Vintage Sewing

Vintage Pattern Postmark Project

July 17, 2009
I haven’t been sewing nearly enough lately. I hope to get Simplicity 1217 (1945) at least started this weekend. I need some summery dresses. I’m not that big a fan of buttonholes, though; I suspect I may only do buttonholes far enough down to allow me to get into and out of the dress, and then just sew inoperable buttons the rest of the way, for appearances.

I’ll also be doing different pockets. Since it’s princess-seamed, I’ll probably do large pockets sewn into the gore seams, like on my beloved Marian Martin 9359. Those little diamond pockets are cute but don’t look very useful.

I’m doing the flutter-sleeved version with the square neck. My plan is that it will be pink with burgundy and white trim and white buttons (since I have about 50 bazillion reclaimed white buttons to use up).

It’s also avaliable as Decades of Style #4002 1944 housedress.

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I want your postmarks and dated newspaper ads!

Since so many mail-order and smaller-production sewing patterns (Marian Martin, Anne Adams, Sew-Rite, Excella, American Weekly, etc.) were not dated, I’m collecting dated postmarks and newspaper or magazine ad images to help approximate the production dates for these orphan dresses. I’ll be posting the dates on the Postmark Project blog as I get them.

If you have a pattern with a postmark or advertisement date and would like to help, please send the pattern company name, pattern number, postmark or ad date, and a brief description, to the best of your ability, of the item of clothing (or an image of it, if you’re willing to share), to: (copy and paste into email)

  1. I appreciate anything I can get!

    I know it's not an exact way to date them, but I figure it will at least give people a ballpark estimate.

  2. No snaps–I'm exactly the kind of person who would catch the dress on a chair and un-snap the whole thing in one dramatic/memorable/humiliating instant. Woo hoo!

    I like the looks of buttons, and I'm fine with doing *some* buttonholes, just not all the way down the dress. It seems to me it doesn't really need to open that far, anyway–I can get into it just fine without opening the whole thing.

  3. I had a look at some of my mail order patterns earlier and a lot of them seem to have pre-paid postage on them so they don't actually have a date. I will have another look soon to see if I can find any that do have dates on them though!

  4. I have a nightmarishly large pile of mail order patterns that I haven't even started to go through yet. I'll see what I can do for you this weekend.

    I'm sure some of them will not be dated but there is a way to trace back the postmark number to narrow down the range. I'll look into that and let you know what I find – maybe we could collaborate?

    Katherine @ ZZK

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