Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Children's Patterns

Although I haven't done any sewing in quite a while, I love to collect old patterns. For a while, back in the '80s and '90s you could find really interesting, really old printed patterns in thrift shops and yard sales for just pennies each. That's all changed now – some of the same patterns I scooped up for ten cents a piece are going for ten bucks or more on eBay right now. Every now and then the hubby starts making noises about the money we could be making by unloading my "collection," but (fortunately) the patterns are all hidden away in a storage bin at the moment – too much trouble to dig them out.

Some of my favorites are the patterns for children's clothes. These are a few examples from several different periods. It's interesting to see how kids' fashion has changed in the last century or so, and how the look of the patterns themselves has changed, too. Sorry about the quality of the photos – they were all taken several years ago, before I packed everything up for storage. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Most of these early patterns aren't dated, but these are two of the oldest; probably from the post-WWI, early 1920s period.

More from the 1920s, for little flappers.

I love these little hat patterns, also probably from the 1920s.

These look like they're probably from the 1930s.
Very Shirley Temple, don't you think?

A couple from the late 1940s or the 1950s, with aprons or pinafores. I would have worn something like this to school everyday.

Another one from the 1950s, very fancy. I remember my mother making me something very similar for a school play when I was about six or seven. But I came down with tonsillitis and never got to wear it. Bummer.

And finally, a couple from the 1960s or early '70s. Even the kiddies were mod.

Vintage Thingies Thursday is hosted by Suzanne at Coloradolady, and as she says, "Thursday is the day to showcase your vintage treasures and to share your special things with everyone." Please visit her blog to find out more about VTT or to participate yourself.


  1. These are fabulous! I love them all, especially the pinafores. I like how you time-sequenced them!

  2. Oh wow. I don't sew but visually even these are amazingly appealing...does that make sense? Just looking at them is fun...

  3. Wonderful! I have not seen patterns as early as yours. Ihope yours are stored in a dry place (no mold or mildew).

  4. I don't have any old patterns but I have a 1913 Butterick Sewing book that uses some children's garments for lessons of how to construct the garment once you have the pattern.

  5. Isn't that the absolute truth. I remember seeing OLD patterns for just a few cents. And now they are like gold. And of course I did not want them back then. I want them now :-)


  6. Flapper dresses and pinafores...the names alone are cool. All so very cute.

  7. You have some fantastic patterns! I love digging through sewing stuff at auctions and estate sales. And I have never seen children's patterns this old.

  8. These are some adorable patterns...I love all the little dresses, so sweet.

    Have a great VTT and a wonderful weekend.

  9. I love, love, love those patterns. I have never seen patterns that old before...they are great. Don't let your husband get his hands on those patterns :-)

  10. Oh I LOVE them! I too collect, but I'm selling some of my collection to make space for...more vintage stuff, of course! You should check out my blog, I have tons of vintage patterns to see:

  11. Wonderful! Very interesting to see how early the McCall's pattern envelopes came to look like the pattern envelopes we grew up with.

  12. they are ADORABLE..i love the graphics!

  13. At our local antique mall there is one vendor with tons of old patterns -- when I say old I mean I used some of them for myself in the 70's. So, yeah, old. They are really pricey though and I could kick myself for getting rid of all of mine -- especially the ones that I used for the kids.


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