For those who yearn to find an online catalog filled with ten of thousands of online vintage sewing patterns, you are in luck. Autumn is a time that many may associate with their mother getting out the sewing machine to make costumes, and if you’re looking for a sewing pattern for a costume for Halloween or just everyday vintage sewing patterns, look no further.
At the moment there appear to be a couple of vintage sewing pattern websites online right now including the Vintage Patterns Wiki website which contains around 83,500 sewing patterns on it, but there is also another one which boasts an immense amount of patterns on it. Even better, the starting date for the sewing patterns begins at the year 1847. If you are a history buff and have ever fancied the idea of dressing from another century, this is the place for you.
The CoPA website, otherwise known as the Commercial Pattern Archive, is an important online project started up by Save America’s Treasures which is designed to electronically preserve commercial sewing patterns over the years so that they may keep these “scattered and vanishing records of European and American culture.”
The Commercial Pattern Archive explains that commercial patterns are “full-scale tissue paper clothing patterns used by the home-sewer to create garments and accessories issued in the States as early as 1854.”
These online vintage sewing patterns were once found in popular fashion periodicals of the time like Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Magazine and were then available to be bought through mail order, something that would have been made easy with the advent of trains.
The Commercial Patterns Archive website is exceedingly easy to navigate and you are able to use the search function to choose which year you would look to find a vintage sewing pattern in, with the years running from 1847 to 2014. You are able to pick the garment of choice that you would like, which includes everything from regular attire to a chemise, collar/cuff, corset, military or medical uniforms, mittens, robes and religious garments, smocks, veils or wraps. There is even traditional mourning attire available.
Other search functions for the CoPA website include the occasion for the sewing pattern, what type of needlework it will be from Applique and Crochet to Embroidery and Knitting and the age and sex of the person that will be wearing the outfit.
These patterns are also able to be searched by company, and these include Advance, Butterick, McCall and Vogue and you can then decide which collection you would like to find them in. The collections include those by the University of Rhode Island, Betty Williams and Joy Emery.
If you’re excited about sewing, head on over to the Commercial Patterns Archive and you will easily be able to find an online vintage sewing pattern of your dreams, whether historical or modern.
[Featured Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]