Dating vintage vogue patterns
These are also the most commonly found vintage patterns, though there were dozens of smaller companies who produced some wonderful designs. Some collect designs from just one era, the 1960s Mod look for instance, that may suit their body shape or their lifestyle. I know one collector who buys just the Butterick Young Designers from the 1960s and 1970s.
She became interested in these because she has fond memories of sewing them back in her youth. Their envelopes featured Hollywood starlets in the 1930s and 40s.
Simplicity patterns were dated in the 1940s and into the 50s, on the instruction sheet. Simplicity stopped putting dates on most patterns in the early 50s, but in the mid 1960s they began printing it on the envelope back.
Vogue patterns were rarely dated, and until the late 1970s, Butterick patterns were never dated.
Most mail order patterns were not dated, though you could get lucky and find one in the original mailing envelope with a postmarked date.
The other smaller companies did not put dates on their patterns.
If the design is fantastic, unusual or rare, condition may not be as important.
Remember, these were manufactured by the thousands!
The printed pattern was introduced in the 1920s, but did not become commonplace until just after World War II.
There are four large pattern companies still making sewing patterns today: Butterick, Mc Call’s, Simplicity and Vogue.
An accomplished sewer may not mind a few missing pieces, but most of us need them all.
If you have found some patterns you like but the seller has no idea if they are complete, at least check to be sure the instructions are in the envelope, and see if you think the folded tissue is thick enough to match the number of pieces indicated on the envelope.