There is something about the cut of clothes, in particular dresses, from the ‘60s that I really like. So much of what is available for sale now relies on a pretty fabric or over-the-top embellishments, rather than an interesting cut, to catch the eye.
Thank goodness that vintage patterns are still available! Original patterns may be found on Etsy and eBay. If buying these, make sure you look at measurements, not sizes. Pattern sizes are a bit off to begin with, but what is a 6 today might have been a 10 back then. Also check to see if the pattern has been cut. If it has, it may not have been cut to fit you, so be careful.
There are also companies that reprint old patterns and sell the copies. And it is easy to find out how to adjust sizes, up or down, in order to fit.
McCall’s, Butterick, Vogue, etc. have a reissue line of some of their old patterns. Most of these seem to be from the ‘40s or 50’s, but I am hopeful the ‘60s and ‘70s will be available at some point. These patterns have been updated for today’s pattern sizes (again, these differ from ready made sizes).
My favorite vintage line is called Vogue Couture Design. Each pattern was created by an international designer. They are each marked with a pattern number as well as the signature of the designer and their home country. Ronald Paterson of London, Michael of London, Pucci of Italy, Belinda Belleville of London, or Sybil Connolly of Dublin are a few examples. Of course, there was also the Vogue Paris Originals that featured designers such as Pierre Cardin and Molyneux.
Not only are these old patterns lovely, but also expensive. Whereas a current pattern may be marked $20 or $22, many vintage patterns may run $30-$80, though they are marked $2 or $3 as their original price. Even the remakes of old patterns are marked $30-$35.
If you find an uncut original Vogue Couturier Design, you may get lucky enough to receive the label as well. These designs were packaged with a clothing label that said Vogue Couturier Design. If you find a pattern with label, you will pay a premium!
Before I cut a new pattern, I normally make a tag board copy so that I can make adjustments without ruining the pattern. I will be extra cautious with these patterns, since they may not be easy to replace.
I have purchased several of the re-issued patterns when they were on sale from Vogue. I have also collected several original patterns. They only problem now is choosing which one to make first!
Additional information: If you aren’t already on the email list for McCall’s (which includes Butterick, Kwik Sew, Vogue), you may wish to sign up. They often run sales for patterns, which may be as inexpensive as $5 a piece. Usually the sale is for the entire site. Click here to sign up, by clicking on “subscribe” in the left margin.