Your Invited to an Ugly Ducking (Vintage) Pattern Party!


Today we’d like you all to join us for our second annual Ugly (Vintage) Pattern Party.

As you all know Elizabeth and I hoard collect vintage patterns.  And we LOVE them.  It is from vintage patterns that I really learned how to sew…the fit, construction, and instructions are the best.  Those ladies back in the day KNEW what they were doing.  Clothing construction was an art and they were masters.

And aside from vintage patterns being awesome…which they are (seriously there is no school like the old school)…vintage patterns have also made sewing affordable for me.  I can buy a pattern for less than a dollar at a thrift store.  And at less than a dollar, I am free to experiment with all different styles, patterns, and techniques.  Really, vintage patterns have taught me how to sew and I am a loyal advocate of their greatness.

That being said….there are some really ugly vintage patterns….really ugly…HOWEVER…we feel like no matter how terrible/outdated/scary the pattern is there is always something there to salvage.  Those patterns are just waiting to be turned into swans!

For example last year I chose this pattern for our “Ugly Duckling” pattern party:Ugly Pattern tulip swin suit

It still makes me laugh…oh my goodness…even the girl wearing that suit thinks it’s hilarious!  Anyway…so I took this pattern…salvaged what I could…and made Ruth a breezy little top that she wore all summer.  (To see what it looked like click here:  A Tip Toe Through The Tulips. )

No pattern is completely unsalvageable.  In fact, most patterns you may initially think are terrible just need to be sewn up in modern fabric….and maybe with only a few minor changes.

Take this pattern for example:Ugly Pattern Seersucker Shirt


I need minute.

Ok…I’m ready…No, I’m not….that fabric combo and that tie…it’s like the uniform for the Easter bunny’s mild mannered alter ego….and I can’t stop laughing…

Whew…ok… so…look past the fabric choice and look at the “bones” of the pattern.  It really isn’t a bad shirt…shrink the collar a bit, maybe tweek the cuffs, and lose the tie.  And now not only is it something that I would totally wear but it also a teaching tool that will walk me through how to make a placket, evenly space button holes, and sew a dart.

SO today…we’d like to invite you to celebrate ugly vintage patterns with us.  The official party begins next Monday but to get us in the mood we are going to open up a linky party to get us all in the mood.

Do you have an ugly vintage pattern?  If so, take a photo of it and link it up!  We’d LOVE to see it.  Come on!  These patterns need to be shared!!!

(Just one rule…please only link up “vintage” patterns.  We know that there are a lot of possibly unsavory current patterns…but we would like to only stick to patterns that are 25 years (1989) or older.  We want this party to be in the spirit of good fun and not hurt anyone’s feelings.)

P.S.  You don’t have to sew up the pattern….we just want to see a picture of the “Ugly Duckling” in all its glory 😉

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  1. says

    That shirt pattern brings back memories!!! I totally wore shirts like that, except that the ties I wore were narrower. I used to love the large collars and the puffy sleeves with the long cuffs. I’m sure I had better taste in fabric, though… LOL!!! If I’m 100% honest, I still don’t mind the puffy sleeves.

  2. Kelly says

    Oh, I’m going to have to search through my stash for my ugly duckling. The potholder pants just kill me!

  3. Deborah K says

    I really must find that bag of patterns I bought for $3. There were at least 20 pre-80’s patterns in it. *where in my storage unit are they?

  4. says

    I remember that one from last year well!! That girl ;o) Love the one you picked out this year too… can’t wait to see what you do! I will have to search for an ugly vintage one this summer when I am in the US, so I can play along next year ;o)


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