Friday, September 01, 2017

Thread your needles! A new resource

New online: A Vintage Patterns Wiki website, with more than 83,000 vintage sewing patterns from Vogue, McCall's, Butterick, Simplicity, and others. If you miss flipping through the pattern catalogs, sewing yourself a unique outfit, or making your own Hallowe'en costume, this is the place to look.

The website is searchable in a number of ways:
  • By garment type (dress, blouse, coat, costume, etc.)
  • By brand (any of the aforementioned pattern-makers, and many more)
  • By decade, from the 1920s to 1990s
  • By season (what was fashionable in March 1938? how about March 1983?)
  • Users have also put together various lists (favorite L.A. Noir look, best 1960s dresses)
  • And you can find clothing designed for particular movie stars and/or their productions and roles! (see I Love Lucy, below)

You can review the patterns and post photos after you sew the item, you can share blog posts about your experience, you can put up wish lists for particular kinds of patterns (like "cocktail," "wrap dress," "peter pan collar," and so on) and, if you did a lot of sewing back in the day and saved your old patterns, you can even sell them here! (Vintage only, which is defined by the Wiki as 1992 and older.)

Even if you have no desire to get creative with your old Singer, Bernina, or White, this database is a fascinating look at the evolution of fashion.

If browsing this website piques your interest in fashion history, you could check out Fifty Dresses That Changed the World, a guided tour by the Design Museum of the 50 most important dresses in social history and design; or read a fashion-related biography, such as American Dreamer, by Tommy Hilfiger, or My Journey, by Donna Karan; or explore finding your own personal fashion in 365 Style, with tips and tricks from fashion icon Nicky Hilton. Or you could read essays about Johnny Cash's favorite purple shirt, or the pair of boots Marina Abramovic wore to walk the Great Wall of China, in Worn Stories, by Emily Spivak. There's something in our collection for every stylish interest. In our library catalog, power-search "fashion" in the subject field, and specify "nonfiction" as location, to see the other 182 books on the subject!

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