June 12, 2012Retro Sewing Made Easier! Reproduction Sewing Patterns
Let’s face it – back in the day, people were a lot smaller on average. And, as such, most vintage sewing patterns that you’ll find can be pretty small. Although I can grade patterns bigger, sometimes I just don’t feel like it, and I know there’s a lot of people out there who don’t know how to grade patterns larger. Enter reproduction sewing patterns. In many cases, these are exact copies of vintage patterns, just done in a more suitable size range for today.
Simplicity doesn’t have as many reproduction patterns as some of the other companies, but they do have a few, mostly from the 50s and 60s. Their website doesn’t have a devoted section to their reproduction reissues, so you have to kind of browse through. I’ve made a 60s dress from one of their patterns and I found it to go together well, and fit well.
I would say that of the major pattern companies, Vogue is definitely doing the best job with the reproduction re-issues. They have a nice devoted section on their website, and they come out with new re-issues all the time. I’ve worked with one of their 1930s re-issues, and it was definitely a lot easier to work with than a vintage 1930s pattern.
Although Butterick doesn’t have a devoted section to their reproduction re-issues on their website, you can search retro, and they will come up. Most of the Butterick re-issues are 40s and 50s, mostly dresses. I do own several of these, but I haven’t made them up yet.
Wearing History specializes in reproduction patterns from the 1940s and earlier. So, if you’re looking for something from the earlier part of the midcentury, there are some great choices here. Although I haven’t worked with any of these patterns yet, some of the 1930s offerings are definitely on my to-sew list, especially the beach pajamas pattern.
Decades of Style:
Decades of Style specializes in reproduction patterns from the 1950s and earlier – it’s another excellent choice if you’re looking for something from earlier mid-century. Although this is another company who’s patterns I haven’t worked with yet, they have some beautiful offerings that are also on my to-sew list – especially the kitchenette pajamas!
I hope this will give you some more options for your retro sewing, readers! Know of a pattern company that does repros that I’ve missed here? Please be sure to let me know in the comments!