Vintage loveliness.

16 Jul 2008


Today I spent the morning resting and sleeping on the couch like Lady Muck.

Around lunch time I felt a little perkier and decided to tackle something I have been wanting to do for ages - look through and photograph all my vintage sewing patterns.
I've classified "vintage" as anything older than 25years.

Some time ago Mum gave me all her old sewing patterns which include a few early ones belonging to my Aunt Maisie from the early 1950s, all Mum's from the mid 50s to the mid 70s and then the patterns that I used when I was a teenager in the 70s.
I also have my patterns from the past thirty five years but I only included those up until the early 80s.

My Auntie Maisie sewed for herself and her two children, being a deserted wife she needed to be as frugal as possible.
She also sewed to support the family, doing dressmaking professionally.
I desperately want to be the one who inherits all her sewing stash, the patterns, the fabric, the buttons, lace, braids, ribbon, her 1950s Singer sewing machine.
I'm the only family member who is interested in sewing but I guess, when she passes on ( not that I'm getting pushy here) her daughter, my cousin will make the decision about who gets to clean out the sewing cupboard.
Maisie is not the kind of person to ever, ever throw anything away.
When Kate was little, Maisie gave me some beautiful English linen fabric with a delicate little rabbit print on it which she had been given for her daughter, forty years earlier,and never used.

Anyway enough of my covetous thoughts.

Here are a few of my favourites from my collection and if you want to see the rest pop over to my Flickr account.





This is the dress, in a white hailspot cotton, that Mum made for my confirmation dress.


So cute


The perfect English school boy.
It's a size 1 pattern and I think it was a little coat made for my cousin Chris ( who turns 50 tomorrow).


I love these perky little girls.


Dressing gown for my cousin Sue ( 54)


So elegant.


Mum made this for my sister and me.
The pinafore was in a black and white houndstooth check and the little shirt was in a lovely soft pink flannelette.
I loved, loved loved this outfit.
I wore it with white sleekies ( tights) and black paton leather shoes.
Who remembers sleekies???


This is my first solo sewing project, made in grade 7 sewing, upstairs in the HAC building ( home arts and crafts), my favourite place at school and is now the Arts Centre at Kate's school and her favourite place.
I made it in a polished cotton, white background with little pink roses.
Very sweet.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes , I feel a lot better but not quite right yet.

14 Responses to “Vintage loveliness.”

  1. Hope you're feeling better soon, Jenny!
    What great drawings on those patterns. I saw a few of these oldies this weekend at a flea market, but didn't buy them. I kind of regret it now when I see your pictures!

    Christine from the NL

  2. Good evening Jenny
    Glad to hear (or should I say read) that you are on the mend. It's lovely that kate is at an age that she can look after her Mum.
    I am so enjoying Tasha Tudor's books that I borrowed from the library. She was such a talented & creative woman. In one of the books, Richard Brown, the photographer, talks of a delicious meal he shared with Tasha...and of tea, made the right way, with loose leaves in a warmed hundred and fifty year old teapot. Just imagine if that teapot could talk!
    Take care and don't hurry to get back to your rountine if you are still feeling unwell.

  3. I think I recognise 4529 and the last one, isn't it amazing. I loved the ruffle.

  4. Sorry to hear you haven't been well Jenny. The nasty cold bugs are going around town. Hope it doesnt hang around and you have a speedy recovery...... Lovely patterns. Don't you just love the skinny wastes on those drawn pics....


  5. Hi Jenny hope your not to bad today.And those patterns what a collection,they remind me of all the clothes my mum used to make for me and my sister to save money. I remember now how she would stay up late with her sewing machine, hoping to finish the dresses ready for the following day.

  6. I'm sorry to hear you're feeling off. Take care of yourself and stay on that sofa! Those patterns are lovely! I just can't find vintage sewing patterns in good nick over here.

  7. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, although looking through patterns sounds like a lovely way to spend a day.

    It amazes me that around the world, people were sewing the same things so long ago. I recognize so many of those patterns, and have many of them myself... to think we could have been wearing the same thing, just in different hemispheres, 30 plus years ago!

  8. Those patterns look so familiar, I am sure my Mom had several of them!

  9. Hi Jenny, I hope you are feeling better soon. A day on the couch with a nice warm blanket is a great cure for most things.
    I always read your blog but dont comment often enough. I was prompted to comment today having seen all the patterns it brought back happy memories. My Mum made all my clothes when I was a child back in the 50s. I used to love to go to fabric shops and pick out summer dress material, it was called "Miss Muffet Print". One dress I particularly remember was in red gingham and had a big white sailor collar. I adored that dress and was very disappointed when I grew out of it. My wonderful Mum made me another just the same. When we went to visit my Auntie who had two daughters younger than me we would take the things I had outgrown. The oldest girl was delighted to have a dress the same as mine but the youngest one cried herself to sleep because she didnt have one. When we were all in bed Mum took down Aunties gingham kitchen curtains and washed them, ironed them dry and with the addition of a white cotton pillowcase made the youngest girl a matching dress. As you can imagine she was delighted the next day when she woke up to find a matching dress on the bottom of her bed.
    Such happy memories.
    Best wishes, Eileen.

  10. Thank you for the lovely trip down Memory Lane, Jenny. I remember many similar patterns.

    I hope you will feel better very soon.

  11. Oh thank you for sharing your lovely patterns! I enjoyed reading about the stories behind them too. Keep resting Jenny, God Bless.

    Love, Tina :)

  12. :sigh: I love the vintage patterns..Unfortunately I have not a single one. My mother had a large collection of vintage patterns that I know she would have given me but sadly they all burned in a house fire.

  13. You make me want to run down to the sewing machine and start sewing! Thanks for the inspiration...I really do have a blouse pattern cut out and waiting there.

  14. Oh, the patterns are lovely esp. the one of the little boys coats!



Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.