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Unused Misses Patterns

lpip | Posted in Patterns on

Does anyone know of an organization or person that will accept unused patterns?  The patterns are not old–McCalls, Vogue, and Style Misses patterns.  I’ve lost weight, never got around to them, and can no longer use them.  The smallest size is 14.

There are only 10 patterns, and I will mail them–at my expense–to anyone who can use them.



  1. meg | | #1

    May I suggest your local middle or high school? They may have a sewing program which could use them. Or ask your local library/church/post office if they have a shelf or corner for people to leave items to share?

    1. lpip | | #3

      Thank you.  I never thought of my local school. 

  2. starzoe | | #2

    Thrift stores, run by charities (NOT Value Village - not a charity) is a good recipient for your patterns. I regularly look through thrift stores for patterns and you would be surprised what great bargains there are. This is also a good source for vintage patterns. When my grandgirls were smaller I bought all the patterns for them at thrift stores, a good many had never been used.

    1. lpip | | #4

      I thought of thrift stores, esp. Goodwill.  In our local Goodwill stores I've never noticed patterns.  In fact, I seldom seen patterns in thrift stores.  But I will check some out.  Thanks.

      1. proegge | | #5

        I often check my local thrift store for patterns-old styles make combacks, and people often drop off new ones like you are thinking of doing.  Plus I know I can adjust sizes to fit me if I have to. 

        Unfortunately not many schools have sewing anymore.  At least not around here.


      2. user-51823 | | #6

        i don't know whether most schools still teach sewing, but that's a god idea.
        also try local churches and charitties that help homeless, either by making clothes for them or by teaching them skills, like sewing.

  3. georgiagg | | #7

    In the chairty store I volunteer in they throw any patterns as not many of them sell.  I keep track once a week what comes in the back door and when the lady gets to the fabrics then the patterns.....patterns go in the trash.

    1. Sancin | | #8

      Does your community have a women's shelter or workshop for disabled or indigent women?   Many of the shelters teach women sewing or provide them a place to either sew or outfit themselves for employment.  Such a place is my favourite charity.  I always tell myself that there but by the grace of God go I!

    2. starzoe | | #9

      Instead of throwing away unwanted patterns, use the tissue for wrapping breakable objects.

  4. JanF | | #10

    AsI teach in a school -I would obviously advocate recycling through the education system - but realise not every secondary school has textiles on it's curriculum now!
    One cautionary note - a few years ago I got so fed up of having cupboards full of used - and unused - patterns dating from the 60's onwards and hubby was telling me the roof from the loft would be caving in soon with all the weight up there in fabric etc!! I rationalised and recycled with the best of them.
    I regret that now!
    I'm now looking at "old pattern"sites and see loads being sold on ebay. When I think of the money ive spent over the years I suppose I could have waited for the internet to come along and then at least recouped some of that cash!!
    If u still like the designs - I would plumb for keeping them!

    1. Gloriasews | | #13

      I know what you mean, Jan - I did the same thing with old patterns.  Of course, the Internet wasn't even an inkling at that time - we didn't even have computers then.  I, too, am amazed at how these patterns are making a comeback now - & the styles are still nice!  We, too, could have been in the vintage pattern business now - again, something that was unheard of years ago, except for costumes.  Too soon old & too late smart!


      1. JanF | | #16

        Definitely too old too soon etc (that's a great quote - wonder if I'll remember it)?
        It doesn't seem that long since I got rid of the patterns - mostly been cut up/chopped about/reused etc at school! and I'm sure it was before I heard of the net! It's amazing how the use of computers has bounced along since I first had to learn when I returned to teaching - only 14 yrs ago! - that was only for word processing in the beginning too!

        1. Gloriasews | | #17

          You're right about the amazing computers.  I saw my first computer in 1956 in the States in an insurance office when I was on holidays - it filled a room & had many reel-to-reel tapes.  I then was first introduced to word processing in 1986 & it scared the daylights out of me.  See how far we've come?  We're not just older, we're better (much more knowledgeable about a whole slew of things that we didn't have an inkling about then).  Times have definitely changed - & faster than I'd ever imagined & we're still learning as we go along.


          1. JanF | | #18

            Tell me about it - just been to help my daughter choose an overlocker - got sidetracked by a cover stitcher - so ended up buying both(were going to try to buy a 5 thread Bernina overlocker - but was persuaded that they are too fiddly to keep changing - for the money got 1 overlocker and 1 coverstitcher).
            Gosh NOW I want one!
            Its a janome cover stitcher and I'm ashamed to say I didnt know they made them!
            Things are developing sooo rapidly for the market!

          2. Gloriasews | | #19

            You're daughter is no doubt ecstatic with her new toys (aren't we all)?  I always feel guilty, though, when I buy more than I'd first planned of expensive things (old conditioning of being frugal, I think).

            About overlockers, do you really use them that much or are they actually sergers?  I have an overlocking stitch on my sewing machine, which I use for seam finishing, but I use other stitches far more.  Also, I don't think I'd use a coverstitcher that much, either, for the expense of them, but then, I don't actually know what all they can do.  Enlighten me, if you will.


          3. JanF | | #20

            Sorry - this great divide! yes -overlocker = serger (Kate ,next week, will join me owning 4 thread "sergers")
            the coverstitcher is what Ive always wanted - so Pete had better listen when Kate tells him all about it - to do professional looking hems, particularly on sweatshirting etc. so that it has the 2 thread zigzaggy stitch over the cut edge of a hem on the wrong side of the fabric/garment edge- with 1,2 or 3 lines of stitching on the right side of the work!
            Its what u see on all manufactured RTW items - particularly on stretch fabrics.
            I WANT ONE!!!
            i'll see if there is a link I can attach for u to see!http://janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Professional/CoverPro_1000CPlooks a great addition to me - I will definitely have to drip feed my wish to Pete before October birthday!!

            Edited 7/28/2007 4:02 pm ET by JanF

          4. Gloriasews | | #21

            That's what I thought - it is a serger.  As for the cover stitcher, I think I get the same feature using my double or triple needles when I make T-shirts (not to rain on your parade - sorry). 

            Nevertheless, I hope your birthday wish comes true & that you have lots of fun with your new toy.  New toys are always wonderful!  Creativity reigns!!



          5. JanF | | #22

            UR right Gloria - I can do it with my serger(overlocker) and sewing machine now - 1 job = overlocking the edge -2nd. job = different machine - stitch down hem with 1,2 or 3 lines of stitching.
            The great thing about the coverstitcher (in my mind) is that u can combine the 2 stitches in 1 operation - it does what looks like the overlocking on the 1 side - than u have the straight lines of stiching on the other side - in one sweep!
            I suspect some of us have overlockers that do 5 thread stitching - but over here these machines are expensive - and from what i can see extremely difficult to set up - to my mind - in my ideal workshop I'd have my standard machine + overlocker + coverstitcher.
            You can tell I'm working on my argument to give to Pete already!!
            My overlocker = Bernette 334D and Ive had it a few years now and it works really well but it has always bugged me to go back to the ordinary machine to sew up the hem!
            Possibly someone in UK hasa 5 thread overlocker which is easy to use and does this all in 1 process - but as yet i haven't found a machine that will do this.

          6. Crazy K | | #26

            I was going through the same thing..........coverstitch machine -vs- serger with coverhem capability.  I did quite a bit of research and ended up with a Babylock Evolve 8 thread.  It is great and easy to thread due to the jet-threading system.  I have an Elna, basic janome and Janome Compulock serger besides the Evolve.  The Elna & Janome Compulock do numerous stitches but I do like the BL for the coverhem.

            As for double-triple needles.  Yes, they work and are quite satisfactory for ladies tops but I do more sewing for kids and the double-needle stitches just aren't as rugged.  The coverhem seems to have lots more built-in stretch and is more durable when kids are pulling and tugging on everything.

            Granted, the sergers(overlockers) that do the coverhem are the high end machines but I guess I'm a believer in the 'you get what you pay for' idea.  I have a low end Janome serger that does a couple of stitches that I use for a 4-thread stitch and it works just great but it does not do the specialty stitches.........I got exactly what I paid for.........a great basic machine.  It all depends on what you want your machine to do for you.

            There.......you have my nickel's worth..........  And.........the reason I went with the serger (Evolve).........is that if one of the other sergers dies on me, I still have a backup serger.......with a coverstitch machine.....I still just have a coverstitch machine.  Maybe not the answer for all, but that was my reasoning......

            Crazy K

            P.S. - Sorry........I just realized that we are getting WAY off track here............maybe this should be a new thread......?????

            Edited 8/5/2007 12:25 pm ET by Crazy K

          7. denisemarie | | #25

            Another option for your unwanted patterns is the art department of schools or local artists.  As a mixed media artist, I use pattern tissue in my collages and scans of vintage pattern envelopes in my art.

          8. Gloriasews | | #27

            What a great idea!  Others who have a large collection to get rid of (I don't) will hopefully use this option, as the tissue would be quite versatile to an artist.


  5. rsolish | | #11

    i can't imagine anyone throwing out patterns!!
    here in israel patterns are expensive and most hard to find.
    maybe i should start a pattern library and anyone that wants,can send in their unwanted pattern.
    (just my 2 cents)

    1. lpip | | #14

      Are you interested in the patterns?  I have no idea what it would cost to mail them to you.

      1. rsolish | | #15

        i would love to have them,but find out how much it would cost first, if it's too muuch i might beable to give you an adress in the states of relatives.
        thank you for the thought

    2. proegge | | #23


      I, and maybe some of the others, have patterns that we would be willing to send if we knew where to send them.  Do you want to email me an address?  I don't mind the cost of sending them to Israel.  I'm happy to help a fellow seamstress out! 

      Do you and the people you know just want current patterns, or older ones as well?


      1. rsolish | | #24

        sorry for taking so long in answering, but was on vacation for a week.
        i will mail you my address with much thanks and appreciation.
        we use many old patterns that i adapt as well as new patterns. the only patterns i don't use at all are pant patterns for ladies or girls.
        thank you very very much

        1. Teaf5 | | #28

          I, too, would love to pass on patterns to those who have trouble getting them.  With coupons and sales, I never pay more than a dollar or two for them, so they are cheaper than buying magazines but far more interesting.  Even if I never get around to making them, the process of selecting them, thinking about them, and reading the instructions make the purchase nearly justified.

          From the States, I think that Media Rate would be the cheapest way to mail patterns; however, I don't know anything about international mailing issues or rates.

          1. rsolish | | #29

            thanks for the thoughts, i never imagined people throwing away patterns, my mother and two sisters sew, so we share paterns and burdas.

  6. Bloss1996 | | #12

    I read all of the responses to your email and realize that this falls under charities that might be interested but thought I would post to you anyway.  Some of the YWCA's teach sewing and they might be interested in them so it might be worth contacting them.  Looks like you have many, many options.


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