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June 12, 2012

Retro Sewing Made Easier! Reproduction Sewing Patterns

By Andrea

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.

Vogue Patterns:

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:

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!

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7 Responses to Retro Sewing Made Easier! Reproduction Sewing Patterns

  1. Sara In AZ Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 12:52 am

    OMG!!! This is so cool Andrea! I never, ever knew that there were repro vintage sewing patterns available. If I ever get enough time on my hands maybe I will give one a try….an easy one! 🙂

    • Andrea Reply

      June 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      I know how you love the full skirted 50s/early 60s dresses Sara – there’s a ton of repro patterns available in that style! You may want to avoid Vogue for your first try, though, as they can be a bit challenging.

  2. Kristine Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I have several of these in my collection, they’re on my sewing table! 🙂 but first, every other “make”, (which is where I am now) I’ve challenged myself to stash-busting by making something from my “Hideous Stack”..you know that fabric that keeps getting pushed aside,because of the ugly factor..yet, we can’t bring ourselves to throw it out! 😀

    • Andrea Reply

      June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      As a first class, grade A fabric hoarder, I know exactly where you’re coming from, Kristine! 🙂

  3. Kristine Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Andrea, ah, well then, you would be the ideal candidate for my very unstructured “Butt-Ugly Fabric Stash Challenge”..Ive tee-ed up the first butt-ugly selection on my blog..hee.hee..:) been thinking-on what kind of “blog-button” that would make! 😀

  4. janice sullenger Reply

    November 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    it is the last pattern you have posted on pinterest. do you have the pattern number for it. i love the dress

  5. Catra Pegg Reply

    April 19, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I have a huge chest full of my Nana’s sewing patterns from the 1930’s onwards. I teach pattern cutting and sewing and the students are always bringing small size vintage patterns in and asking me how to grade them to larger sizes. So I find myself now researching on the internet if there is a big market of people requiring larger sizes, and deciding whether to grade these up into today’s sizes and where I would advertise my services.
    Any advice would be most appreciated, Catra x

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