Vintage-inspired sewing with my grandmother’s patterns

I visited my parents last weekend, who live in the 100-year-old farmhouse my grandmother was born and lived in. My father recently discovered a batch of her patterns stashed in an old storeroom and brought them out to show me, in case I would spot something I fancied. Such an amazing collection!

A lot of the patterns we found had been sent over from America by my grandmother’s older siblings (some of whom had already emigrated by the time she was born in Ireland). My grandmother died when I was quite young and I hadn’t realised how much dressmaking she had done, especially for her children, and I love having these patterns of hers as a kind of connection through the years.

Last Christmas we found a small box full of her patterns from the 50s and 60s. This second batch of patterns seems to be more recent, moving into the late 60s and early 70s. I was immediately drawn to these two (which are, conveniently, in my size) and happily all the pattern pieces are present and in perfect condition:

60s dresses

The pocket detailing on the Butterick pattern might be a bit too much for me, but I love the shape of that coat! And I can’t wait to try out these different shift dresses.

The pattern on the left is one I took from the first batch of my grandmother's patterns which we found last Christmas. The packet is pretty chunky because it contains several full pieces in different sizes (!).

The pattern on the left is one I took from the first batch of my grandmother’s patterns which we found last Christmas. The packet is pretty chunky because it contains several full pieces in different sizes (!).

After hitting a snag with my New Look 6000 dress and having little luck finding fabric for the other dress patterns I have on standby, I think it might be a good idea to focus on making separates for a while. After all, they tend to be quicker to make than a whole dress and are more versatile for wearing! I found these lovely skirts in among the old pattern collection:

A 1974 pattern of some sweet knee-length skirts.

Here’s a snap of some of my grandmother’s other, older, patterns which I instagrammed last weekend:

Vintage patterns

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