Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flea Market Fantasy

I love flea markets. Dusty old windows with peeling paint, vintage patterns wrapped in Saran wrap (ooohh ahhhh). Oh, and retro appetizer cookbooks with be-gloved ladies sipping martini's on the cover in their starched ruffled apron.

On just such a previous trip to my local flea market I picked up this great vintage sewing book...

I mentioned it several months ago but never followed through on my promise to share the goodies inside. Since I've been doing the "One Pattern Multiple Ways" contest at PR, I've been paying all kinds of attention to the variety of ways you can change a pattern to reuse it.

After all, patterns aren't exactly cheap. Well, OK, the 99 cent sale is pretty cheap. But I've got a bajillion 99 cent patterns that I've never even cut into. And most likely never will. That's a bajillion 99 cents I could have saved!

Plus, using a pattern one time and then discarding it (or stashing it until you discard it) is just contributing to that "throwaway" mentality I keep hearing about on the news.

(Speaking of which, did you know that plastic cups were originally used in coffee vending machines, and people kept reusing them, because, HELLO they're reusable! So plastics manufacturers did a bunch of brainwashing, erm I mean suggestive advertising, to convince people that the cups were indeed disposable. And thus our disposable lives began.)

Anywho...check out these great "Multiple Ways" ideas in my flea market find...

The cap-sleeve dress:

So you can get married, go to a garden luncheon with Muffy and then out to a dinner party to celebrate your husband's promotion! All in the same dress! (Before you tar & feather me, I'm kidding of course. I'm a huge vintage pattern collector and I've got a dress like this one in my stash!)

And the Classic Suit:

Speaking of classic, does this pattern look exactly like a pattern you'd see in today's pattern mags??

Also included in this fabulous book is a section on how to alter patterns to further your "multiple looks". Below are images that show how you can alter a basic a-line skirt to achieve some pretty cute variations, still up to date looking 50+ years later. (Typed comments are my own, added to the image.)

A gorgeous side pleat with yoke variation...

This back pleat variation is awesome! I mean, how great is that contrast fabric peeking out??!!
I'll take off now, leaving you with vintage sewing book envy. Laters!


  1. Anonymous1:09 PM

    Thank you for posting pictures from this book. This is the book my mother used to learn sewing as a young bride. Her copy was lost ages ago, but for sentimental reasons I've been longing for one myself. I couldn't remember the title, but the interior photos you posted triggered my memory so now I know what it is. I just bought myself a copy from Ebay.

    Thank you so much! S in Michigan

  2. Oh wow, what a great story! I'm glad it helped you find a copy!! :o) It's a really special book, I can't believe what great shape my copy is in.



I love hearing from you, and thank you in advance for reading and commenting! &