vintage patterns!

Knowing I needed to find a pattern for a top to take part in the spring top sewing I decided it was time to look through my pattern stash. As previously stated these patterns were all handed down to me by my mother (still alive and kicking but no longer sewing thanks to the arthritis) or by another elderly lady (elderlier… than my mother and also plagued by arthritis) so none of them are modern.

I’ve picked a few for show and tell, they span 3 decades and include some with fond memories for me! 2 of them don’t have dates on them so I’m not sure which decade from but they’re definitely from within the 3 the others span so I’m not too worried. I decided to leave out the incredibly cringeworthy 1980’s ones as I feel maybe my mothers mistakes don’t need to be made too public and why single her out when just about everyone made fashion mistakes in the 80’s!


a small selection

left to right top row first 1954, 1961, 1969, 1970 (maternity)

bottom row 1969, no date, 1973, no date

I distinctly remember at least one of the dresses my mum made out of McCalls 5915, it was cream and beige, a kind of medium weight texture waffle, I think it was wool. I’m sad she doesn’t have it anymore, when she returned to Spain in the 1990’s she didn’t take any of the clothes she’d made in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s with her. I think it’s a shame, I’d love my daughters to be able to see the wonderful clothes their Abuela made, and of course maybe ‘borrow’ them for myself…. there were some beautiful items, all really well made out of really good fabric.

The 1970’s maternity dress was the short version with long sleeves, it was black with tiny orange, red and yellow flowers all over. I know because I wore it for my first pregnancy in 1993 (only I wore it as a top not a dress, my mum has always had good legs (even now, bit wrinkly but still better than mine)). I gave it back to her after Noise was born, I don’t know why but she didn’t keep it so I never got to wear it again. I didn’t have this pattern and didn’t think to ask my mum for it when I got pregnant again in the 2000’s, I so wish I had, I’d love to have had such a comfortable, cool top to wear these last 2 times! Maybe next time……

Simplicity 5152 my mum made at least 3 versions of, my favourite being a heavy boucle type fabric with huge beautiful buttons. I loved that suit when I was growing up.

The sad thing is I never saw my mum in any of these, I just used to hug them and stroke them in her wardrobe. By the time I was old enough to notice what my mum was wearing it was the 80’s……


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