The History of Vintage Sewing PatternsHannah Greenwood
History, is the collection of events and actions that spans across a number of years, and continues to have a direct bearing on where we are, and who we are today. For example, the clothing worn by someone from one country can differ greatly from the code and style of dress worn by another. These fashions, and clothing styles can be as a direct result of their own individual culture and past. Traditional dress is usually called so, due to a rich heritage and proud national history that has influenced the clothing that people wear.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, each decade has appeared to have its own distinct trends and fashions. In fact, it is possible to identify a time period in the UK, simply by observing the clothing people are wearing in photographs or on the television screens. From Regency clothing to Victorian fashion, or from the 20s iconic flapper style to the hippie movement of the 60s and 70s, each collection of patterns belongs to a particular distinct time period. As time has moved on however, these trends and clothing patterns have been produced, and then kept and treasured to become a part of sewing pattern history that is accessible for reproduction today. This history of fashion includes the collection of fashions and styles spanning across many decades.
In the mid-1800s, companies such as Butterick and simplicity began producing sewing patterns for the general public’s use. These sewing patterns were usually sold as part of a fashion magazine, such as in Vogue or in William Jennings Demorest and Ellen Louise Demorest’s magazine ‘The Mirror of Fashion’. The Vogue pattern service, seen frequently amongst The Vintage Pattern Shops archives, then became separate from the magazine of the same name, and produced patterns for sale in department stores and haberdasheries.
Most patterns were sold as they are today, using a tissue paper, or a card-based template with the garment’s various sizes marked out on its surface, ready for you to cut out and pin to your fabric. Although a lot of templates and clothing patterns can now be found, purchased and even downloaded from the internet, this history of sewing patterns and the production and catalogue of thousands of vintage sewing patterns has allowed us to continue to appreciate and have access to the designs, styles and fashions of yesteryear.
The Vintage pattern Shop began its own collection of historic vintage patterns many years ago, before opening the launch of the current website on the 20th of March, 2017. It is now that largest vintage pattern shop in the world and the collection of patterns available continues to grow, as we search the globe for beloved fashions and historic patterns. This online shop, is a testimony, not only to the fashions of history, but to the love we all still hold for these fashions and iconic styles. Have a browse around our collection, and own your own piece of vintage sewing pattern history today.