a whole big bunch of vintage patterns. Eek! How on earth could you THROW OUT VINTAGE PATTERNS!!!! So I went through and ‘rescued’ a whole bunch of 1970’s ones. (I must admit to letting the 1980’s ones meet their doom. Sorry, 1980’s patterns – I just didn’t have space for you. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m still feeling a bit guilty about that…..)

Just like the fabric, I’ll just show a few in each post. Here’s the first bunch:

Butterick 4661 – a square-neckline, raglan-sleeve fitted tshirt and a back-wrap skirt with big patch pockets. I’m totally going to make this tshirt – so cute in stripes!

Butterick 3037. Not all that exciting, just a jacket and a skirt, but hey, it may come in handy one day. Or it may become a giveaway. Dunno yet – I probably have plenty of jacket and skirt patterns already…..

Check me out! I’m doing my best impression of a banana in full sunlight! Woo-hoo!
Ahem. Yes. Simplicity 8830. Who knows what they were thinking with the fabric choices for either of the illustrations. From 1970 – too much acid, perhaps?

Yep, that is what you think it is. A shirt onesie. There was no way I could leave this pattern behind – every time I’m having a bad day, I’ll just pull it out and look at that onesie and laugh. Brilliant.
I’m almost tempted to make it, just to see what it’s like in reality. (I can’t quite figure it out – why on earth did someone think this was a good idea?) Don’t worry though – I won’t be making it up any time soon. Unless I particularly want to scare small children.

Want to see what else I got, both pretty and ugly? Tune in later this week and I’ll show you some more! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vintage pattern finds

Here’s a few of my recent vintage pattern finds that I haven’t shared with you yet….

McCall 6696
This beauty is from 1941. Sure, it’s two sizes too big for me, but I couldn’t resist buying it! I figure I’ll just adjust it. It’s still in uncut factory folds – I’m even wondering if I’ll ever make it up as I’ll feel a bit guilty unfolding it to trace around it after it’s stayed in it’s pretty folds for so long! I love the draping detail and the yoke on the skirt – so, so pretty.

Butterick 6049
This little pretty looks like it’s from the 1950’s. There’s no date on it though, so I’m just going by the style – if anyone knows when it might be from, can you let me know?

Australian Home Journal 5035
This pretty suit is a skirt and jacket combination. I love the pockets on the jacket, and the way the back seams on the jacket and the skirt match up, with the skirt seams ending in little kick pleats. This would look so pretty and classic made up for work.

Academy 2305
Not that I have any real need for a pattern for a shirt for 12 year old boys, but when I saw this one sitting at one of the local op shops, I just had to pick it up. It’s rare to find patterns older than the 1970’s in op shops here, and I suspect this one is from the 1940’s. At the oldest, it’ll be somewhere in the 1950’s. And it was only 20 cents. How could I say no? I figure I’ll probably want to make a shirt for a boy at some stage in my life, so now I’m prepared for that occasion. ๐Ÿ™‚ The poor envelope is a bit battered, so I’ve given it refuge in my collection. Kind of like a “feel good” pattern adoption, in a way. It just couldn’t be left there, getting even more damaged. That would have been the Wrong Thing to Do.

Simplicity 5549
I’m oddly excited to have found this pattern. Like the Academy boy’s shirt, it was in the op shop down the road for 20 cents. Which seems like a heck of a bargain to me! I’ve been thinking about making some long witches-britches for under skirts for quite a while (if you’ve ever tried wearing a full 1950’s style skirt in Wellington’s winds, you’ll know why), and now I don’t even have to draft my own pattern for them. Yippie! I’m going to make up some of these culottes slips and long slips for wearing under skirts and dresses. The idea of this makes me happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

So there we have it – some more patterns, added to my collection, loaded onto the Vintage Patterns wiki, recorded on my new patterns private blog, plastic-bagged, and ready to be filed. Bit of a mix this time – from 1941 to 1985, and from boys shirts to women’s lingerie. Which one’s your favourite?