Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On Dating Vintage Patterns

I spoke last time about the overlapping of trends through the years.  One site I've used frequently for reference is Cemetarian, from which I quote:

"Style eras often crossed decade lines.  For instance it is very difficult to tell a 1938 pattern from a 1941 pattern.  The basic style and design elements were the same.  The same thing applies for 1959-1961 and again in the 60s and 70's.  There is more difference between 1964 and 1967 that there is between 1969 and 1971."

And also:

"Please be aware that even if a pattern is dated, it could have been in production for years and could even be a re-release of a previous number."

That brings me to another resource I often turn to -  Vintage Pattern Wiki.  I've found this site helpful if I find a vintage pattern I like but isn't in my size.  I've also used it to find out if it was even made in my size, and also if it was an original or a reissue.

For example this Spadea pattern N-1215 I got for Christmas! :

It was on Vintage Pattern Wiki that I found out it was re-issued in 1970's as Spadea 71704.

It indicates that with a bit of on-trend styling, this design was worth bringing back a decade later.  I paid a little bit more for it than I usually would for vintage patterns, but didn't mind because it could be a truly classic piece in any wardrobe.   It also lets me know there could be a dress pattern, Spadea N-1216, floating around out there that would go perfectly with the coat, if I wanted to create an entire ensemble!

Sites like these can also help if you are investigating the career, or following the creations of a particular designer.  Many couture designers also created patterns - Vogue is the one that immediately springs to mind with their Vogue Paris Originals and Vogue Couturier Design.

So what does this mean for my project?  Whilst I am looking for patterns within a certain time frame, and I am looking for certain iconic elements of design that are recognizable or unique about a certain time, there obviously needs to be a little flexibility.  Makes me think I want to go for some of those tiny terry shorts!

1 comment:

  1. I have the same Spadea pattern and was holding to it, afraid to sew anything - mainly because I could not choose the right fabric. My initial idea was Shearling, but then I thought that would be too bulky... so it is still in my stash - ready for a new take in the coming year!