So I was surfing aimlessly through the vintage pattern pages over at Etsy, as I am wont to do from time to time, when I stumbled upon this.
Perhaps these dressmaking patterns, produced in 1975 by the Phoebus Publishing Company and distributed by Columbia House, are familiar to you. I'd never heard of them, though I had seen a few for sale upon reflection; originally I thought they were just Big 4 patterns missing their envelopes.
There were 80 in all and they included multi-sized patterns for women, children, men, and even dolls!
Many were multi-sized. I think you were expected to trace them.
I like the fact that there were only diagrams of the finished garments so, using them today, you're not distracted by photographs (which can look extremely dated) or campy illustrations.
I'm intrigued, readers. You can find whole sets of these for sale and at decent prices if you're willing to hunt. The whole thing sounds a bit like those book-of-the-month club offerings or those recipe cards I'd see advertised on TV when I was growing up. Like the recipe cards, I believe these patterns came with their own avocado green storage container!
In closing, can anybody solve the mystery of Phoebus? Did you ever own these or -- gasp! -- sew one of them?
Since I still have a bag of 85 unloved patterns leftover from MPB Day, I'm not sure I'm ready to bring 80 more patterns into my life at this moment, but you never know. I mean, if the price is right....
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!