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A Brief History of Paper Sewing Patterns
Are you a pattern collector? Frustrated by the lack of dates on almost all vintage patterns? This chart can help. I have been buying and selling vintage patterns for years, and I have put together this handy dating chart! I am always happy to combine items for a shipping discount.
Thanks to a newly released archive of vintage sewing patterns, you The fashionable patterns include everything from iconic feathered looks dating back Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue, McCalls, and Advance sewing brands.
Before the midth century, average women sewed their own clothing by hand. Factory-produced fabrics were affordable and available in the early 19th century, but easy-to-use dress patterns and sewing machines for the home seamstress were not sold in the United States until the s. William Jennings Demorest and Ellen Louise Demorest began the home sewing pattern industry in by holding fashion shows in their homes and selling the patterns.
This was the beginning of the Mme. Demorests’ Emporium of Fashion. They published a magazine, The Mirror of Fashion , which listed hundreds of different patterns, most available in only one size. Patterns were of unprinted paper, cut to shape, and could be purchased “flat” folded , or, for an additional charge, “made up” with the separate pieces tacked into position. The latter version was intended to compensate for the absence of detailed instructions.
Ebenezer Butterick launched The Butterick Company in to create heavy cardboard templates for children’s clothing.
This compilation of pattern information comes from many sources. Namely the past. It is hours and days and years of compiling lists and scans and various. My thanks go out to all of the wonderful patternistas who have sent me. Husband for giving me tons of help and encouragement to research all of the data to.
Pinterest. Find, save, do. Download. Dating Butterick Sewing Patterns of the – chart included! Butterick Sewing Patterns, Vintage Sewing. Expand.
Series 1. Pattern Companies, 37 box es Also contains photocopies of individual pattern descriptions and envelope covers. Arrangement: Arranged in alphabetical order by pattern company and chronologically thereunder. Series 2. Women’s Fashions, 2 box es 1 linear feet Contains articles, photocopies, clippings. The bulk contains a fashion chronology comprising pictorial representations of women’s clothing fashions.
Recreate a look that dates back to the s, ’40s, ’30s, or even the Roaring Twenties. Vintage fashion admires be prepared to rejoice! There is some rather exciting in-vogue breaking news involving you and your handy sewing machine. Today, over 83, vintage sewing patterns are accessible online thanks to the website, the Vintage Patterns Wikia.
Butterick produced patterns in beige envelopes. There is no printed date on the envelope but monthly and quarterly catalogs or Delineator.
By Lizzie Bramlett — October 10th, Lizzie Bramlett is a collector of vintage clothing and sewing patterns , and can be reached via her website, Fuzzylizzie. Paper sewing patterns were first manufactured in the middle of the s. These first paper patterns were designed by Ellen Curtis Demorest. Starting in , these patterns were sold through her magazine, Mme. In , American tailor Ebenezer Butterick was the first to create a sewing pattern in various sizes. It was his idea to use tissue paper for the mass production of sewing patterns.
The earliest paper sewing patterns were pre-cut on plain tissue, with notches and holes for markings which aided in construction of the garment. The printed pattern was introduced in the s, but did not become commonplace until just after World War II. These are also the most commonly found vintage patterns, though there were dozens of smaller companies who produced some wonderful designs.
History of sewing patterns
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McCall’s, Butterick, Simplicity. If you were into The Vintage Patterns Wiki has over 83, sewing patterns dating until Browsing by.
Tucked away in museums displaying and storing collections of dress and textiles there is often a subsidiary but significant collection of printed ephemera. This might encompass bills, trade cards, paper carrier bags, fashion plates and dressmaking patterns. However, as this book and the various international collections which contain dress patterns can demonstrate, many of these documents are far from minor or transient.
They may have been created from thin paper — the tissue paper that many of us can recall from domestic or professional contexts, but their survival indicates a strength which belies their superficial fragility. Such paper patterns alongside many other categories of supposedly ephemeral items are now studied within a variety of scholarly contexts, including that within which Joy Emery worked for many years at the University of Rhode Island as Professor Emerita of Theatre and Curator of the Commercial Pattern Archive.
She is a generous acknowledger of those whose work has informed hers including Betty Williams —96 an early enthusiast and theatre designer who inspired Emery and Professor Kevin L. It is a carefully organised book with a clear introduction about its aims — primarily to consider American and English language patterns from the s up to the present day, allowing for further research into collections held in other countries.
The notion that patterns were too fragile to survive in quantity and that their production processes meant that topical fashions had passed before the actual patterns could be acquired is dispelled. Surviving patterns, according to Emery, also provide a visual source for defining and dating the terminology given to garments and their constituent elements, and an additional means of dating fashions accurately. All of the key English language sources can be found in the bibliography which is arranged into primary and secondary material; archival collections are limited to those found at the University of Rhode Island.
Studying historic clothing and how it was constructed and disseminated is a hybrid discipline; it can straddle art, design, economic and social history and also be interrogated in the context of theoretical approaches to the body and its representation. Given that there is still much work to be done to identify and catalogue collections of patterns Emery chooses to examine the economic and social contexts alongside an informed knowledge of the changing fashions that a chronological and well-illustrated sequence of patterns offers the reader.
This is achieved in an introduction, 12 chapters, an epilogue and appendix containing several historic patterns offered to the keen maker in an updated format. The last is a reminder that historic patterns, whether surviving in paper form or, from earlier periods, in patterns taken from extant garments, offer an opportunity to recreate accurate costumes for cinema, theatre and television productions.
Dating Vintage Patterns
Hi, this seems to me to be a simple question- but one that I haven’t found the answer to Why don’t the Pattern Companies offer their older patterns as downloads on the Web I realize that they may not have them all- but surely they have some of them This is me www. I just discovered your site and am sooo happy I did.
Dating Butterick Patterns to Actual ‘store counter’ catalogs from the s and 50s are hard to find, but monthly Butterick Fashion News flyers were distributed at fabric stores and also mailed to customers. These 8 page mini-catalogs illustrated and described the newest patterns. Luckily, many of these flyers have survived and often show up for sale on the internet. The resulting chart is a work in progress, which I will add to as more information becomes available. If you’ve been trying to decide whether a pattern is late s or early s, or late s or early s, this ought to help.
Four-digit pattern numbers usually begin in the s and run up to ; then they start over.
TABLE of CONTENTS – Cemetarian
Although there are records of clothing patterns dating from , this storystarts in , which is when William and Ellen Demorest began the home sewing pattern industry by holding fashion shows in their homes and selling the patterns. Patterns were of unprinted paper, cut to shape, and could be purchased “flat” folded , or “made up” whereby the pattern pieces were tacked into position to compensate for the absence of detailed instructions.
The Demorests published a magazine, The Mirror of Fashion , which listed hundreds of different patterns, most available in only one size. One of Ellen’s patterns would be stapled into a magazine with illustrations of the latest fashions with instructions for ordering more.
How to Date Vintage Sewing Patterns by Cemetarian PDF file. Mccall Pattern B Ff (Butterick Pattern. Find this Pin and more on Black & White by.
Last fall luck was with me and I found a Butterick counter catalog from I say lucky because these are so hard to find these days, and when they appear online they always come with a hefty price tag. So I hope this post will be somewhat focused, without me running here and there with a hundred different observations.
But because the catalog offers a wide range of clothing, comparisons between sportswear, day clothing, evening gowns, and even lingerie, can easily be made. One of the best tips I know of when it comes to dating sportswear is to look at a piece as though it were fashionable day or evening wear. You can see that the design above is the same play set at the top of this post. The pattern actually contained all four pieces, so a woman could easily turn a play look into streetwear.
The shorts look almost exactly like the lingerie panties so commonly seen in the early s. It would not be long before the pleated shorts as seen on the right became the most popular type. Have you noticed the bare backs?