Oh the excitement! Vintage Patterns Galore

And now, on a completely unrelated note to the Sew-Along, I wanted to share something cool that happened a little while back. I am constantly amazed at the kindness of people. You guys are awesome! Reader Veronica emailed me to say she scored a bunch of vintage patterns at an estate sale… and she wanted to pass them on to someone who would use them and love them. That person was me! Thank you, Veronica!

Eleven vintage patterns, I can hardly believe it! I was sooo excited the day she emailed me, and couldn’t wait for them to arrive. I was holding my breath because I didn’t ask about sizing, figuring I would take on the grading if needed. And wouldn’t you know, all of them are my size or one size up! Can you believe my incredible good luck?

Here are the eleven new patterns in my collection:Gorgeous! They look to be in pretty good condition, I’ll check them out closely to be sure.

Want to see them one by one? You got it!

Simplicity 3384, my favourite of the bunch but sadly the most damaged one! The pieces look like they’re OK though. I love the stripes! It’s one size up but it should be easy to alter. The wide scooped collar is detachable, too!Butterick 3654, a cute set of blouses. In my size! I like the sleeveless bow-front one for under jackets. Wouldn’t it be cute tucked into a skirt, or wide, high-waisted trousers?Butterick 2329 is pretty cute. Love that it’s designed for Easy Living! This little set is made of gingham and includes directions for cross-stitching it, just like the cover illustration. Is it too retro-housewife? I kind of love it and want to make it for wearing around the house. In my size, too!This next one, Simplicity 4024, looks just like the Twin Spruce Dress in silhouette and shape, but with a button-front closure. And you know I love buttons!I feel like these patterns were personally picked out for me! Simplicity 5971 is a variation on the fitted-bodice-full-skirt theme, with a slight cowl neckline. I could see this in the vintage rayon crepe, perhaps. I always favor the full skirts but the slim version of this one is really nice, too.Simplicity 4010 has frog closures, how cool! I’m sure there are directions to making your own frog closures in one of the books I have. Another great full-skirted dress!McCalls 3414 is a cute pattern, I’m not sure if I could rock the pants but the blouse has a great yoke detail at the back. Look at the girl in the green – it has a wide pointed yoke with gathers. Also, did you notice the coral pants have cuff facings that match the blouse?Simplicity 9360 is a reissue of a 1930’s pattern, it’s the only 1930’s style pattern I now own. Look how impossibly tall these models are! I love the drama of the look but I’m not sure it’s for wide-hipped, short-legged me. (Not knocking myself, I just know the way I’m built!)Simplicity 3780 is a simple sheath dress, perfect for making up multiple times. Simple to make, it says! To me this is a thrown-on-and-go dress, the kind you reach for when you don’t want to stress over coordinating an outfit.Simplicity 7088 is an authentic muu muu! How cool is that? I’m picturing it as another wear-around-the-house dress, wouldn’t it be ridiculously comfortable? It’s my size too, although size probably doesn’t matter too much in this style…And I saved one of the best for last – Simplicity 5669! Look, a cape! I so wanted to make a cape for fall. With a coordinating skirt. Winter may be ending but there’s still time to make and wear a cape before it warms up completely!

My first thought is to make the cape in olive green wool flannel, and a cream-and-white plaid straight skirt. Perhaps the plaid should be on top and the solid on the bottom? Or, what about a camel-coloured cape with a charcoal grey skirt? Bright red cape with a navy skirt? What would you make the cape and skirt combo in? Or are capes not your thing?

This windfall couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! I’m excited to make up some of these pretty patterns soon. I’m always amazed at the kindness of the sewing community. Whether it’s writing tutorials, answering sewing questions, or hosting giveaways – it’s nice to see us sewists are a group of people that shares and helps each other. Thanks again to Veronica for such a thoughtful gesture!

Which one would you make first? It’s between the striped Simplicity 3384 dress, the cowl-necked Simplicity 5971, and the cape. If you were me, where would you start?

The Pendrell Sew-Along starts next week – see you Monday morning! The first week we’ll cover pattern adjustments – FBAs, narrowing the hip, shortening the body length, making it into a dress – as well as preparing your fabric. Looking forward to it – have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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48 Responses to Oh the excitement! Vintage Patterns Galore

  1. woolcat January 7, 2011 at 6:35 am #

    The girl wearing the cowl neck dress kinda looks like you!

  2. maranda January 7, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    i was just digging through my vintage patterns yesterday trying to decide which one to start! that muu muu pattern sort of looks like a fitted dress with a ‘cape’ on the back, but maybe it’s just the picture playing tricks on me. :)

  3. Ashley January 7, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Congratulations on your beautiful new collection. I absolutely love vintage patterns too, it makes me excited to even look at the illustrations! I can’t wait to see which one you decide to make. :)

  4. Claire January 7, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    Cowl Neck! It’s too cute, and I think the slim skirt would look great on you. Pear or no pear. Another wise sewer once wrote on her blog that no matter what your shape, if a garment fits you well it will look good – and I believe in that more than any rules about how to dress.

  5. Jill/laughbutnotloudly January 7, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    So jealous i just. can’t. speak.

  6. Sarah January 7, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Oh, wow, Tasia!! What an amazing gift!! I just can’t pick a favourite. I would definitely make the cape or Simplicity 4010 first. It’s definitely winter here; we just had a big snowfall last night. I’d love to see the cape in a bright red on you and the Simplicity dress in a double knit. Heaven!

    I’m looking forward to the sew-along!!

  7. ms. modiste January 7, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Simplicity 5971 is so beautiful! I can totally see you rocking that look.

    I had to have a little laugh at the cover art of McCalls 3414… what is the girl in the green doing, exactly?!

  8. carmencitab January 7, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    If ever you find yourself not using that Simplicity 7088 Mumu thing pattern, I so want to make it, think about me.
    What a great gift,
    Happy new Year!

  9. Stephanie January 7, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    This is a treasure trove! I am so excited for you. Can’t wait to see the finished projects.

  10. carmencitab January 7, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Sorry it’s me again, I just found it on eBay, it’s on it’s way.
    We’ll be able to sew along! C

  11. HipDroppedStitches January 7, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Oh, I love the cowl-necked Simplicity 5971!!! I have also always wanted a cape… Great patterns!

  12. lakaribane January 7, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Lovely patterns! I’m green with envy. Seriously!

    And I totally understand what you said about the 30 reprint. I never look at them because I’m short and hourglass-ish and you need to be slim-hipped with square-shouldered, IMO, to pull them off…but they are soooo nice!

  13. PinQueen January 7, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    What a kind lady Veronica is! I’ve turned a shade of green…..

  14. Lizzy January 7, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    WOW!!! Lucky girl you are! and Veronica is such a nice person too, but I guess you derve them and more because I’m sure Veronica enjoys reading your blog and also learns about what you post , so I can’t wait to see them done…well I would like you sew first the Simplicity 4024 and then the 3384 =)

  15. Sherry January 7, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    They’re all gorgeous – lucky you!!
    Make the cape! I love capes and want to make one for our upcoming winter – this one looks a cutie!

  16. Clare January 7, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Well, you know, if you don’t reckon you could rock those pants, *I* probably could… :) What a great gift! I love the pictures on vintage patterns just as much as the contents sometimes -so stylish!

  17. Portia January 7, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I am literally drooling……
    Portia (MissP)


  18. A Sewn Wardrobe January 7, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    J’adore that blouse pattern!! It’s perfect!

    I have Simplicity 3780 – scored it at an NYC flea market with Peter (Male Pattern Boldness). It is wonderful in its simplicity (no pun intended!), isn’t it?

  19. ELLA January 7, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    ahhhhhhh, christmas in january!!! Congrats!

  20. The Slapdash Sewist January 7, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Winter is ending???? I’m moving to Vancouver. It has only just begun here in DC. I grew up in Southern California and Texas, where winter is just about over by mid-January. It has taken me many years to accept that February is the coldest month here and not to get my hopes up. Great haul! My favorite is actually the muu muu. With a wide sash, that could be worn anywhere!

  21. sisters4saymoreismore January 7, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    i am totally drooling right now!!! WOW!!! AMAZING score, i can’t wait to see how they turn out!!!


  22. Peppertoast January 7, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    What a wonderful gift you have received. I am pro-cape for sure. I made one last year out of an old military blanket and get complements every time I wear the thing.

    Just curious, I am from Vancouver area too and am wondering where you get your (presumably affordable) muslin?

    PS If you LOVE vintage looks I just found a store that is clearing out Miz Mooz shoes for this month only on 4th Ave. I ended up with 2 pairs of vintage looking shoes for $120 that are soooo comfortable.

  23. indigorchid January 7, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I’m with Maranda – I think the muu-muu is fitted in the front, with a cape-like back. Imagine how nice that dress would be with a fitted back as well?

  24. Selina January 7, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Hi Tasia,
    Great patterns, lucky girl! I think making the cape and skirt combo in olive green wool and a cream plaid sounds dreamy, and since you don’t have a plaid picked out yet (some plaids are more subtle than others)… when you find your fabrics, lay them out beside each other and decide which one demands more attention. Use that fabric on the top if you’re not wanting to draw attention to your hips. Also there is a tutorial online for frog closures! Here’s the link: http://bridgesonthebody.blogspot.com/2009/12/frog-closure-how-to.html
    She’s a sew-retro member as well. Hope this helps :)

  25. nicole January 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Wow how lucky are you! some really gorgeous styles in there that will be lovely on you :-)
    I actually have that same muu muu pattern lol.

  26. Something in the Way She Sews January 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Lucky you! I love the cowl neck dress and the gingham cross stitch separates.

  27. Emer January 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Lucky you getting all those gorgeous patterns. I think you should make the cape first, as you would still be able to wear it since the weather is still cold. And I could get a few tips because I would love to make a cape too.

  28. Sandy January 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    WOW ~ these patterns are fantastic. I hate to tell you but, I wore quite a few of those outfits…..in my younger days. The sheath dress is my favourite as I made several of this style for my aunt and also for me. I loved those dresses!
    Make the sheath dress first!

  29. Rachel January 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Lucky you! The cape is a great pattern – I am picturing it in a bright red wool – I want one!

  30. Corinne January 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Oh Tasia, what a wonderful collection. You so deserve to have them and send joy our way vicariously! As a stylish and precocious pre-teen i have to tell you that I have made these styles in their time. #3654 view A blouse was one that I made many times, many ways. 5971, 3780 & 5971 were popular during the 60’s and my Mother liked her fashion but couldn’t sew very well. How do you think I got my Father to spring for a new zig-zag sewing machine? thanks for sharing.


  31. Gail January 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    I love the cape sleeve dress – I can see a pattern drafting exercise coming up.

  32. Misty January 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I love the cowl-neck dress! That would be my vote for your first piece, because I really want to see how it looks in real life. :)

  33. Caryn January 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    I have that mumu pattern and was thinking it would be the bomb if you made a Watteau pleat at the back.

  34. Caryn January 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Here is a classic Watteau pleat for those who aren’t familiar with this somewhat rare design feature.


  35. Faye Lewis January 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    That’s what I call beauty in the making!

  36. jess January 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Go the cape first for sure! The red or the plaid sound stunning!

  37. Lizzie January 8, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    Oh please, please PLEASE could you make the Butterick 2329 because I found that same pattern at a vintage clothes shop and used it for a dress combined of several patterns.
    I wasn’t game to try it as the illustration looks too lovely, but I know that you’d do a grand job!

  38. sophie January 8, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    Gorgeous patterns, just stunning. I looked quite closely at Simplicity 7088 and it looks like she is wearing a really fitted dress with a volume of fabric, like a cape, coming from the back of the neck yoke…that one is my favourite anyway.

  39. Gina January 8, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Lucky duck! These are gonna be fun!

  40. Charlotte / l'Atelier January 8, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    This looks like Betty Draper’s wardrobe. You are so lucky. Good luck with them !
    And I am a cape lover like you are. I just bought a pattern this afternoon and black wool to sew one with cute little bows at the front. I can’t wait to start this project :)

  41. Ms.Cleaver January 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I totally want a cape too – It’s on my list for next year fall/winter.

  42. lap January 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    All those patterns are SO YOU! I totally love the striped dress with wide neck, and am also crazy about the sleeveless bow necked blouse! But I feel like you should make that cape. I would love to make it in a solid that coordinated with a plaid for the skirt and shell.

    I actually think that a well fitted cigarette pant flatters most figures. Think of it like your skinny jeans- didn’t you recently say you wore skinny jeans?

  43. Claire (aka Seemane) January 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Oooh, what a lovely thing to receive :)
    I particularly like the blouses (the bows caught me eye!)

  44. Casey January 10, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    I’m a bit late in commenting, but I wanted to say what a great gift!!! I too have been really blown away by the generosity of the online sewing community–there are so many sweet people. I love the patterns that Veronica sent you; especially that cape pattern! (I’m totally coveting it… haha). Can’t wait to see what you choose to whip up first!

    ‚ô• Casey | blog

  45. amber January 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    I was going to say, these all seem like they’re so “you.” What a fabulous score!

  46. Nadia January 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I’m so jealous! Firstly of all the patterns and secondly of the fact that you can sew them and actually make them look good. Trade you a homemade pie for 5971 in a big floral print! ;)

  47. Rosie January 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Oh I am obsessed with Simplicity 7088 – about 20 years ago I had a muumuu that I fixed to look JUST like that by simply fastening the bulk of the fabric in the back and letting the excess fall down behind – very elegant, reminiscent of 18th century gowns, and perfect for all kinds of occasions! I’ve been thinking about drafting one of these for myself – I DO hope you blog about how this one attains the fitted front/draped back.

    • CarmencitaB January 31, 2012 at 12:05 am #

      Hi Rosie,
      Upon seeing this dress, I absolutely had to make it.
      The fitted front / draped back is obtained with a bra repair kit attached right above the waist. It’s pretty clever!
      You can see where it is attached right above elbow length on this picture : http://www.carmencitab.com/2011/05/and-winner-is.html
      There is a link on that post to Petit Main Sauvage Watteau dress which I might attempt one day…