Authentic vintage dressmaking patterns are not so easy to find these days, especially sewing patterns of clothing designs from over three-quarter of a century ago.
These are not the kind of things you’ll find in shopping malls but you may be lucky to find a rare few in flea markets or at local street markets that open only one or two days a week.
Such markets where you will likely find vintage dressmaking patterns include marketplaces and arcades like The Vintage Market and Portobello Market in London; Edith Machinist (Lower East Side) and The Market NYC (Greenwich Village) in New York and Long Beach Antique Market and Arts District Flea in California. But most people looking for genuine vintage clothing patterns, especially the unopened ones, probably don’t live anywhere near these locations.
So, if you, like many of us really want patterns of the stylish 20th-century apparel designs but can’t find them around where you reside, your best option is at online stores that retail sewing craft item – places like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and Vintage stores. Granted, you may have to devote like a half-hour (or more) to find what you are looking for. Genuine patterns are, of course, rare finds.
Vintage Inspired Sewing Patterns
Obviously, unused vintage authentic patterns (Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, McCall, etc…) are rare finds so the next best thing is to buy vintage inspired clothing patterns which are reproductions of vintage styles. They are much easier to find online and available designs abound. You can get one for that flapper style you’ve been yearning for.
So, whether you are looking for dressmaking patterns of a 20s tango dress, a Victorian wedding dress, a Mary Quant frock, a retro jumpsuit, or a fifties Chanel jacket, buying reproductions of vintage sewing patterns is always your best choice.
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If you that have a penchant for sewing and dressmaking (either acquired or inherent) you may even be able to create your own patterns after viewing pictures, brochures, or photographs of stylishly dressed women of about a century ago. Pattern making is also easier to do if you are a fashion designer or an aspiring one.
If you search online, you will find an arsenal of pattern making books and tools that will be of tremendous help if you intend to make your own clothing patterns imitating the fashion of a glorious era.
However, if you are like most of us that love the unique but can't stitch two strips of cloth together, you can get a dressmaker or a friend/family that’s good in the art of pattern making or sewing or you can also employ the services of professional couture dressmakers or tailors, albeit for a hefty fee.
Popular paperback pattern making books you’ll find helpful include the following:
- Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit: Using the Rub-off Technique to Re-create and Redesign Your Favourite Fashions
- BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern
- How to Make Sewing Patterns
- Basic Patternmaking in Fashion
- Woman's Dress - A Collection of Vintage Articles on Dressmaking, Millinery and Tailoring