Friends, lately there has been a dearth of vintage layette sewing patterns for sale that I don’t already have and I’m not sure what to think about that…Despite the lack of patterns to buy I did manage to purchase Vogue 2329. Vogue layette patterns aren’t prolific – which makes me a little sad because I’m partial to Vogue patterns.
Readers, many people think that sewing in general hasn’t ever changed…I’m not one of those people. I think sewing has changed over time; one only needs to look at the back of the pattern envelopes to find the evidence. It’s from 1943 – it’s 70 years old this year! The pattern pieces are factory cut rather than printed. Earlier pattern pieces are always pre-cut.
Early patterns tend to have less pattern pieces – a garment could have just one pattern piece.
Rather than comparing pattern companies, I prefer to compare the patterns within each company. Companies changed production from pre-cut to printed pattern pieces at different times. All of my McCall/McCall’s patterns are printed but this isn’t the case with all of my patterns. This McCall’s 1762 from 1952 is an example of the process of change – Look at view B, the dress. The pattern for the dress is just one pattern piece – When I first noticed it I was confused as I couldn’t work out where the neck was. Turns out, that the pattern is cut on the fold and there’s a slash in the upper centre of the folded fabric where the armscye is created! The neckline is gathered at the top of the fabric piece; go figure!! It’s such an unusual garment pattern that it’s on my ‘to sew’ list.
This 1930’s Simplicity pattern is one of two that I have that has pre-cut pattern pieces; all the rest of the Simplicity’s are printed.
Early patterns don’t always tend to have an instruction sheet; also called a primer or deltor by some companies. Early Butterick pattern instruction sheets were called deltors.
Look at this McCall’s Printo Gravure pattern from 1925. Printo Gravure is a type of printing process done on drums rather than presses.
There’s no separate instruction sheet; the sewing instructions are printed on the pattern. The types of tissue that was used for pattern pieces has changed over time and can be different depending on the company. Some earlier patterns are made from a paper that is very cellophane in nature – it’s a bit of a cross between cellophane and grease proof paper. Some tissues are incredibly thin and much more unstable than others.
Readers, that’s about it from me today; I know it’s been short and sweet – but I can assure you i’m not finished on the topic of changes in sewing. In an upcoming post, I’m going to write about the changes in the shape and techniques in baby sewing – I only touched on it in this post. Modern commercial baby clothing is so very simple in comparison to some earlier construction techniques and yet earlier garments had less pieces – the maygar cut is one example . So don’t change your bat channel, because I’ll be back soon to discuss baby clothing sewing techniques of yesteryear.