My vintage sewing patterns collection

I’m not a huge collector of vintage patterns, but if I’m in a vintage charity shop and find something I like, that is in my size, I will probably buy the pattern. Which happens like once a year or so! So let’s take a look at my small, but highly curated (heh!) collection of vintage sewing patterns.

This is my latest purchase, a nightgown pattern from the 60’s by the Swedish legendary pattern company Stil (who sadly folded in the 90’s). I don’t wear a lot of nightgowns currently, but maybe I should? Anyways, I can see myself turning this pattern into a nice shirt/tunic dress.


This empire dress pattern has been in my collection for over 20 years. I love empire style dresses and this is such a great base pattern, that I have used many times. But the last time was over ten years ago, so maybe time to sew another dress?


This is the only vintage pattern I have bought online, from eBay. Ten years ago I participated in a vintage garments contest on Pattern Review and used this pattern to make a seersucker dress.


This is dress and jacket set is something I would like to sew in the future, especially now that I feel more comfortable with my tailoring skills. Maybe I should do like a vintage theme next year?

Speaking of tailoring, I would love to make this jacket someday! And perhaps the trousers too if I’m feeling the flare situation. This suit does make me wish I was taller since I kinda feel it would be better suited for that body type. But who knows?


Every time I step out of the shower I wish I owned a bathrobe. I really need to sew this pattern up soon. I would just love to find some plush organic terry cloth to use.


Patterns from the Big4 used to be super hard to find in Sweden, so I was shocked when I found this vintage Simplicity dress pattern, with Swedish sizing stamped on the envelope too. I made this dress in 2016 and also made a detachable lace collar for New Year and loved the end result.


This gorgeous dress from legendary costume designer Edith Head. I was gifted this pattern from fellow sewist Mary and just need to find the perfect silk jersey to make it. I want to get my hands on the kind of silk jersey that Diane Von Furstenberg uses for her dresses, does anyone know of a good source for these kinds of fabrics?


My final vintage sewing pattern is the newest one, a Burda pattern from the early 80’s I think. I love the early 80’s fashion before everything got crazy with the shoulder pads and neon colours. I could see myself making the dress version using a print rayon challis.

Do you collect and sew vintage patterns? I would assume that finding great ones has gotten much easier with eBay and such, since the struggle is finding the right size as most vintage patterns are only one size in the envelope.



  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    April 26, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    A better resource for vintage patterns than even ebay is (have you tried them?) Most of these sellers are in Canada, US and I believe the UK as well but like ebay they are private individuals selling and I’ve had some great buying experiences with many of them. I’m not a huge vintage fan – I’ve picked up a couple of patterns in thrift shops but I wouldn’t describe them necessarily as “vintage” 🙂

    • Johanna
      April 30, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you for the great suggestion, how could I forget about Etsy 🙂 I wonder what the definition of vintage is? I have heard 20 years, but I could just be talking out of my hat!

  • Cecilia
    April 26, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Got special editions vintage Burda style magazines: burda style special 6/2014 – vintage the fantastic fifties (English) and burda vintage (autumn/winter 2015) back to the 60s (Dutch) both have some really nice patterns. Used to subscribe to Neue Mode in the 80s then threw them all away – BIG mistake. I’d love to just have a browse through every so often… and I remember STIL patterns, was almost the only ones you could buy back then…. come to think of it, internet is a fantastic thing, so many opportunities to access patterns and material not to mention knowledge.

    • Johanna
      April 30, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      Gah, I want to get my hands on those vintage special Burda issues! They don’t sell those in Sweden, but have looked on some of the styles on And yes Stil was pretty much the only pattern company we had in Sweden, it is crazy isn’t it to think about how much has changed in garment sewing since the 80’s!

    April 27, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    The cheapest way to do vintage patterns from the 40’s, 50’s 60’s and 70’s is get Lutterloh. You can download most using a torrent and utorrent software. This will give you and abundant supply of patterns to use at no cost. Not sure if you have used lutterloh, all you need is the measuring tape which the downloads come with a printable copy and just measurements, bust and hips. I use Lutterloh for some of the more modern/up to date looks and some 1950’a menswear (suits and overcoats). With Lutterloh, you really have to know your construction skills and make all the garment support (interfacings etc) yourself.

    • Johanna
      April 30, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      I’ve heard of Lutterloth on various sewing forums but never investigated it further. You have peaked my interest now! 🙂


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