Vintage Sewing

Have you ever noticed

January 15, 2010
That when you buy a new pattern in the local Mega Fabric Store the prices can be fairly similar to the pattern prices back in the day? I mean with the lovely sale prices and all, you can still pick up a decent pattern for less than $5. But when you try to replace a $3 pattern from the early 80s, you’ll spend $12-30 for it? Case in point? McCall’s 8181.
I had this pattern when I was a little girl. I LOVED it. It was amazingly easy to understand the instructions and I had a lot of fun with it. Of course, being 8 years old, I wasn’t the best at maintaining my patterns. Which is why, I recently parted with $12+ to reacquire it. Now I must say, that in my initial searches for it, I found a copy for $30 (dream on, sister) and the pattern envelope has “$24.99 OBO” in pencil on it (LOLZ). So I guess it’s some kind of rare find or something. All I know is that the Jackson 5, I wanted [it] back.
Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve lost parts of or that you remember from your childhood that you wish you could have again? Or maybe one that a family member sewed something from for you?
When I was a little girl, my mother had a project started – which she never finished – of making me a dollhouse and all the stuff inside it. McCall’s had a pattern or two for this – 7192 & 6889 – back in the day.

My mom gave me the box with all the pattern stuff and fabric scraps and whatnot and somehow, I LOST IT ALL. I think it might be in my garage somewhere, and if it is, well, the roaches probably got to it. It’s Florida, it happens. So I was on a mission to replace them because I wanted to make them for my kids. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck with project completion than my mom. I was able to get both patterns from two different sellers (one on etsy, one on ebay). I’m just giddy having them on my desk.
And that brings me to another pattern from memory lane… Simplicity 5615.
I had this pattern in size “large” for my ” Puddin’ ” baby doll back in the day. And I desperately wanted to make the outfits for my middle child’s baby doll (smaller size than my old doll). I was THRILLED to find the pattern in the “small” size which would be a perfect fit.
Unlike the patterns that I buy to possess the cover art or maybe make “one day”, these patterns are like… I dunno… They take me to a place where I’m happy and full of promise and possibilities. I feel free to create. Just like I did when I was 8-10 years old and had nothing more pressing than getting good grades in school and feeding my pets. The only difference? Now I’m much better at keeping track of my patterns. I’m not letting these get away from me again.
Now if I can only get hold of the “swing costume” pattern that I lost half the pieces to, I’d be a happy camper…
  1. Wow, a blast from the past! My mother actually made me stuff from the 6889 and 7192 patterns. I still have the little family (we only made the baby & parents, no siblings) and some of the furniture she made for the house (bassinet, dining chairs & sofa). We made them a house but I don't know if it was from pattern 6889 since it no longer exists. I might still have the family pattern but I have no idea where it would be now.

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