Vintage Sewing & Free Stuff Friday

vintagecover 492x800 Vintage Sewing & Free Stuff FridayI love vintage anything, but especially vintage sewing patterns and books. I love looking at the patterns from the 1940′s and imagining who the woman was who originally had them.  Why did she buy this particular pattern?  Was it for a special occasion or did she just need a new dress to wear?  What fabric did she end up buying? How did it turn out? I especially love when there are handwritten notes on the envelope.

Often times the dress patterns are not even cut which makes me smile because how many times have I bought a new pattern only to have it sit in my pattern box uncut for years at a time.  So buying patterns only to have them sit unused is certainly nothing new is it?  My vintage pattern collection is growing and it far out paces my sewn vintage wardrobe.  I think I am more in love with just having this bit of history than actually using it.  I joke that I’ll be able to pay for my kids college education with my vintage pattern collection.  But, they’ll have an ugly fight on their hands in getting me to turn it over.

For today’s giveaway I’ll have a hard time parting with these gems too.  The Vintage Pattern Selector by Jo Barnfield and the awesome BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern are going home to two lucky winners. (Two winners will be picked with one book being given to one winner.)

burda Vintage Sewing & Free Stuff FridayVintage Pattern Selector Web Vintage Sewing & Free Stuff Friday








Answer the question in the comments section below and you’ll be entered to win.

Do you sew with vintage patterns? If so, what draws you to vintage sewing patterns? Is it the style? What styles do you favor? Currently, the 1980′s are considered vintage, what era do you like?  Since I have to part with these lovelies please give me lots of details on your love of vintage.

Thanks for the indulgence!


Winners will be announced on Monday June 24th!

 Vintage Sewing & Free Stuff Friday

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
This entry was posted in Free Stuff Friday and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Vintage Sewing & Free Stuff Friday

  1. Ginger says:

    I love vintage patterns. I think it’s the classic styles. Or else I’ve watched too much black and white tv. :-) I like late 40′s, late 50′s and early 60′s. I feel old reading 80′s are considered vintage.

  2. Patricia Hersl says:

    It sometimes kills me that I’ve never had the room I would need to keep the things I owned. I began buying patterns in the early 60′s and had quite a few. Now, none, and it breaks my heart when I see them. Maybe it’s just the feeling of a time when things were easier or seemingly more fun. I’ll buy fabrics with vintage feel now. Still no room to keep patterns that I’ll never use.

  3. Sandra says:

    I love the style of vintage clothing from the 1800′s to the 1930s-1970. I have many of these patterns and am watching how the styles keep coming back since the 40′s.

  4. Chris Waechter says:

    I have some of my grandmothers patterns and even some material from her. I love to use some of her things. I have one great apron pattern that I keep in a picture frame in my sewing room.

  5. MelodyJ says:

    I haven’t used vintage patterns. Style wise I love most of the 20th century. Just about anything from the 1910′s to 1990′s. So much variety.

  6. Linda says:

    Paul McCartney did a song last year called Vintage Clothes- saying that’s what we, the youth of the fifties and sixties are now. So true! I look in my closet, at my patterns, at my stash- I’m vintage! Ah well, at least I’m back in style……

  7. Tish says:

    As a product of the 80s I just can’t say no to those 80′s fashions, though I spend a lot of my time in 50s-70s patterns as well. I am in something of vintage design almost everyday, as the shapeless stuff they peddle at the stores currently does NOTHING for those of us with an actual shape (that isn’t round or rectangular). Plus the quality of the stuff in the stores is a sad state of affairs. I too have the crazy pattern stash, and when I get the itch for something new I just browse the patterns I have for inspiration. Even better, “frankenpatterning” a bodice from the 50′s, with sleeves from the 70′s and a skirt from the 80s. Nice!!!

  8. Liz Peters says:

    I love the lines of the garments, the way they hang and all the special detailing that you seldom see in modern garments. Vogue Patterns used to have some really nifty designer detailing but the instructions were masterpieces in obfuscation. However, that’s no longer a real problem for me as I make up my own directions now. LOL

  9. Cherie says:

    I don’t sew with vintage patterns. Not yet, anyway! But I think that it may be just a matter of time. Who knows? I do like vintage jackets, especially. I don’t know why. I like the 1940′s – 1950′s era.

    Thank you!

  10. Wendy says:

    I love the soft bias cut look of the thirties along with the simple lines of the sixties. I love the pictures on so many, it does’ nt really matter the era. They each have their own charm.

  11. Vwren says:

    I especially love vintage children’s patterns from 1920′s-1950′s–or earlier–or later. For adults-1920′s, 40′s, and 50′s–or earlier–or later, lol. I just love vintage styles and pattern illustrations!

  12. glory watkins says:

    yes the 50′s-70′s. I love the styles that they has back then. I also love the fabric patterns that they had too.

  13. Cathy says:

    I like the look of 40′s and 50′s dresses.

  14. Lori says:

    I also love the styles from the 40′s & 50′s, but have found mixing in some more current details, colors and fabrics can really breathe new life into these styles that were created before I was born. I love the roaring twenties and really get a kick out of the roaring twenties styles….way before this “Gatsby” movie remake. Problem is that you had to really be a “Twiggy” (not a lot of curves) to pull them off. I still have a total fringed dress I made for that period…the way it ‘shimmies’ is so fun!

  15. Kelli says:

    I have not sewn with vintage patterns but recently saw an episode of Sew It All on PBS about vintage patterns for dresses and would really like to make something. I really like the look of the vintage patterns and would love to make something!

  16. Letha says:

    I love the classic tailored looks from the 40′s & 50′s but also the simple carefree looks from the 60′s. I’ve kept all my patterns from when I started sewing (the late 60′s) and never realized they were considered vintage…I don’t feel “that” old. LOL!

  17. Kath says:

    Depends on what may be considered “vintage” I still have family clothing patterns from the 70′s and I have both types, sewn and unsewn. How can a caftan ever go out of style? I tried an older 40′s style blouse pattern , it fit well but the directions were difficult to understand. Any tips and suggestions always helps to reconstruct vintage patterns.

  18. Anna Hutchins says:

    Just love vintage clothing all the lace insertion, entradeaux , pintucking and ruffles. So lady like.

  19. Lori Nichols says:

    I love anything pre-1960′s, concentrating on 30′-40′s. movies always showed such a glamorous look, but that was all the glittering accessories. I love the hats and bags. I am rebuilding my collection after losing it several years ago. I especially have been using the doll clothes and toy patterns. Simple and fun

  20. I’ve sewn several dresses a la 50′s with big crinolines – sometimes in a different color than the dress. So fun!

  21. Cathy Thomas says:

    Do you sew with vintage patterns? Yes, I have sewn with vintage patterns (both before they were considered vintage and after they were considered vintage)
    If so, what draws you to vintage sewing patterns? Is it the style? It is usually the style although sometimes it is the construction details. Vintage patterns seem to have wonderful detail.
    What styles do you favor? I like feminine and business styles over today’s casual styles. Currently, the 1980′s are considered vintage, what era do you like? I am partial to the late 50′s early 60′s (Dior and Jackie Kennedy styles) although I like some of the 40′s lingerie (nightgowns and robes).
    I have been sewing since the 1960′s and have had several patterns that I used over and over.

  22. Adrienne says:

    I love 60′s and 70′s-style shift dresses. They’re so basic and can be mixed and matched with sweaters and shoes that transform the outfit!!

  23. Mary Mac says:

    I have several vintage patterns but “collect” them rather than sew with them. The covers alone are just beautiful.

  24. Carol K E says:

    The only vintage patterns I have sewn with are my personal collection since I have sewn since the late 50′s. I especially loved a prom dress I made from a pastel floral georgette. The style had a cummerbund and a very full gathered skirt. I loved it.

  25. Christy Link says:

    I love All vintage. I love Pre-1840′s all the way to today’s. I watch older movies just to see what everybody is wearing and wonder if I could duplicate it. I like the 40 and 50 styles because they seem to be fairly simple. I would probably enjoy making anything at all.

  26. judy says:

    I love the era from 1910 – 1930. Kind of Downton Abbey to Great Gatsby. There are great looks/details from almost any era that i like, too – the bias cuts of 1930′s gowns, the simple sheaths of the 60′s, some of the embellishments from the Victorian era (or even the 80′s).

    I’m most inclined to be inspired by the 1910 – 30 era, though, because I don’t have a waistline and the dropped waist styles tend to be more flattering for me!

    (BTW, if my name is pulled as a winner, I already have the Burda book – love it!)

  27. Michelle Poston says:

    I also, love the look of the 40′s. When I was young ,we owned a satellite dish. I would run out and crank the dish to the correct location. And, I would watch old movies all day. I absolutely fell, head over heals, for the 1940′s. The dresses were to die for. So, Simple. But, elegant.
    I am from the south. We were taught to sew in school. I never owned a sewing machine, till I was in my 20′s. I am now pushing 40. I have never been able to sew vintage patterns. But, I do own a few. I have a large bust and I have never been able to rework patterns to fit right. I am a 38 DD and we all know how that works, on vintage patterns. I would have to buy a 22 and cut it down to fix. I find it easier to make cute outfits for my daughter. I do plan on making a few vintage dresses for her this year. ;o)

  28. Connie Bunton says:

    I have many 1950s patterns that were my mother’s. She and her mother sewed clothes for us as we’ll as clothes for dolls for my sister and me. I have sewn for myself, sister and grand kids now. It is my ‘me’ time in my sewing room.

  29. Val Almond says:

    I love Vintage style & am searching for patterns for myself :)

  30. Cynthia Derrick says:

    While I appreciate styles from the 50′s and 60′s (and even some 70′s) I’m all about 80′s vintage! I scour websites like,, and ebay for 80′s patterns and pattern books. I recently made a shawl-collard blouse from an early 80′s pattern and the fit was near perfect with no adjustments.

  31. Carolyn P. says:

    I have been collecting vintage sewing tools, accessories and patterns for 35 years. I have apron patterns from the 40′s and 50′s that were from my mom. I studied historical costume and costume design in college ( the most fun) and marveled at the pattern collection that our professor had at her disposal. She eventually donated it to the university of Rhode island. You would love it!! The 1980′s is vintage? What a hoot! Big shoulders and silky polyesters, oversized and long. I read the instructions from then and now, oh how they have changed. You were suppose to know just about everything, now it is spelled out in painstaking detail.

  32. Emma Y says:

    I love Vintage patterns. I am especially drawn to 50′s and 60′s but I also have a soft spot for the 70′s since that was when I grew up. Something about the line and the look is very appealing. It is also fun to feel a connection with the past and think about who might have worn something like that back in the day.

  33. Mary Simmons says:

    I love the look of the 40′s — the ERA my mom was in her twenties and dressed like the movie stars — she constructed most of her looks and I am amazed when I look at some of the dresses, skirts and jackets she made. Self taught, she sewed garments that could pass for couture! Would love to be able to create things like she did!

  34. Semra Keller says:

    I frequently sew vintage. My favorites are the 70′s with wide leg jeans and caftans!

  35. Tamara says:

    I still have all my 1970s patterns and use them regularly! I love these classic patterns!

  36. Sharon Ducote says:

    I love vintage patterns from the 50′s and earlier. I have not made anything from them yet , I just enjoy looking at them. I always wished I had been born in those eras. I love everything about them. I love that it was a simpler time and society had values that were upheld. I would have loved being a housewife during the early 1900′s.

  37. Dori Turbes says:

    I’ve got patterns from items I made in the 80′s and thinking about going back to some of them. They seem to be more classic and still in line with todays styles. When my daughter was little in the 70′s I made her many things, those patterns are also still in my stash.

  38. Debby says:

    I loved sewing clothes back in the ’70′s. Wish that the patterns I used for my daughter hadn’t got destroyed. I used to make her these adorable sunsuits and now that I have a granddaughter, I want to be able to make them for her.

  39. Marlene Bailey says:

    I love vintage. I make aprons that bring back memories of my mother making her best recipes.I love the cut of the coats and jackets. The big sleeves and collars abd the swing of the wool fabrics. The formal wear as well as the evening loungers are gorgeous. I love them all and try to mix them with my sewing projects, I still have many of my 1980 patterns and still have some dresses in my closet.. I have some vintage material also. I love it all

  40. Deena Shepard says:

    I have patterns handed down thru the last century. The more styles change, the more they stay the same. Interesting to see the changes in materials, construction & equipment.

  41. I LOVE the vintage style, but I don’t think I pull it off that well as a total look – so I tend to keep the vintage to separates that I can pair with something more ‘modern’. I would love to be able to pull of the “rockabilly style” and am determined that someday I’ll make a retro luau dress (I even have the fabric ready to go)!

  42. All's Fair Isle in Love and War says:

    Love all things vintage. I think fashions from the 20s through (most of) the 80s have great lines and play with a woman’s shape in uniquely flattering and fun ways.

    I am cleaning out my closet and just found a pair of wide vale corduroy pants from Gloria Vanderbilt with tapered, cuffed ankles and high, paper-bag waist from 1984. They fit until recently, when they are now back in style. I wonder how much I will get for them on Ebay? What did we wear these with–suspenders and button down shirts with ruffled yokes?

  43. Tracy Enos says:

    Vintage patterns are great because they’re classy and sleek!

  44. I like 60s patterns, though I haven’t ventured into clothing too much yet. I love all things vintage; it’s just better if there is some history (or HERstory) behind something.

  45. Kathy E. says:

    The “vintage” era I’ve sewn with is from the 90′s! I have a lot of children’s pattern from when my kids were small, and it’s fun to reuse them now. I make pieces for my friends’ kids….until I have grandchildren of my own. :)

  46. nadia franceschini says:

    love the vintage patterns from the 40′s and 50′s. i think this is my fav part of history too, i like you, tend to imagine what woman bought this, why this dress (the dresses of that era tend to be what i’m drawn to most!), what did she need it for, etc. i tend to think alot about my mother and aunt too, who at that time in photos, were always in a skirt/dress and never really wore slacks! it was a time of tastefully, elegant clothing… none of the too much skin stuff i see today! of course, women were smaller then also, so altering some patterns is often necessary to pull off the same look.
    thanks for the opportunity! i’m sure i’ll get much use out of either book!!!

  47. Arleen Schindler says:

    To me “vintage” means my grandmother making clothes for my mom and letting me play with the scraps so my dolls were fashionably dressed. I adore working with the 40/50/and 60′s especially. Now
    a days everything is stamped from a factory and nobody knows the beauty of the handwork during these times.
    I had one daughter and she has one daughter and during her teen years she would not be found wearing anything hand-made so I put them away. Her daughter now finds them “very” in and wears them with pride. So mom now wants to learn –
    vintage will always bring back memories of love added in each stitch and quality because someone truly cared.
    Arleen Schindler

  48. nel fraker says:

    I love the look of vintage patterns. The lines are so clean simple.

  49. Afia Cayee says:

    I love the style of the 1960 – 1970! The sophistication makes them classic!

  50. Heather G. says:

    I love the styles from the 40′s and 50′s! I haven’t sewn anything from those eras….YET!