vintage sewing stuff

A friend brought me a birthday gift the other day – wrapped in old pattern tissue paper, and it was a good indication of what was all inside! She had recently been to a yard sale, and bought all sorts of sewing stuff that had belonged to an old woman. Looking through it, I felt like I was given fragmented glimpses of the life of an Illinois seamstress.


This box originally held almonds. From the First National Bank of Chicago. And it was a birthday gift. And now it has an assortment of really big buttons, zippers that look like they’ve come out of garments, and thread and pins in a little chinaman-pincushion-box.



And the patterns of course… The look like they span at least three decades – and look at the envelopes on the top! Mail-order sewing patterns, with lovely fonts and stamps and 2 cents mailing cost. I am enamoured with the shirt-dress in the top picture – it even has a nurse uniform style! The only difference I can tell (from the tiny illustration) between that and the red dress seems to be that the cuffs are turned up, but how adorable! The black, double-breasted, 60s style coat in the second picture has also caught my eye. The pattern in the back though, with the green border on the side, promises that it’s a “quicky”, so maybe I’ll start with that one, haha! And finally, some 70s patterns, with a very maritime color-scheme. I wonder if that was planned or not!



3 thoughts on “vintage sewing stuff”

  1. The Simplicity 2587 (25 cents) is ca. 1960 – Grammie Curran’s (yours and John’s, not mine) young adulthood :-)

    1. Ooo, thanks for the datings of the patterns! It’s kind of nice to be able to connect what is “vintage” (or just plain old! ;)) to people I know… It makes it more real, and a bit more special. I’m really itching to make that nurse-uniform dress (just not as a nurse-uniform of course) – when the time and fabric presents itself!

  2. My first sports jacket was the Butterick version of that Simplicity 6858 – Butterick’s was straight (no princess seams) and had a lapel. So I think I can date that pattern as ca. 1972 :-)

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