Monday, October 1, 2012

Falling For (Vintage) Fashion

School's back in session, the season is changing, and fingers are itching to make up some new and beautiful things. I don't know about you but walking through the Mall, (which I do about twice a year) is so BORING! They have some beautiful colors and some basics but any detail or originality? Nada.When I received my first box of vintage patterns I fell in love with the different designs, the story each envelope had to tell, the history behind that style, all the little details. Since I have joined Etsy I have found a wonderful community willing to share knowledge and the vintage pattern love. This month I want to tell the story behind several of their shops as a way to say thank you! If you are looking for sewing inspiration perhaps you will find it in the world of vintage patterns!

The First Seller I would like to introduce you to is Mary Beth of RetroMonkeys.

"Hi my name is Mary Beth and RetroMonkeys is my Vintage Sewing Pattern Shop. I live in Southern California with my husband and 3 boys; the oldest in college, and twins in high school. 

   I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2002. By 2004 I found it impossible to work a full time job but still had the need to be productive. I did various volunteer jobs until 2009 when I rediscovered sewing. I opened my first ETSY shop sewing custom clothing for children. That’s when I caught the vintage pattern bug. I really liked the styles from the 1960’s for little kids. Simple, no ruffles, and comfortable. I started buying lots of patterns and before I knew it, I had a fairly large collection. I decided to reduce my collection and started listing some for sale. Soon I found it necessary to move the patterns to their very own shop."

Ooohh 60s children's patterns! Do you have any tips for working with vintage patterns?

"My first tip is to learn how to resize a pattern. Vintage patterns are sized differently. There are lots of tutorials online. Start with making a muslin fitting garment before cutting into your fabric. 

My second tip is to read all of the instructions before beginning. The instructions that are included sometimes are very vague. They assume that you know more than you may. I’ve been almost finished and realized that the instructions never mentioned putting the zipper in!

Finally, save the unprinted patterns until you are comfortable with all of the other variables. "

Any tips for finding great vintage patterns to sew with? 

"Buy your vintage patterns from a reputable seller. Most sellers make sure all of the pieces are accounted for and clearly describe the condition. Also, choose a style that works with your body type. Also choose one that won’t be too challenging to start."

What is your favorite pattern of all time?
"My favorite pattern of all time is a tough question. There are so many lovely styles. The 50’s had some beautiful dresses. One of my favorites is McCall’s 4666."
"Another Favorite of mine is one that got me hookedMy mother made this coat and hat for me in the 1960’s. When I got this pattern it brought back all of the memories of her sewing it for me."
What pattern do I wish would go away? 70’s pantsuits, and boy’s pajamas! Some of the women’s pantsuit patterns probably aren’t as unattractive as they seem. The fabrics they chose to use in the Illustrations are horrible! I have many – none listed.. I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Another one that seems to be in EVERY lot that I buy, is this

My favorite pattern that I have right now is 
Etsy Listing
"Ultimately, I want all of my patterns to ”go away”! I want them all to find a new home where they are loved and appreciated.  Bottom line is that everyone has different taste in clothing and I do believe that for every pattern, there is a person who would love to have it. 
I really enjoy what I do. I’ve always worked in customer service. I love getting to know people from all over the world. I’ve met so many great people and made some true friends. Making people smile makes me smile. I plan on being around for years to come."
Thanks Mary Beth for giving us a peek in the life of a pattern seller and sharing some of your pattern memories! Love the outfit from when you were little!
To learn more about Mary Beth check out her shop's About page and to see all her great inventory browse her store.
Until next time, do you have any special items that were sewn for you as a child?


Unknown said...

Fantastic! So fun to read about a fellow Pattern Patter teamie. I'm no sure if other had the same problem but none of the pictures loaded. Emily, let me know if you need help posting pics. I'm looking forward to more teamie interviews. Great idea!

EmSewCrazy said...

Glad you liked it Adele! I am excited to learn more about the teammates too! The pictures were send in a Pages document and I copy and pasted them over. Do you think I need to have them send the photos as jpegs?