My Collection(s) aka ‘Admitting My Addictions – Part 1’ post

McCall's 2318 - 1959

Readers, today is the day when I admit that I have failings…I, Suziwong, have collectors disease a passion for collecting. I must clarify here, that I am not a horder (yet) but I most definitely have a collectors addiction problem.  My passion for collecting started when I was a mere girl in pig tails a bowl shaped haircut thanks to my ‘thrifty’ mother. Of all things, my first collection was fancy/unusual soaps. I collected soap till I was about 18 years old. The collection stayed at my parents’ home long after I had left to spread my young adult wings. Many years later, whilst visiting my parents, I took the collection  back home with me and began using it; I was bathing in my collection for quite some time; there was a lot of cakes of soap to get through after a decade of collecting. I kept only one set of very unusual soaps; 2  3D little boys – fully sculptured. I still have them tucked away in my wardrobe…but that dear friends, is where it all started.

 McCall 1568 - 1950

I didn’t collect again for many many years…you know how it is; you get busy with study, work, kids – and not necessarily in that order I might add. The years away from collecting must have made an impact because at the moment, i have several more than one collection – mostly sewing and kitchen related.  But at this point in time, I’m not ready to disclose all my defects passions in one blog post…I think it’s best to gently introduce my flaws collections gradually so as not to scare you away.

537 MCall - 1937


Right about now Readers, I think you know where this is going…vintage baby layette sewing patterns.  I have around 43 vintage layette sewing patterns in my possession with three more on their way to my plastic Rubber Maid box that houses my collection. I have some doubles…BUT there are valid reasons for collecting more than one of some patterns. Firstly, some patterns arrive with missing pattern pieces despite being listed as “complete”.  For a pattern to retain and/or gain value it is best for it to be complete.  Additionally, believe it or not, I actually use these patterns so i need the pattern to be complete. Case in point, the sweet little linen high yoked dress project (Jan/Feb Sew Beautiful magazine project) i’m making at the moment uses a high yoked dress and I’m using one of my circa 1960s patterns that has a classic high yoke. It’s here I feel the need to point out that when i say “use”, I mean make copies which I then proceed to use. I NEVER use the actual sewing pattern.  When each pattern arrives, it is checked for completeness, carefully ironed and folded, photographed, catalogued, put into an acid free transparent baggie and housed in a Rubber Maid transparent box.

Other patterns were released with differences on the envelopes…so naturally I would want both.  The McCall 537 pattern above is interesting as the envelopes come in colour and black and white. As far as I can tell they were both released in 1937 – the year of my mother’s birth.  McCall, before the name change to McCall’s, changed to using colour on their pattern envelopes and that change appeared to have occurred around the mid to late 1930s.

McCall 537 (3 of 3) - 1937

 Some patterns were released more than once and again I am urged to possess both releases. For example this Simplicity  2342 was released as 2342 and 4704.

 simplicity 2342

 4704 Simplicity Baby Layette 1963

I don’t know which one was released first. I shall have to do some investigation when 2342 arrives in the mail.

McCall 1568 - 1950

I have plans to make ‘view C’ in McCall 1658 – scroll upward to take a gander at the whole pattern. It’s a classic example of a mid century (20th) hand sewn baby garment. I have a passion for this era of baby wear as they were beautifully made with French hand sewing techniques like French seams, entredeux. French laces and hand embroidery that included pulled and drawn thread work.  The quality of construction and decoration is rarely found in today’s commercial garments – even designer brand named baby wear doesn’t compare.  I am currently trying to find a very sheer voile or batiste to use – I have found 2 possible choices in Australia and have one lead to follow in the USA; i’ll keep you posted on the progress of this project.

 Am I whetting your appetite for either collecting in general or  specifically vintage layette sewing patterns at all? I’m happy to be known as an enabler a sewing compadre.  Maybe, I’m shooting myself in the foot by sharing…perhaps it’ll be YOU, dear reader who beats me to my next vintage layette sewing pattern purchase???  If you think I’m sharing my sources and sleuth purchasing techniques you are WRONG  😆

Friends, you can view my entire vintage layette sewing pattern collection on Flickr: grab yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and Enjoy.







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