Thursday, August 18, 2011

Box of Vintage Patterns

Whenever I read about another blogger stumbling upon a bunch of vintage sewing patterns at their Goodwill, or at a garage sale, or in a dumpster, or whatever, I always wonder to myself, "Where the heck do you live? Why are vintage patterns dropping from the sky in your town?" Then I wonder if I should move, because my town lacks this abundance of cheap, vintage sewing patterns as well as a decent fabric store. Then I sometimes pout a little and ruminate over how life isn't fair.

Ha! Someone else can pout now, cuz check out what I found on Craig's List:

My very own box of vintage pattern treasures. And - bonus! -  most of them are roughly my size. Granted, I did have to bike up a hill, have an awkward interaction with a stranger, fork out $25, and then RID THE BOX OF SILVERFISH to get these, but I think it was worth it. Maybe.

Silverfish? They're these fast-moving gross little bugs that remind me of the thing that crawls into Keanu Reeves belly button in The Matrix. I'm not going to post a picture here because that would defile my pretty blog. Anyway, I already had the box in my house and was happily rummaging through it when I discovered the infestation inside. I had to take the box outside and go through one pattern at a time, sometimes flinging a pattern across the porch when a silverfish leaped out at me and sometimes smashing wildly with a paper towel til the little bug was dead. I threw the original box away, and hopefully if there are any more bugs hiding out inside the pattern envelopes they will stay there til I work up the courage to take inventory of the pattern pieces.

I regret giving the guy $25 for a box of bugs, but it doesn't seem right to bargain when someone is liquidating their (possibly deceased) parents' assets. Also, the bugs didn't appear til I got home. Oh well. As you might guess, these patterns aren't in the best condition. I can only imagine where they've been stored all this time. The envelopes are pretty beat up, but it looks like the patterns themselves might be fine, just aged. That's my hope at least. So should we take inventory?

Click on the picture and zoom in to get a closer look at individual patterns
So that's 40 patterns from mostly the 1950s and 1960s. Maybe a few from the 1940s? And this doesn't include about 20 men's and children's patterns. Maybe I'll get those photographed later. Now, what do I do with all these? I'm not a hoarder, so they can't just stay around the house. There are a few I'd like to keep or copy, like the shawl collar jacket in the fourth row (fifth in), the dress on the far right of the fourth row, and the top on the first row (second in). The rest I'll part with, but how? Sell them on Etsy? That's a possibility. Trade for other patterns? I like that idea. Or... perhaps my seamstress friend would take some in exchange for sewing lessons. Hey little sis (if you're reading), any of these strike your fancy?


  1. I betcha I could find some vintage patterns at our Missoula thrift stores. I will keep an eye out for you next time I hit them up. That does seem a bit much for a box of bugs! Reminds me of two days ago when we stumbled upon an old book store in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, they had all these wonderful old photographs and stereo pairs but I couldn't afford them. I scrounged up three dollars and convinced her to give me four little photos.

    I like the same top you picked out...also that little apron is cute! I always wear an apron when I work at the BnB and it would be cool to have one at home that I could say my sis made

  2. Yeah! I'd definitely make you an apron. That would be a fun project, and easy to do without having to fit you. Plus I could use whatever cute quilting cotton I find at Joann's... hmmmm....