Thursday, 28 February 2013

Patterns of my life

Like other persons of the 50ish generation, I am increasingly surprised (and at times mildly alarmed) to find sewing patterns I remember from the 70s and 80s now classified amongst the "vintage" wares - the 70s smock tunic and the 80s jumpsuit above being examples!  Don't they say something about not wearing a style if you wore it first time round?, but I am becoming more and more drawn to the fashion of my youth .... Yesterday I had a good browse through the pattern catalogues in John Lewis and was flabbergasted to see a standard pattern retailing at £8 plus. Oh well, I'll have to keep discovering my patterns in thrift stores and online, or of course maybe try to draft some more of my own patterns - which I love trying but can be time consuming. 

Yesterday evening I spent a couple of happy hours looking through the batch of 1940s Workbasket magazines I bought online just before Christmas.  I am surprised how many crochet patterns they contain, and although my brief flirtation with learning to crochet hit a bit of a stumbling block when I realised increasing and decreasing was beyond me (I know, I know ...), I am tempted to try again.  The Workbasket magazines have some lovely knitting too, and of course my favourite, some lovely vintage needlecraft projects.  Thought I would share this knitted rug pattern with you as I had already scanned it - will share more with you soon.



  1. there are some thrifty patterns in these old magazines...........and the adverts are wonderful in their own right too!

  2. I know what you mean - I sometimes look at patterns in thrift shops and think I made that in the 70's or 80's. I had a couple of patterns I used over and over again. I remember making lots of 'gypsy' skirts with frills at the bottom in particular. We are probably paying more for the same vintage patterns than we did at the time. Of course I didn't know anything about fitting then so it was always pot luck if something fitted me well. It was also much, much cheaper to make your own than buy then and of course we didn't have the choice in the high street. I am sometimes astounded by how much it has cost me to make something but then nowadays I do it because I enjoy the process.

  3. I also meant to add that I find drafting my own patterns less time consuming than fiddling about with a commercial pattern. It is also much cheaper!

  4. I, too, am surprised when I like something from the 70s. Still can't stand the 80s. I guess I'm still to close to it!

  5. I go with Foster ....can't abide the 80's or 90's patterns the 70's just about my limit.
    Everything is relative regarding prices but i still think it was actually cheaper to make your own stuff in the "old days" than now and at least there were REAL fabric shops with gorgeous fabrics in... even in the smallest market towns in rural backwaters.And there was always a stall on a market selling good fabric and another with haberdashery stuff so the choice was limitless.We might have the convenience of online shopping these days but there is nothing quite so satisfying as rootling through a couple of buckets of cotton reels on the market!! I can feel a wave of nostalgia seeping over me as I forget about horrors such as the Three Day Week...
    hope you ok!!

  6. Hello there!
    It's award time again if you care to look!! x

  7. Seems we are all of a mind, 70s good, 80s bad! I stitched most of my own clothes from the age of about 15 to 25, even though I had a Saturday job in a clothes shop which meant I could afford the occasional Marion Donaldson item at a discount!


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