I can’t believe it’s not Butterick

Time to take the dust cover off the sewing machine:

The Vintage Patterns Wiki boasts more than 83,500 patterns that are at least 25 years old, which makes for a fascinating look back at fashion history. As a collaborative effort, the database is constantly being updated and organized, with any newly uploaded patterns dating prior to 1992. Just click on the cover and browse the list of pattern vendors who have the look.

Whether you just want to ogle the fashion illustrations or get your hands dirty and make a new look, it’s worth browsing the well-organized site. Arranged by decade, garment type, designer, and more, you might just be inspired to whip up a dashiki for your next costume party or try out a Mad Men chic outfit at the office with a skirt suit from the 1960s.

High fashion names like Dior and Givenchy, as well as looks modeled off costumes from movie stars like Audrey Hepburn remind us how pervasive patterns and creating fashions from scratch once were. And with a whole new era of young women going retro, it might be worth giving up vintage shops in favor of creating new pieces based on these vintage patterns.

Obviously they’re not going to have Every Pattern In The World. But the wiki serves as a useful guide to what’s out there and who’s worked with it. I pulled up a pattern at random — Vogue 6368 — and found someone who’s put it to good use.


  1. fillyjonk »

    7 July 2017 · 5:40 pm

    Cool, though the thought of having to redesign them to fit my larger, and decidedly un-girdled body, kind of turns me off… unless they have the Kate Smith Collection on there.

    (Though really: difference in the type of foundation garments worn are one of the bigger challenges in modernizing vintage patterns. And as cool as some of the designs are, I’m not going “retro” down to the skin.)

  2. In The Mailbox: 07.07.17 : The Other McCain »

    7 July 2017 · 9:15 pm

    […] Dustbury: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butterick […]

  3. ETat »

    8 July 2017 · 7:58 am

    What a discovery! It’s a treasure trove. Thank you
    Btw, spent a fleeting hour browsing through archives of the linked sewing blog and some of the commenters: fascinating!

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