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Mar 19, 2010

29 New Patterns -- Peter hits the eBay Motherlode!

OK, I know this borders on the excessive -- like I really need 29 more mens patterns, right?

But one of the joys of running a sewing blog like Male Pattern Boldness is that I can rationalize most any sewing-related purchase: it's for the blog, after all!  (I did it for you, my loyal readers.  Can't you see that?) 

Yesterday afternoon I was mindlessly performing my daily eBay/Etsy search rituals (not always daily -- don't want you to get the wrong idea), when I stumbled on this just-listed Buy It Now posting of a lot of -- well you can see it for yourself: 29 vintage mens patterns from the 60s, 70s, & 80s.  (Why this seller didn't just contact me directly, I'll never know -- I mean, duh?)

The whole purchase came to about $15, which in my neighborhood is the price of a bagel and lox and a large coffee -- all gone in 20 minutes.  Think of how many MONTHS of pleasure these patterns are going to give all of us!

It sounds like these are mainly sizes 36" and 38" with a few larger sizes thrown in.  I can also see that there are a few doubles (great giveaways).

There are also a few jumpsuits!

And a few vests....  :(

And a LOT of bell-bottoms pants.

These sub-par photos off my computer screen will have to suffice for now.  But rest assured that after my package arrives I'll be posting lots and lots of pictures of these patterns in all their yellowed vintage glory.

This is my best pattern find so far, I think.  I never see mens patterns at my local flea market; I don't know if I'd ever find vintage mens patterns at all if it weren't for the Internet.

(What did we do before the Internet?)

So, readers, what was your best-ever pattern find?

What's the least you've ever paid for a great pattern?  What's the most?  (I've seen an original Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress pattern sell for something like $75.)    Do you have an upper limit for that hard-to-find pattern-of-your-dreams?

Do share!


  1. I was bidding on a pattern once that ended up selling for over $300!!!!! It was a Vogue Jean Desses designer original from the early 50's. I mean it was nice, but $300?

    Anyway I hit the motherload recently with a box of 25 mail order patters all printed between 1942/44. Most were still in their (unopened) envelopes. $60, that's less than $2.50 a pattern and they were mostly 42" bust (yay for large size patterns).

  2. That is just one great find, Peter!

  3. Wow! A great find. Now you have to store them I have bought almost all my patterns from thrift stores at 10 to 25 cents each - often unused ones. A lot of the bigger thrift stores don't carry patterns any more - not cost effective I guess - but I have a few small thrift stores that are church run and they do still keep them. I also shop a lot at and get good deals there. The most I have spent is a few new ones from the bins for specific items I couldn't find elsewhere in the time frame I needed them - and they were in the $8-$10 range. Oh wait, I did buy 2 that were $18 to try a specific company, I don't see me doing that again any time soon.

  4. 29 patterns?!?! That is fantastic! I can't wait to see the patterns close up and personal when they arrive. My upper limit for patterns is about $10-$12, and it better be really cute for that. The least I have paid was about a dollar or so from a thrift store. Not that I need any more patterns, but this definitely makes me want to snoop around on ebay today. Congrats on your big win!

  5. I once saw a pattern on ebay for $999.99. I can only assume it was a mistake because it was nothing special and the rest of their patterns were priced at $9.99. I also saw a $100 on Etsy because it was a rare '30s designer one. The most I've ever paid was $25 for a '40s mens pants pattern that is way too big for my boyfriend. Of course I found another on Etsy a week later for much less and in the right size. :(

  6. Oooh, how fabulous! 29 patterns . . . I can imagine your excitement when you open the package! I've bought several vintage 60's patterns at yard sales for $1 apiece (I was feeling generous, probably could have got them for less). My most expensive pattern was the aforementioned DvF wrap-dress pattern . . . I won it on eBay for $35. It was already cut, but I didn't mind and I think that might have been the reason I got it so cheaply. I haven't gotten around to using it yet, but I love just looking at the pattern and knowing it's mine!!!

  7. Peter, I'm packing and getting rid of stuff, you're not supposed to tempt me with great finds on ebay! Maybe I'll just take a peek, not actually buy anything but just look... yeah, that's right, I'll just look.

    My best pattern deal was 10 cents at a garage sale. The most I'll pay for a pattern is $20.00 but only from my favorite independent designers.

  8. OMG that's PERFECT. Peter, you're going to have a blast with those new patterns! Congrats on your find!! Can't wait to see the amazing results as you sew, sew, sew.

  9. I see there are at least two -- count 'em! -- two jumpsuit patterns in there. Will you make one of those? I dare you! I wonder if you can find one of those little hook fastener buckle thingys they use for the belt on those?

    My best pattern find was when my husband managed, after a YEAR, to find an Issey Miyake pants pattern in my size on ebay to replace the one I had lost. O Happy Day! Then there is the swinging Simplicity top with floppy tie collar from 1958 that I made and wore for the first time yesterday. Man, that is one awesome pattern!

    Hey, I recognize that "down" vest pattern you got -- the one with the 2 people and one has ice skates. My mother made my brother that vest!

  10. I WILL make a jumpsuit (provided it's my size) -- promise! I may hold off on the down vest till fall, however.

  11. Score! nicely done, Peter.
    I found a nice stash of vintage (mostly unused) patterns at a little thrift store in Pontiac Illinois while I was waiting for my nephew to get out of school one day. 50 cents each but the lady gave me a "price break" because I was buying so many-hahahahaha! The most I every paid was for an vintage uncut Mary Quant outfit. I think I paid $12 or $15 for it on etsy and it was worth every penny.

  12. I had a moment of design induced insanity when I paid $78 for a Schiaparelli suit pattern from Vogue - from her wild days of lobster skirts etc. It's awesome and I could NEVER draft anything so fabulous, well, maybe I could but my DH would divorce me since I'd never leave my sewing room over it. Anyway, I try to keep my purchases on the dirt cheapo by culling thru boxes or sneaking steals on ebay n etsy but this was a once in a life time item. I'm now reaching a point in my life where I'll have the gravitas to carry that suit, and be sooo happy I spent that 78 bucks.

  13. The most I ever spent was about $22 for an independent "designer" pattern. But I rarely do that anymore, because they tend not to live up to my expectations. I'll only pay that much if I'm looking for something very specific and it's not available elsewhere.

    These days, most of my patterns are either from the thrift store or Burda magazines. Occasionally, I'll buy a Vogue pattern during Jo-Ann's $3.99 sales. But with thrift-store prices at 10 cents to 50 cents (depending on the store), I'm rarely tempted to spend much on new ones.

  14. You know my big find, Peter. My box stuffed with patterns from the 1930's to 1950's. I found it back in the 80's when no one cared about such things and paid $10 for all of them. I still love them. Finding big lots of stuff for cheap is so much better than buying individual items--it's like Christmas.

  15. Good find - OK, GREAT find - but I think you took those pix with a camera. Horrors ... Honey (I used to live in Virginia, so I can call anybody Honey), that's what is for, also Microsoft Paint (if you have Winders, you gots MS/Paint!). Maybe I should find (or make) a nice little tutorial for you. If you don't have Winders, maybe someone else can show you.

  16. Really, what was that seller thinking. They could have bypassed the fees and time and all that if they only knew to just come here.

    Sooooo what you are saying is that I can stash beyond life expectancy for the completely unselfish reason of for my blog and readers?


    Today Graphic Arts Geek Tip: Print Screen. Paste into Photoshop. Crop, color correct, layer, annotate to your little heart's desire.

  17. My best was something I literally fell into. A lady I know from church used to work for Hancock fabrics. At the end of a pattern run, they let employees take their pick of patterns ad she'd taken home a lot of them. A few months back, she went through them and gave me six kitchen garbage bags full of patterns.

    I'm going to sell most of them, because they're not my size, but that's a heck of a lot of patterns to get for free!

    I paid $3 for a box of patterns once at a yard sale, too, but the motherlode is currently waiting for me to go through them better and get them up on etsy...

  18. Great find! I agree -- it's hard to find men's patterns at thrift stores and even harder to find them at estate sales. Same problem with vintage plus size patterns, because it seems everyone was a darned bust size 32, 34, or 36.

    And I am going to remain silent about my had-to-have-them pattern purchases on the off chance that my husband ever finds this blog and reads this comment.

  19. *laughs hysterically* I found it, I found it! I've been searching for a size 2 of the 1987 Simplicity 8201 for months and I just found one! I own it in size 3, but I've also found it in 1/2 and 1. I just bought it. Evie will look adorable in it! I fell in love when I first found it, and since my sister-in-law has similar tastes, she did, too. Just bought it and perhaps it will be a summer dress and coat. Or maybe winter if she's still the right size. It cost me $7.25. Not bad, but not good, either.

  20. *pouts* Just measured the kid for her Easter dress (Vogue 7593, Views B and D) and she's almost into size threes. By almost, I mean it's not worth it to make any twos, because she'll outgrow them within the month.

  21. Oh, you did hit the motherlode! Nice!

  22. My favorite find was an estate sale (the thrifts here have nothing). For 25 cents or $1.25 I got this fabulous 50s suit pattern - something like Decorator or something. Probably the most I've spent is $10 on one I just got on ebay that I just had to have.

  23. My best pattern find was at a thrift store.....I found TEN 1960's uncut, factory folded Vogue Paris Original and Vogue Americana patterns.......they were 50% off of .70 cents!!! They even have the little sew-in label that comes with them. I can't bring myself to even unfold them let alone CUT them!! Right now - it's just enough to look at them.

    Oh and by the way - I Love your blog! I'm always excited to read each post.

  24. Outstanding! I have to admit that I still have some of these patterns. From when they were published in the 1970s. Yikes! To give you an idea of how bad it is, I finally got rid of a duplicate 1975 caftan pattern last week. A caftan pattern! Is that pathetic or what? Sew on, Bro!


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