Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sewing With All Types of Patterns - Vintage & Retro


Have you limited your creativity to using just one type of sewing pattern? Maybe you were not even aware about the types of sewing patterns that are available today. For instance there are vintage paper sewing patterns, modern paper sewing patterns, downloadable sewing patterns (PDF's and other file formats from the computer), magazine insert sewing patterns and I'm sure there are probably others available and new ideas coming in the future we haven't even dreamt of yet. So, lets get back to the question, "Have you limited your creativity to using one type of sewing pattern?" If so there could be a multitude of reasons to why. Some of it could be fear of the technical difficulty. Maybe you just started our on one type and didn't see a reason to use the other types. Well, it's time to get over it!

Lets take look at some of the advantages to using vintage or retro sewing patterns. We will take a look at the other types in later blog post under this series.

1. Mix n match. Did you know that you can combine patterns from different companies, types and even era's to create a style all of your own? Yep, it's true! It may require a bit of drafting to correct for style or fit difference but it can be done. You may not care for a sleeve on one pattern or just simply desire a different style of neckline from another, so change it to work for you. Customizing fit and style are one of the many reasons I sew.

2. Fit. Are you shorter than the average person today? Vintage patterns are designed for shorter heights and curvy figures. A matter of fact many help to show off the curves you have. My daughters are just under 5'2" and on the very petite size. They are proportioned much the way the women from the past era's have been. When using vintage sewing patterns to sew for them, I rarely have to make alterations for height or figure size. You may find that you are proportioned for vintage sizes as well, so give them a try.

3. Design. Unique design features that we don't see in present fashion. Being unique might be important to you so using vintage or retro designs to obtain that one-of-a-kind look would be a great advantage. Many of the older patterns have beautiful drapes at the waist, neck or back. Speaking of backs, many of these unique patterns have extremely interesting back side features such as open back, draped back, jeweled back or no back that hangs from the hips and shoulders. Can you imagine the gossip you would stir wearing something like one of these to a fun event?

4. Re-issued. Today many pattern company's offer a vintage or retro line of patterns. If you're not comfortable with the real vintage ones then try one of these. They are updated to reflect modern sizing and modern markings, directions etc. Always remember to check your measurements with each pattern.

Blogs to help with vintage patterns. These cover techniques, care and storage and helpful tips.

1. Threads Magazine:

2. the little tailoress:

3. Sew Craftful:

Examples of vintage/retro patterns I've sewn:
1. Butterick 6175 (year1970)
2. Vogue 5132 (year 1960)
3. McCalls 2177 (year 1960)

4. Simplicity 6838 (year 1968):


Watch for the continuation of this series of Sewing With All Types of Pattern to include PDF's, Magazine's,  Other Languages, DIY's & Tutorials.