Trying to put my thoughts & ideas down somewhere and give another outlet to my creativity. It's all connected, so I can't say it's a blog about just this or just that. Dolls. Fashion. Art. A little bit on travel, whatever... let's take it wherever it goes...


Vintage sewing patterns - looking for the more "exotic"?

I'm still trying to catch up after holidays and lots of other things have either kept me away or busy! As you may have noticed though, I have stocked up my Etsy shop on the sewing pattern side a great deal.

I have also created some new pattern categories to make your search a little easier. If you prefer the modern reissue patterns like Vintage Vogue, you'll now find them in a separate category as Retro sewing patterns. They're all uncut, but hurry, there's not a lot of those left, and the category will probably disappear from my shop.

For the vintage sewing patterns, there's not only a separate category, but also lots of "new" stock to check out! There's not only a lot of American patterns like Simplicity or McCall's, but you'll also find some rather "exotic" rare European ones like Burda, Brigitte/Ullstein, Herbillon, Jolymode or Switzerland's own Ringier. Some of them do come with more language option instructions than just German or the pattern pieces themselves have printed-on instructions in further languages. A personal fave of mine are the Jolymode patterns which have a great concept and show an early multi-size option for patterns, like this one:

As far as I know, these patterns were available through the Jolymode magazines - you bought the mag and then could order the patterns. This is, directions, measurement table and all, printed on pattern paper:

 It offers three different sizes, and basically you could cut the pattern out right in your size. Very nice! Even Burda at this time still sold their patterns in single sizes only, so I was quite surprised by this one.

What I also learned was that a log of European pattern companies provided with their patterns a sheet of generic sewing tips etc. that would be the same with every pattern, and a separate one specific to the actual pattern, which sometimes even appears to have been originally written by typewriter! The emphasis was clearly on production being inexpensive. An interesting example of this are the Brigitte/Ullstein sewing patterns of the 60s and 70s. Brigitte is an iconic German women's magazine. What I did not know whas that they also sold sewing patterns - I am guessing they must have been advertised in their magazines in some way. It isn't a sewing magazine per se though, but a classic women's magazine that of course also includes fashion. Ullstein is a publishing company, and they must have been responsible for producing the patterns.

Brigitte/Ullstein sewing pattern

This is a really cute little secretary dress that could be worn in so many ways! Looking at the back of the pattern, you can see how it was produced. This pink leaflet it seems was based on something like a template that was filled out with the necessary details of the pattern and then copied.

The actual pattern pieces were pre-cut, unprinted, and the numbers and basic instructions were actually stamped on!

If you're looking for inspiration for a wedding or evening gown, or any other kind of formal dress, I have also come upon this fabulous Burda bridal magazine from 1994:

And in a reverse of things, I have actually also stumbled on the sewing pattern in the Burda magazine of November 1966 that one of the dresses in my Etsy shop must have been made from - now how unusual is that! Of course, there's no nicer way of actually dating a home-made vintage dress.

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