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Apr 20, 2012

The Pattern That Would Not Die!

Readers, yesterday we discussed rare vintage patterns.  Today, let's talk about the not-so-rare pattern.  Let's ponder the pattern that, every time you stumble upon it while doing a vintage pattern search on Etsy or eBay, you think, OMG, not THAT again!

Maybe the pattern was in print for many, many years, or maybe, quite simply, nobody bought it.  Or everyone did.  In any case, it seems with regard to Simplicity 4972, a lot of people want to pass their copy on to someone else.

Do a search on Etsy, for example -- and you'll see literally dozens of copies of this nightgown/duster pattern, with prices ranging from $2.95 to $34!  (Hmm....I think I'll take the $34 one.)  Maybe it's the snooty rose-sniffing blonde in the filmy negligee or the blue-clad brunette who looks like her wrist is about to snap, but there's something eerie about this pattern.

Much like birds, one is charming, seventy thousand is a Hitchcock film.

You may notice that Simplicity 4972 is very similar to Simplicity 3216, which I used to make Cathy's opera coat.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the blue duster in 4972 uses the exact same pattern pieces, so you could use it to make a coat of your own.  Or just a lovely duster.  Watch those wrists, though!

My hunch is that many women purchased Simplicity 4972 -- and probably a few men -- and never got around to making it.  Think about it: when's the last time you whipped yourself up a negligee?

Readers, are there patterns you see everywhere, yet you never see anyone wearing them, reviewing them on Pattern Review, or blogging about them except to comment on how ubiquitous they are?

Perhaps this rare beauty?

Or this!  (I must credit Shelley with first calling my attention to this cursed Eighties pattern and how I wish she hadn't -- it haunts me.)

If you could banish one pattern from ever again appearing in your vintage pattern searches, which would it be?  (I know which one I'd choose.)

Have a great day, everybody!  Tweet, tweet.


  1. The title of today's post is award winning!

    As for your query of the frequency which one constructs one's own negligees...I demur.

  2. Ha! I bought Simplicity 9360 when it came out, and never made it. Maybe I just knew that it wouldn't look the same on short, pear-shaped me as on the anorexic 9-foot-tall models. lol.

  3. I don't know if this holds for the older patterns, but a bathrobe is often a beginner project in a sewing class - maybe that's why there are so many around?

  4. I would have loved to make a bathrobe in high school. I got stuck making stuffed animals and sweatshirts at first. Blah.

  5. LOL, Simplicity 3388's lady in yellow looks like she's saying, "not tonight dear... I have a headache."

  6. I can only imagine what my husband would say if I were to try to make any version of these as "nightwear". He'd probably be the one saying "not tonight dear...I have a headache."
    That being said, I can't help myself, I'm looking at the background view in the Simplicity 4972, the yellow with the interesting square pockets. With a few modifications, like putting buttons all the way down the front for starters, this would actually be a very wearable dress. I may have to thrill an Etsy seller by actually buying one of these patterns.

  7. I have 5 Simplicity 4972's. Seems like every time I get an ebay lot or pattern bag at a thrift store this pattern is included.

  8. Miss WristySnap is leading the hokey kokey. Caught 'putting her right hand in and shake it all about.' As one does in one's night attire...

  9. Have you seen the "nightshirt" collection on Lekala? I was just commenting at Did You Make That? about it. I think you'll get more attention with these than the vintage nightgown. I have made 5241 a few times, one for myself, twice as gifts.

  10. You know "The Body Snatchers"? (original version, of course) maybe Simplicity 4792 just got mixed instructions from the mother ship. those arms are a bit strange. Would anyone miss it if it caught a fatal virus or something?

  11. LOVE the belted gold version in the upper right corner! She looks like that belt could give her a headache!
    I had that vintage 9360 and was dying to make it in white 2-ply silk crepe for someone's wedding outfit. No takers. So I donated it to our local center for creative re-use.

  12. "The Birds." I'm obsessed with the fashion from that movie (even considering that Tippi wears same same outfit through 3/4 of the movie).

    Ok, back on topic--Patterns that won't die. How about all of those vintage Barbie patterns by Advance. They are a sham as you will never get a good fit on any Barbie from any era without much "tweaking" to the pattern.

  13. Hey Peter,

    Wanted to let you know that you and your blog were a topic of conversation at our 2 day sewing "camp" with Sandra Betzina at All About Sewing in Mobile, Alabama. We were all jealous of your beautiful machines and excited about Cathy's baby. Boy or Girl? We think you need to smock it a gown ;)


  14. Happy Birthday!! I wish you a joyful, fun, and blessed year (and years) ahead!

  15. Ack - that Simplicity 9360 - Despite being a 30's reissue it just SCREAMS bad 80's to me. I just can't imagine it looking good on anyone. Out of all the AMAZING patterns from the 30's I just don't know why this was picked. Maybe because in the 80's it looked most like the 80's ;-)
    I wonder if anyone's made it up......
    *runs off to Google*


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