I think I’m addicted to buying sewing patterns. I went to two thrift shops (that I usually don’t frequent but happened to be in the area) and was on the lookout for clothing, but instead I found more sewing patterns. Most of the patterns at both stores were from the 1970s to the 1990s.
The first thrift shop I went to was a local one, and I like it quite a bit because it’s rather large and it’s cheaper than most other thrift shops in the area. It’s fairly relaxed and the type of thrift store where bargaining is more apt to occur. The patterns I stumbled upon weren’t marked with a price, so I picked out 14 patterns that I liked (to varying degrees) and if they wanted more than I wanted to spend then I’d just pick out my favorites to buy. However, when I asked the cashier how much the patterns were, he said “50 cents.” I asked, “For all of them?” (Since it was unclear to me if he meant the price for the patterns individually or all together). And he replied, “Uh, sure.” I decided to pay him a dollar. I almost felt bad that I got so many patterns for such a small price.
Here are the sewing patterns I got there, from oldest to newest.
First up is a dress pattern that I couldn’t find a date on, but looking at the packaging, it’s obviously from the 1970s. I liked this cute simple flowing dress that’s reminiscent of one from the 1940s.
Next up is a vest, skirt and pant pattern from 1974. I like the pocket detail of fabric that flips out.
This simple dress pattern is from 1976. It looks like a pretty easy dress to make.
The next pattern is a shirt, pants and reversible vest and back-wrap skirt from 1976. The reversible skirt could be a fun project to try to make.
This is a simple shirt-dress pattern from 1979.
The name “E.S.P. makes me laugh. And the red periods in the acronym confuses me—why are they red? Are the periods special in some way I don’t know about? These are questions the designer side of me is just wondering…
A very simple dress pattern from 1981; I like these basic dresses that would be so easy to make (as the “’Make it Tonight’ Wear it Tomorrow!” name implies).
A jumpsuit pattern from 1983. I’m not a jumpsuit person. I don’t think I’ve ever owned or worn one. And I wouldn’t make this one. But I kind of like the top half and think could see it being used in a dress…
And on a side note, at the bottom it has “Overnight Success” on it, which is not unlike its competitor McCall’s “’Make it Tonight’ Wear it Tomorrow!” When I see these lines, I envision people in the 80’s thinking, “What should I wear tomorrow? Hmm, I know! I’ll just whip out an outfit from one of these patterns.” [Pause.] I guess they still have these quickie patterns today, but they just call them better names, like the generic “easy-to-sew” (with no time constraint because really, for many of us, finishing a dress in a day just isn’t very realistic).
Next is one of those ladylike blouses from the 1980s that I like; this one is from 1984. I like the simple blouse number 2.
This dress pattern is from 1986. I like dress number 3. I think it could be a cute summer dress. I do not like the sleeves on these dresses.
A dress and jumpsuit pattern from 1989. I think dress A is cute; it’s simple enough that it’s pretty timeless. But that jumpsuit. [Pause.] Wow. It’s just so terrible. When I look at it, all I can think is “Hammer time.”
Simple pullover top pattern from 1991. It’s not a pattern I was particularly excited about, but I figured it could be a good basic pattern to have.
This dress pattern is from 1992. I hate the sleeves. Not super excited about the elastic waist. But I like the concealed buttons that go down the front of the dress.
Next is a dress and jumpsuit pattern from 1992. Man, this is so 90’s. I think if I took off the sleeves, the dress might be cute.
Finally, another ladylike blouse pattern; this one’s from 1992. I like C blouse.
At the second thrift shop, the patterns were more expensive, ranging from 69 cents to $6.99. I picked out three 69 cent patterns for a grand total of $2.07.
First up is a dress and vest pattern from 1973. I think the dress is adorable and would totally make it.
Next is an unlined raincoat and hat pattern from 1978. I’m not sure that I would ever make this jacket, but it is interesting to me.
And finally, a jacket, blouse, skirt and pants pattern (that I couldn’t find the year on). I really like these pieces; they’re simple and elegant. I mean, even the drawings look sophisticated. My favorite piece is the jacket that’s just so classic.
I know I don’t need any more patterns, but I find them so interesting. Hopefully I won’t find any more patterns for a while. On the rationalized upside, if I’m going to be stockpiling sewing supplies, buying used patterns is much cheaper than buying fabric…