I thought you might like a look in more detail at that Ebay haul I won in July.
Their arrival was a little ungainly to say the least. Not damaged in any way but clearly hurriedly bundled and tied up in… a Morrison’s bag. Not that there’s anything wrong with Morrison’s. But I did have a moment of OMG have I just bought a sack full of rubbish?! Surely these antique patterns deserved a carriage with a little more style!
I gingerly untied the knotted handles. Actually that’s a lie. I completely tore the bag apart because I couldn’t wait a minute more. Was a bit whiffy to say the least! But I can totally forgive the smell, the packaging and the wait.
I think I am still gobsmacked.
For starters, almost all of them are my bust size which means the only alterations will be to the waist and hip. So much less faffing. Even the few that are too small will be worth the adjustments. And I tell no lies when I say that each and every one was a doozy. Most of them unused and uncut.
The first little beauty that caught my eye was this cut out cover of Home Notes. A delight in itself but what was the chance of the patterns for these beauties being inside?
Every little lovely chance. I had guessed 1940s by the styling but in fact this unused and perfectly preserved pattern is nicely dated October 7th 1939:
Love the bit about: “Other sizes… obtainable FREE on application”. Can you imagine that happening nowadays?
I can’t find dates on most of the patterns but all are truly vintage and very beautiful. This is the first I’ve heard of Economy Design patterns. And I feel pretty damned lucky to have landed these lovelies:
Next up is a more familiar name, Simplicity. These stylish little numbers have all their pieces in tact, despite the damage to the envelopes. In fact the one on the right had some very interesting accompanying material!
Whoever Mrs Poole was – the name on most of the mail order pattern envelopes – she was a lady of very fine taste with impeccable organisational skills. In the envelope with Simplicity 8488 (above right) there was this cutting:
Great to see these vintage patterns in ‘real life’ photos. And it makes me love the ensemble even more! Also inside the envelope (from Readers Digest) was each copied piece of the pattern, traced and labelled with precision onto a 1960s edition of the Daily Express. This is one of the reasons that all these patterns are in such great condition and seemingly unused. Mrs Poole has dutifully copied them and kept the originals factory folded. This has given me a fine source of entertainment too, reading all the snippets of the papers. This one quite topical: “Billie Holmes, 24 year old Hull engineer, won the first Olympic cycling road race trial yesterday – by ONE inch. And this victory, over 96 miles near Chesham, Buckinghamshire, strengthens his claim for Rome spot……”
Thank you Mrs P.
Leach Way Patterns is a new one on me too. Any one heard of these? The dress pattern was still in it’s original mail order envelope which is date stamped 1949, so I might be inclined to date the coat and the suit around that time too. Needless to say, all three in perfect condition.
Weldons is a name I recognise. I have a couple in my collection already and I love how they are always so incredibly stylish and yet a little bit quirky.
Now I am assuming ‘Womans Day’ was a womans magazine and this was a supplement… correct me if I’m wrong:
But even better still, than this cheeky little gift book, the blouses featured on the cover and in centre spread are an exclusive Norman Hartnell pattern and all the appropriate pieces are present and correct in this gorgeous little pattern envelope:
I love this 40s (?) McCalls suit. It is so reminiscent of the suits my grandma used to wear:
And who could resist running up a few slips and bloomers for under their vintage dresses?
Woman’s Realm was defo one of my mum’s reads. So these conjure up a bit of nostalgia. I love the first dress. It’s numbered WR.1. I wonder if that is the first ever dress pattern issued by Woman’s Realm? The middle one is far too small for me in any case but the wedding dress with a few adjustments, I’m sure would be really flattering. I do like an empire waistline.
Here’s a classy Dior number from Woman’s Journal:
There’s a couple of other great coat patterns too. One from Odhams and the other from Woman’s Own magazine. I am thinking of making a coat. Just thinking, for now!!
I think Mrs P was too as there were various cuttings of coat images too:
It’s amazing that all the pieces seem to be present for these Du Barry patterns. Whatever their pattern envelopes were made of they certainly disintegrate in a big brittlesome way. But look how Mrs P (I presume) has lovingly recreated the image herself. Don’t you just love the sharpness of these suits and frocks?
I do like a shirtwaist dress and was delighted to find this one from Woman’s Weekly in the bundle. Woman’s Weekly was another of my mum’s reads. I distinctly remember the pink header and the elongated type on the cover:
Here’s a smart little dress suit from The People. One day, one day!:
There was one little girls pattern included in the bundle. I would love my youngest daughter to wear little vintage dresses but I think there is some chance and no chance of that ever happening 🙁
Most of the other patterns were from Woman magazine. Another of the larger format mags if I rightly remember. And what a fine selection we have here:
And imagine how excited I got when this one jumped out at me:
With all supporting cuttings once again:
I love the collar and the buttoned hip pockets. Not to mention the self covered buttons all the ways down, ooo… and the self covered belt. How amazing would that be?!
I am soooo making that Hardy Amies number!
And this wrap dress from Woman looks so much more inspirational in the mag too:
And, if ever I am going to make a pair of ‘Trews’, it is going to be this pair! I love that they are called ‘trews’. I thought that was a term only used and made up by my mum!
Apart from the masses of cuttings that I still have to sift through – believe me, there are stacks of pattern pieces cut out from really old newspapers – the above are without edits, the most amazing collection of patterns ever. Not one duff one among them. Well…. there was this strange one…
…which has to win the prize of most random pattern ever!!
39 Replies to “So much style and history… in a Morrison’s bag”
Oh wow, what a stash! I love the expressions on some of the ladies’ faces. They remind me of my Grandma too.
They are a picture aren’t they?! I might have to adopt some of those poses when I post my next vintage make!
OMG! What a treasure trove! The patterns are just wonderful, I really love the coats and that last pattern, I’ve got to have one of hats, fabulous 🙂
lol I’m still bemused by that last pattern! 🙂
What a great find! That suit pattern from The People is my favorite.
Thanks MarrieB. I think that suit pattern would be amazing!
My oh my, oh my!!! What absolutely stunning patterns, you scored big time here…and all the patterns are complete with extra goodies included! And mostly your bust size! It’s like a a dream come true…well done for spotting the listing and going for it ;o)
Thanks Marie. I do feel like I struck gold! 🙂
holy crap! What a haul!!!! SERIOUSLY….I LOVE economy design patterns (from the same company as Style and Style Prints)…you’ve got some of the best British patterns there are….thanks for sharing these lovelies!
lol… Thanks Debi! I was thinking about you when these arrived. I had a feeling you might approve! 🙂
Well done on such a haul. Here Down Under “doozy” has quite the opposite connotation, so I started out wondering why you were being enthusiastic about something if it was such a bad deal. But, no, it’s just another of our linguistic oddities.
As to the patterns, thanks so much for sharing; and aren’t they wonderful? I’m quite smitten by the Weldons coat pattern.
ha ha… I’m always amazed how words translate and often mean the opposite. Should have used ‘humdinger!’ I totally agree, those Weldons coats would be amazing!
Oh, what a treasure trove! And, yes, “Woman’s Day” was (still is?) a magazine. I subscribed to it for a bit, when I was in college and desperate to receive anything, anything at all in my mailbox. I think I subscribed until the mid 1980s. Very “good little wife and mother” sort of magazine. They did feature excellent needlework patterns, and the recipes were delicious.
Thanks LinB. I love knowing the history behind these things. Makes them all the more special 🙂
WOWEE! What a haul! And they’re fabulous. Please commence sewing and posting photos immediately! 🙂
lol… so wish I could, Zo. Real life keeps getting in the way!
Wow these are amazing! I especially like the wrap dress. It makes me want to whip out my serger and dressmaking supplies! This was a truly amazing find!
Aren’t they just. Thanks Stacey. I think that wrap dress would whip up in no time with a serger! I just need to get me some…. time that is! 🙂
Time always seems to be in short supply these days!!
What a great find. The cuttings and extras are so interesting; I think that’s my favourite bit.
Thanks Catherine. Mine too 🙂
Lovely, lovely patterns! You’re going to have so much fun.
Perhaps the eBay seller would benefit from a little developmental feedback about suitable packaging? Another buyer would easily have been rather cross about that.
I think you might be right Mhairi. Though they weren’t damaged in any way. The bag was in a box which kept them safe. I just thought it was a bit ‘disrespectful’ !!! But that’s because I am so in love with them!
Well, you are going to be very busy. Can’t wait to see your trews!
Ha ha. Still loving the word ‘trews’!
Wow, you must be floating on a cloud right now! Congratulations on winning that bid! 🙂
I am indeed! Thank you Shirley 🙂
What treasures! very interesting patterns! great post
Gorgeous stuff, and so cool to see patterns fro companies I’ve not heard of or seen before. That Mrs Poole, now we all want to know about her and her life. She mus have been very smartly dressed!!
Thanks MrsC. It does indeed create intrigue. You wouldn’t get any of that, buying a brand new Vogue pattern, lovely as they are!
Oh my goodness, what a stash! Thank you for sharing (even though I am positively squirming with envy!). And they have a back story, that is the really great bit. Looking forward to seeing them made up.
Thank you Fashionista. I was a little bit worried about showing these off. I know how jealous I get of other people’s vintage finds!
Hey Janene, it was so lovely to bump into you the other day! Thank you so much for the drink – a nice surprise when I went up to pay.
This haul is absolutely amazing – especially the Hardy Amies dress, I love it! xx
Oh, and you too Tilly! You are most welcome. I so enjoyed our little chat. Yes, I think that dress is very much my fave too! 🙂
That is one of the best vintage hauls I have ever seen! I have been on the look out for some slim pants like that.
Thanks Justine. I think they pop up when you are least expecting them to… and when you have the least amount of disposable cash! I have found some lovely ones on Etsy.com too in the past. 🙂
WOW! Quite the haul! I absolutely ADORE those two Weldon’s patterns, and the Hardy Amies dress…. wow… beautiful!! I am only a little jealous because I know you’ll definitely put all these lovelies to good use, and they couldn’t have found a more deserving home ^__^
Hi, just found your blog via we sew retro. What a lucky find of patterns. I have Simplicity 8488 and made it for a girl in a play at our local high school. Wish I had a picture! She looked so nice! I made it out of dark green corduroy and made a silky leopard print blouse. She wore. It with a leopard pillbox shaped hat. The high waist fit her to a tee!
Women’s Day is a US magazine still around today tho without patterns! Keep on sewing!