September 17

4 Tips When Looking For Vintage Patterns To Sew


A lot of people love working with vintage sewing patterns because they offer an avenue to learn about the styles of a particular era. If you’re included in this group, then you have probably looked for vintage patterns to sew and get started on your next project.

This is a great way to add a unique touch to your wardrobe without having to jump from one dress shop to another. Sewing vintage patterns, however, can be a challenging task to both beginners and experienced sewers alike.

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The following are some tips to keep in mind when looking for vintage patterns.

Vintage Patterns To Sew


Working with vintage patterns is a lot different than working with contemporary designs particularly when it comes to size. When looking for vintage patterns, you should always go by measurements instead of a particular dress size.

The size 14 vintage dress is very much different from a size 14 modern dress. You can always resize the dress, but the closer you are to the right size at the beginning, the less work you need to put into resizing.


Vintage patterns are known to be a lot more difficult to sew compared to their modern counterparts. On top of that, these patterns usually do not come with detailed instructions.

The number of videos you can find online about sewing vintage patterns is relatively fewer as well. This means you need to be extra careful when finding what pattern to use.

You have to make sure that you do not bite off more than you can chew. If it’s your first time, it’s better to start with a simple pattern and always keep a sewing book by your side so you can readily look for help when you need it.

Pattern Markings

Modern patterns are easy to use because they are littered with printed guidelines. Vintage patterns are also printed, but they usually do not have as many guidelines, which means you need to be careful when sewing or you can easily screw things up.

Perforations and notches are the only guides you will usually have when working with vintage sewing patterns. You have to particularly focus on all the little holes and seam allowances.

Shape and Fit

This is one of the biggest things you have to consider when using a vintage pattern. Depending on the era of the pattern you are using, the shape and fit may vary a lot.

The best way to get the right shape and fit is to use a mock-up pattern. This involves making a calico toile. Head over to your local dress shop and you should be able to buy calico at a low price.

Making a toile can save you a lot of time and money as you would increase your chances of getting things right the first time. Make sure you move around a lot with the mock-up pattern to get an idea of how it would be like once you transfer it to your pattern pieces.

These are some handy tips you should always remember when looking for vintage patterns to sew. Creating vintage designs can be a lot of fun and they may very well be all you need to set your dress apart from the rest.



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