Vintage Sewing Patterns (General Category)

Welcome to my Vintage Sewing Pattern Library! This is where you will find details on each pattern, including how/where/when/for how much I acquired each one (to the best of my recollection), direct links to blog posts specific to each one as I work on them, and any interesting historical (or not so historical) tidbits. A compendium, if you will.



Simplicity 6137

Here we have an original pencil skirt pattern from 1965. My very first blog post was about a pencil skirt pattern from 1960 and it looks like not much has changed from 5 years apart to 53 years later. It's still a classic shape and has stood the test of time because of its simplicity and practicality. There are variations which tend to mostly suit individual preferences (i.e. a closed back vent vs an open kick pleat, placement of darts, waistline trends, etc.), but the silhouette hasn't changed. If anything, the body type has changed, but that's what makes making and wearing clothes from the original pattern/era so thrilling! The quest for the perfect shape starts with the right foundation-- something us 'modern' gals would rather do without. But fear not, it's coming back, and I intend to do my part.

Alright. Onwards. This pattern was the result of a search on Etsy for an early 60's Mad Men era pencil skirt with my exact measurements (Joan in a pencil skirt, hell, ANYTHING, always takes my breath away. From episode 1, I became obsessed. But that's another blog story entirely.) I was completely blown away when I found it only on the 2nd page... I was expecting to have to sift through tons of results, considering that my vintage size (an 18) was considered 'plus size' by the era's standards and not all that common. I couldn't believe the price either-- a mere 8 bucks! I highly recommend at least perusing ZipZapKap's offerings-- something for everyone-- and they have a great vintage sewing community website to boot:

And just check out the tags that came with it....
such a thoughtful and personal touch!



McCalls 4219

This is another gem I found.... eek,  I don't remember where! Yikes. Usually these things stick out so clearly in my mind. Maybe one day it will come back to me when I'm not even thinking about it. That's usually how it works, right? Right. There is no price marked anywhere on this, so I'm assuming I paid only a few bucks for it. Come to find out, it was a friggin' steal! I have found multiple listings for this pattern, one for $35 (which I thought was really high) but this $50 one is just highway robbery. It's a 32" bust, which isn't uncommon for vintage, so I don't know why it is so much. I will never understand pricing of vintage as I've never sold any, so I'll just leave that one alone.

Anyways! this is another one that is dead on my size. Everything I've tried on in vintage clothing stores that fit like a glove (which is rare for me) are always a size 18, and they're usually pieces from the 50's to 60's-- my favorite eras! So naturally it follows that the same size sewing patterns will be right on too. I'm at least crossing my fingers.

Right off the bat, view B strikes me first, though I would omit the collar and cuffs and go for the cutout neckline and sleeves of view D. I guess to state it more simply, I love the bodice of view D and the skirt of view A. There we go. And for those of us NOT drinking champagne while blogging at home on a Thursday afternoon with nothing but dishes and laundry to do..... view E just takes the cake. Mmmm... cake.


Simplicity 4489

Goodness, I am excited to make this!! It is currently one size too small for me, but the lovely Anna Depew of Mrs. Depew Vintage offers a free pattern grading ebook along with all of her patterns, so hopefully it won't take too much to grade it up a size. I have lucked out so far with the instant download patterns I have chosen in that they are my exact size, which is really thrilling considering that my size was plus size back then and just weren't as common to find in patterns.

And I just *adore* that wrap skirt! Illustrated as going over the shorts really got me excited to buy and make this. Like, now. It is next on my sewing project list, and hopefully I can get to it before it is out of season to wear it.

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