At a flea market last month, I found a box full of children's clothing patterns from the 1940s-60s (at the latest); I bought all of them for $10 and just about skipped home! Here is a selection of girls' outerwear; I hope you find these as exciting as I do:
[LEFT: my favorite, Butterick size 4 girl's coat. "The double-breasted coat with buttons to the waist. It is nicely fitted, and has a gently flared skirt. The back belt buttons on neatly. This is a favorite dress-up fashion for the young miss... and it does for every day as well." RIGHT: Advance size 8 cape and hat.]
Realistically, I know I won't make half of these. But they serve as great style inspiration for Owlette, and I've had a difficult time tracking down vintage kid style resources.
[LEFT: Simplicity size 4 child's coat, hood and leggings. "The flared-back coat, finished with lining, is styled with a double row of buttons and welt pockets... In style 1, the leggings, made with suspenders, have openings at the sides and are finished with elastic casing in back. The straps at the lower edge fasten with hammer or metal fasteners..." CENTER: Simplicity size 4 child's one-piece dress, coat with detachable collar and hat. RIGHT: McCall size 8 child's coat.]
[This is for my fellow lovers of technical illustrations! I find them more useful than the pattern front.]
It is clear to me, from reading through these patterns, that our collective sewing knowledge has shrunk in the last several decades. The reasons for this are obvious; perhaps I'll tell you what you already know in another post. Inside of one of the patterns I found another mystery pattern, traced onto the funny papers:
[Note the date of copyright on the comic strip!]
So, readers, do you have any tips for working with vintage patterns? What about for preserving them? Some of the patterns are water damaged and especially delicate... about a third are unprinted, and have those holes punched in the tissue. Does anyone have a good resource for deciphering unprinted patterns? All advice and anecdotes are most welcome!