Friday, November 1, 2013

Preserving your vintage and historical patterns

Do you have a draw or shelf of fragile vintage patterns that your not using because their fragility worries you?
Then do what I do, I copy all my vintage pattern pieces, complete with all the notches, dots, grain lines and other markings onto paper and this gives me a 'master' copy that I can use again and again.
I also photocopy the pattern cover, any pattern notes and any other pattern information and history on the pattern.

Once completed, I bundle the copy pieces into a zip-lock bag and store separately to my vintage pattern. This preserves the original pattern and also ensures that I can make any notations and pattern tweeks to the pattern on my personal copy.

I then store the original in archive boxes, organised by era and size and pattern maker so they are easy to find.

Can you tell I was a librarian in another life, LOL!
Have you signed up for my Newsletter? This is where I share vintage and historical sewing tips and ideas, information about my latest patterns, workshops and classes. Come and Stitch Up History with me :)

I'm The Tailor's Apprentice, maker of The Miss Page 1940s reproduction patterns, gowns developed from pattern pieces found amongst the remnants of Miss Violet Florence Page’s life and work. Affordable, elegant, and unique garments from the 1940s war years. 

All my patterns are available on Etsy and my website where you'll find out more about me as well. This year I am publishing an 1820s gown wardrobe pattern and an Australian Army Nurses Services WWI uniform pattern.

If you'd liked to be included on my mailing list for events, pattern release dates and interesting snippets about vintage and historic sewing, please subscribe to my Newsletter on The Tailor's Apprentice website.


  1. I have a pile of patterns that my Nana gave me before she died from the 1950's, 60s and 70s. I havent used any of them yet, but this is a great idea for how to copy and use them!

    1. I have as well and friends pass their mum's and nanna's patterns onto me as they aren't sewists but they want to have them preserved and used.

      Glad the post will be useful. Its time consuming, but so worth it and it keeps their value. I wish I had done this in the beginning, I've ruined many a pre warII pattern :(

  2. You ARE organized! Do you use tissue paper for the copy?

    1. LOL, yup, can't stand not being able to find things Lizzie

      I use newsprint paper, I have huge roll,of it gifted to me by a friend :)


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