I'm delighted to be able to brighten up your week with some vintage pattern ogling, thanks to a special guest post from Tasha Moss, who is sharing some highlights from her vintage pattern stash with us for #vintagepledge. As well as sewing with vintage patterns, Tasha is an amazingly talented knitter of vintage patterns.She also has a great eye for colour - as her outfit posts beautifully show. Take it away, Tasha!....
Tasha in her first #vintagepledge make of 2015
How and when did you start collecting vintage sewing patterns?
I started to sew again as an adult (after learning as a child) because I wanted to sew from vintage patterns, actually! I was already into vintage style, and about 5 or so years ago I decided to start investigating vintage sewing patterns, to see if I could fill in my wardrobe a bit. If I recall, I sewed a (really bad and stiff) Colette Sencha, and then immediately launched into vintage patterns. I didn’t know enough to be scared or intimidated! Or know that several years later I’d be sewing a good part of my wardrobe, with many things created from vintage patterns!
How many patterns do you have, and how do you store them?
I’ve never actually counted, but I think I’m guilty of owning at least 70 or so vintage patterns! They definitely make up the majority of my pattern stash, period. Because I haven’t organized my sewing space since we bought our house almost 3 years ago (I know, I know, but I sew in the basement and we’ve focused on upstairs first!), my patterns are unexcitingly kept in a brown cardboard box on a shelf. I don’t worry about things getting too damp because during the warmer months, we keep a dehumidifier running so it stays just fine down there.
As for the patterns themselves, most are kept in plastic. Either comic book sleeves or zip top bags for the ones that are either too fragile to pull in and out of the envelope, or ones too bulky to fit in the envelope.
What attracts you to collect the patterns you have?
I love the pattern artwork! I mean, there’s just something tantalizing about it, isn’t there? Even people who don’t sew often love it!
I really like the details that make you think about fabric and trims, and how you might style it for your own wardrobe, however vintage or modern it leans.
But here’s a funny thing I also really love about sewing patterns: the shoes on the envelopes. Yes, the shoes! It’s so much fun to me to see unexpected shoes in the drawings!Do you have any favourite style eras?
My pattern stash kind of reflects my personal style. I favor patterns from the 1940s and 1950s, and those make up the bulk of my stash, although I have some from the early 60s as well.
1960sWhile I admit I’ve sometimes fallen for a gorgeous pattern just because the artwork or style is so incredible, I tend to buy patterns based on what I want to actually wear at a given time. My own style is definitely on the casual end of the spectrum, so most of my stash is sun dresses, casual skirts, blouses and trousers.
What’s the oldest pattern in your collection, and have you made it?
The oldest pattern I have is from 1933, and was given to me by Debi from My Happy Sewing Place. It’s an absolutely stunning dress! I rarely wear 30s styles (they don’t really flatter my body type or go with my lifestyle), but I love this pattern, and I love that it came from a sewing buddy. I’ll always keep it!
Can you pick three favourites - and have you made them?
Such a tough call! I went with picking three favorites that I haven’t made yet, just for fun!
The 1942 pattern on the left is just a great example of gorgeous pattern artwork. While I don’t wear suits, I can’t help but swoon a little whenever I look at this pattern! And it certainly wouldn’t have to be sewn up as a two-piece suit.The second is a Mexican souvenir jacket pattern from 1948. These patterns often go for big bucks but I lucked out and found one on Etsy for a very reasonable price! I’m hoping to start on it this year or next, but I’d like to do a different theme, which will require a lot of embroidery and appliqué practice. We’ll see how that goes!
The last is a wonderful 1950s multi-piece pattern with pedal pushers, short, a jacket and a bra top. I’d love to sew up the shorts and top for summer!
Is there a pattern you think you’ll never make, but will never get rid of?
McCall’s 5455 is an amazing 1960 bathing suit and jacket pattern that I found at an antique mall for $5 (I only remember that because it was written on the envelope, ha ha). Considering how expensive vintage bathing suit patterns are, that’s a steal! I’m not a huge beach-goer though, so odds are somewhat unlikely that I’ll actually make this ensemble. But it was too wonderful to pass up!
Where do you get your patterns from?
While I’ve bought many patterns at antique shops and the like, I’ve had fantastic luck on Etsy. But patience and persistence is the key to that. There are many sellers charging exorbitant prices for patterns, but just as many (if not more!) who are extremely reasonable. In the left-hand sidebar I usually put an upper limit on price when I do an Etsy search, so I can’t even get tempted by amazing patterns outside of my spending limit!
Thanks to Marie and Kerry for letting me guest post on a topic that’s dear to my heart… although I’m not sure if I should thank them or not actually, because after photographing part of my stash, I WANT TO SEW IT ALL RIGHT NOW!
****Thanks so much for sharing your stash with us, Tasha. I love the 60s wrap dress pattern - I stalked it on eBay and Etsy for ages (to no avail) after Tasha posted her dress made from it!
I felt the same after writing my stash post too - I just wanted to get sewing after looking through all my patterns, it's really inspiring.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Tasha's pattern stash - don't forget that the Mrs Depew giveaway is still open. The next #vintage pledge post will be over on A Stitching Odyssey next week.
Happy Sewing everyone