Vintage Pattern Pitfall No. 1

Vintage Pattern Pitfall No. 1

29 September 2014

“Enough of the collecting of vintage patterns, I need to make a garment from one!” I decided the other day. I made a few decisions about what my first project should be:

  • I thought I’d start off with a simple top, nothing too complicated, so that if it all went pear-shaped, I wouldn’t have wasted too much effort or fabric.
  • I wanted to use a “real” vintage pattern, you know, the ones where the pattern pieces are not printed, but are just pre-cut shapes with mysterious holes punched in them!
  • I wanted to use a pattern which was my size, but if it was out by one size then that wouldn’t be too bad as I think I could probably handle that – I didn’t want too many challenges all at once!

So I dived into my expanded collection of patterns (I will do another post with pictures of all my latest ones) and found the perfect pattern, it’s a cute, not overly-fitted top, one size too small, with unprinted pattern pieces.  In fact it’s one of the first vintage patterns I bought – Butterick 2179

Butterick Pattern 2179

Butterick Pattern 2179

 So I took out all the pattern pieces and the instruction sheet and proceeded to unfold each pattern piece looking for the 5 pieces which make up the top.   After unfolding every pattern piece, I discover to my dismay that I have  all the pieces for the slim skirt, the full skirt, the pants (& shorts) and the jacket, but none of the top pieces are in the envelope :(  As a bonus I have 4 pieces from another pattern but they’re just collars. Oh. I guess I won’t be making that top after all, which is a shame because that was the main reason I bought that pattern.

Jigsaw with a piece missing

Now I could have got very annoyed that someone at a vintage fair had sold me a pattern which was not complete.  But she didn’t say anything about whether or not all the pieces were there and I guess that just is one of the perils of buying really old patterns.  Like a second-hand jigsaw, you won’t know if any pieces are missing until you get it home and inspect it thoroughly.  However, if someone sells me a pattern on ebay and they state in the description that it’s complete and I then find out it’s not, then I will get annoyed.

So guess what I’ve started doing?  That’s right, I’m going through all my patterns and checking them for completeness and I’m making a note of my findings on a piece of paper & popping that in the corresponding envelope so I don’t end up checking the same pattern 5 times!

The moral of the story?  Check your new vintage pattern purchases as soon as possible to avoid undue disappointment.

Right, back to the drawing board to find a simple, vintage top pattern in roughly my size.

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