Collecting old sewing patterns is a wonderful way to preserve the history of fashion over the years. This is an ideal hobby for fashion lovers as well as for those who savor the history of sewing.
The dates of the older patterns can usually be found along the bottom of the pattern envelope in very fine print. The newer patterns dates often appear somewhere along the bottom flap of the envelope.
Known for their randomness in dating procedures the dates can be found in a variety of places. Areas to check are at the bottom of the inserted instruction sheet or the front of the envelope at the lower portion. Often individuals may find that there is no date present at all. This is common on older Simplicity patterns and you can try to date the pattern by researching the various envelope trends and markings which will offer a bit of aid in at least identifying the general time period of the pattern.
These patterns were made in the 1930s and 1940s. Many of these patterns feature a then famous Hollywood starlet. They can be easy to date most of the time because the movie that the starlet played in is usually used on the envelope as well. This feature allows the owner or interested party to simply Google the movie name in order to get a general date for the pattern. One very famous collectible of these is the Lucille Ball patterns.
Advance, Vogue And Butterick
These pattern makers were famous for not providing dates on all their patterns even though Vogue did begin to date patterns on the front of the envelope for a very short time. Therefore these companies were difficult to find dates on any consistent basis.
Mail Order Patterns
These lines are very collectible and, if the pattern happens to be shipped from Canada, the date stamp can give you the date of the pattern. However, if it came from the USA, it probably won’t have a date stamped on it if it is one of the older patterns (those patterns that are pre-mid 50s). Subscription dates I’m unsure of because I have never been lucky enough to find one on any of my pattern envelopes. Some claim that they do exist though. Some very collectible companies would be Anne Adams, Marian Martin and Spadea.
Our Vintage Sewing Patterns