If you’re anything like us, you probably have loving memories of Mama and Grandma cross-stitching, hand-crocheting, and sitting at the sewing machine. After buying the perfect pattern, you’d watch her pump her right foot up and down on the mechanical foot pedal, listening for the thick, low hum of the machine. She knew just where to cut the material and how to effortlessly guide the fabric through the machine, ensuring the stitches would line up perfectly. In those few creative hours she would somehow transform an ordinary scrap of cloth or simple piece of muslin into a beautiful, awe-inspiring garment for you to wear—crafted with her own bare hands as a threaded relic of her love.
So you can imagine our excitement when we learned that you can now use those distant memories and nostalgia to create your own retro-inspired designs, thanks to Vintage Patterns Wikia—a website that just released more than 83,500 vintage sewing patterns. Every style and silhouette is represented in this collection, including the flapper, Charleston-inspired dress, Christian Dior’s 1940s new look, and even the flared, gaucho-style pants and midi skirts of the ‘70s. If it’s true that everything old is new again, then you’ll love recreating these iconic looks from past decades, letting your hands take you on a trip down memory lane.
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Per the site, you can “browse vintage dress patterns, and completed vintage sewing projects, explore amusing illustrations and ogle classic movie stars." Even better—the patterns are divided up into categories based on what you’re in the mood for sewing and wearing. Dresses? Pants? Blouses? Bathing Suits? Formal Wear? Jackets? Yep, they’re all there and accounted for, courtesy of the trusted brands we grew up on, such as Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, McCalls, and Advance.
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With so many patterns to choose from and so much to learn about the colors, textures, and shapes that were endemic of those time periods, the only thing left for you to do is to whip out the sewing machine and notions.