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Vintage patterns available online

Sep 02, 2009
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Pattern from the Commercial Pattern Archive

I have a soft spot for vintage patterns, as most sewers do. I buy them up by the box-fulls at garage sales or even on ebay. 

However, the University of Rhode Island has created the Commercial Pattern Archive that gives you access to more than 48,000 vintage patters, opening up a whole new world of patterns and styles that date back to the 19th century. The Archive is an official project of Save America’s Treasures. 

The database is well-organized and searchable to help you find looks from the years 1868 to 2000. 

The online archive is available for an annual fee of $120 per year for an individual. You can also get the entire collection for $360 on a CD Rom. There is also a group membership fee that would be a great option for your local ASG chapter or sewing group. You can get a 30-person membership for only $220.

The CoPA is an amazing resource for not only browsing vintage styles for inspiration, but it’s also a fashion history course in itself unveiling the history of garment construction and even body proportion.

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  1. Deb57 September 8th

    Are we not allowed to view the patterns before getting a membership???

  2. User avater JGilman September 10th

    DEB57 - That is my question, also.

  3. pattyv January 11th

    I am so excited to read about this history of garments catalog. Can we get a sample look at how it works before investing such a large sum?
    Also does the membership include history lessons?

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