Monday, January 11, 2010


One of my most favorite things about my vintage pattern stash is the little notes jotted here and there by some long ago seamstress on the cover or on the instruction sheets. This pattern, in particular, is one of my most prized. It's Simplicity 3536:

Ok first of all, can little bibbed jumpers PLEASE come back in style so I can make View 1??? Please? And second of all...vintage pattern shoe illustrations fascinate me. These people know their shoes. Yummy loafers on the left. And View 3 knee socks? Adorable. Too young for me, alas, but adorable!

Things I love about the pattern itself: Gathered shoulders on the blouse, peter pan collar!, swishy skirt with CUTE pockets!

I bumped the contrast on that image before uploading it because I want you to click on the full size so you can see all the names jotted onto the pattern cover. I'll wait til you come back.

All back? Ok. Isn't that the most awesomest record of how popular a pattern was ever?? There are even notes INSIDE the pattern envelope on the instruction sheets, AND notes jotted on the tissue too. Little reminders to cut 1/2" bigger for Gladys Allen, or shorten the skirt for Mrs. Laux.

Speaking of Gladys & Mrs. Laux, here are the names of the ladies on the cover:
Mrs. Gladys Allen, Mrs. Arlene Laux, G. Horton, Mrs. Mary Simms, and Mrs. Bonnie ?? (can't make out the last name). And here's the back. I always want to know what the back of vintage patterns look like online, and very few people show us!

I'm the lucky owner (from a local flea market stall, now long gone) of several of this particular seamstress' patterns. She was busy! She sewed clothes for alot of women in her neighborhood, probably for pin money. I love knowing that this pattern, so dear to me for so many adorable reasons, was also very dear to them. I wish I had photos of the garments made from it!

I guess I'll just have to make my own. ;) Which... I'm almost ready to do. I've got the pattern traced & the skirt is adjusted to fit me, but I need to grade up the blouse a little. All of that will have to wait until I finish my houndstooth dress though. Not a ton of progress this weekend, even though its really simple to put together, because...I was lazy.

But it's Monday, so here's to a better week than last!


  1. How cool! Happy sewing...

  2. I really, really like the skirt pattern. That will be a terrific addition to your skirt wardrobe!

  3. I love vintage patterns for that very reason. I have a very small "collection" of them and love seeing notes on the pattern envelopes. It seemed like such a simpler time back then too and I often long for that.

  4. It must be fun to make up backstories for the names and notes written on the pattern envelope and instruction sheets. It makes you wonder about all the lives attached to that little pattern.

  5. You could write a book about the characters on your pattern envelope, if you were inclined to do a period piece. Hmmm....

    I am SO GLAD I have resisted the temptation to collect vintage patterns. This just seems like a totally addictive hobby and all that interesting info on the envelopes would suck me in.

    Uh. My word verification is: "pleparrh". Is that a disease old people get? One of your pattern characters could be visited by a young modern sewer in the book and the old lady suffers from pleparrh. Makes her crotchety but the young sewer knows better. Ok, there's your theme. Go!

  6. Oh, go on and make the bib version! You can bring it back!


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