Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon
Insider

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

Sewing Menswear Using Vintage Patterns

Article Image

When I first started sewing, one of my challenges was finding patterns I wanted to sew. Few fabric stores in New York City’s Garment District sold sewing patterns, so it was easier for me to purchase patterns online. I found many more options among the vintage patterns for sale on Etsy and eBay than on the pattern company websites. There were more styles to choose from, a wider variety of garment types, and, often, better prices. As a long-time fan of vintage clothing, I also found the illustrations and photos on the pattern envelopes to be inspiring.

I used this 1930s Simplicity pattern to make my wool camo-print jacket, above.

This vintage 1970s McCall’s cardigan sweater jacket pattern is one of my favorites. Note how it reflects the unisex aesthetic of the era.  My version is below.

There are many reasons why sewing menswear from vintage patterns is an idea worth exploring. Unlike women’s fashions, most menswear styles have changed little over the last 80 or so years. That said, depending on the style, a garment made from a vintage pattern can risk looking “costumey.”  I’ve found that minor alterations (shortening the rise of pants, narrowing a shirt collar) can bring a garment up-to-date.

Benefits of working with vintage patterns

Vintage patterns (which I’ll define as anything pre-1990s) were generally printed with only one size per pattern envelope, unlike contemporary, multisize patterns. As a result, there’s no need to trace the pattern unless you think you’re going to make major alterations and want to preserve the original.

Printed one size per envelope, vintage patterns require no tracing.

Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.

Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.

Start Your Free Trial

Sign up for the Threads eletter

Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

Sign Up
×
Discuss

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 42% and get a free gift

Subscribe

Discuss

  1. user-7827015 | | #1

    Great article. Thank you.

  2. user-5910757 | | #2

    That was a good lesson about vintage patterns. The clothes Peter makes are very stylish!

Log in or become a member to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Shop the Store

View All
View More