Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

My Vintage Pattern Collection: 1940s

I have been going through & photographing my vintage patterns over the last few days in an attempt to date & organize them. I had not realized how many I actually have, and I had completely forgotten about some really great ones!

I think I’ve only actually purchased 5 or 6 of the vintage ones I own. Many were gifted to me by my mother-in-law, and quite a number of them are ones I rescued from a “graveyard” box when I was working as a costumer along side Ken Weber (one of the owners of Vintage Martini) a few years ago.

They were in the box because their envelopes weren’t in the best shape for selling, and he didn’t want to spend time examining them to see if all the pieces were included. I’m not terribly picky about condition (I can usually draft the missing pieces as long as I have enough of the information included with the pattern), so I happily scooped up the most interesting ones.

Here’s a look at the vintage sewing patterns that I own from the 1940s in order of date (I had no idea I actually had so many originals from that decade!):

Simplicity 1222 Blouse from 1945

I’m not sure I really have the blouse pattern because the envelope is empty except for the instruction sheet. The pattern pieces may be hiding next to another pattern in a disintegrating envelope, but I haven’t done a thorough search yet. Even if I don’t have it, the envelope & instructions should be enough information for me to recreate it.

Next are patterns from 1946 – two skirts and one apron:

McCall 6595 and 6667 Skirt patterns – I love the drape on the one on the Right!

Simplicity 2560 Apron pattern

From 1948, there is another apron, a house dress, and a woman’s suit:

Simplicity 2644 Apron pattern

Simplicity 2275 House Dress pattern

Simplicity 2574 Women’s Two-piece Suit pattern
It’s very “Salvation Army uniform” in red.

Moving on to 1949, there’s another apron pattern and a lovely dress:

McCall 1319 His & Her Aprons patterns
I even have the original transfers included!

Simplicity 2848 Dress
Of all the vintage patterns from this decade, this one is my favorite. I definitely need to make one, even if it’s for someone else!

Then I have a few mail order vintage patterns (mostly aprons) with unknown dates, including this suit:

Mail Order pattern 2953 Women’s suit – ca. 1940s?
I wish the sketch showed a person wearing it so I could see a hairstyle to help date it!

Vintage Patterns Wiki was very helpful in my search for pattern dates. Even if the date wasn’t listed on the site’s page for a pattern, there was often a useful link that took me to the information I needed.

Unsurprisingly, I also have quite a few vintage patterns from both the 1950s & 1960s (it’s safe to say those are my favorite decades in fashion), and a couple from the 1970s.

But I’ll save those show-and-tells for another day. =)

Related posts:

My Vintage Pattern Collection: 1950s

My Vintage Pattern Collection: 1960s & 1970s


12 responses to “My Vintage Pattern Collection: 1940s

  1. ooobop! August 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Some lovely patterns there. I do love the 40s ones. They are all so elegant and flattering. A good reminder for me to get scanning and sorting my patterns too. It’s amazing how many you can amass in such a short space of time!

  2. agirlinwinter August 14, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I love the Simplicity 2848 Dress and the Simplicity 2275 House Dress pattern. Gorgeous! I look forward to the day when I might be able to use a vintage pattern (I would need to size it up a lot). They’re worth collecting for the envelope illustrations alone 🙂

  3. purplepincushion August 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I really love the 40s. I have quite a few vintage patters from the 40s too. I am trying to work my way through as many of them as I can, just for the sheer enjoyment:-) I have a considerable number of mail order patterns from that era that are really unique. I wish it was a little easier to date them, most of the mail order patterns have very little info. on them.

    • Brooke August 14, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Yeah, I was having all kinds of dead-end searches when I tried to find info on my mail order patterns online. I sort of gave up on dating them, but most of them are aprons so it’s not a big deal. =)

      • purplepincushion August 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

        I have a whole bunch of New York Pattern Company, some of which are early 30s I think, but I haven’t been able to find hardly a thing about the company and there timeline is pretty broad. Some of the patterns are so pristine they look like they could have been printed yesterday. And I got them for FREE!! I cannot tell you how excited I was at that score:-)

      • Brooke August 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

        Nice! I guess it’s true that the best things in life are free. =)

  4. Karen August 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I love that skirt with the draped detail! Isn’t it amazing how many apron patterns there were available to home sewers? They were all so much more interesting than the “butcher-type” apron that seems to be the norm today. I so enjoyed seeing these patterns!

    • Brooke August 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Yes, I have way more apron patterns than I realized! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing them – I will post more from other decades a little later (I’m still trying to date a couple). =)

  5. Cation Designs August 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Those are all lovely, although my favorites are probably Simplicity 2848 and the skirt drape. Any chances you could snap a picture of that skirt drape pattern piece for us?

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