If you've been sewing for years, odds are that you have a collection of sewing patterns. Eventually, you will no longer want all of those patterns. Or you maybe cleaning out someone's stash of sewing patterns. The questions become - What can I do with all these patterns? Is there a place I can donate them?
Those patterns were an investment that may have been used many many times and they still have value.
A pattern that has been used many times is tried and true. Most of them are for a style that never goes out of style and can be used through almost any style phase. A simple A-line dress can be a summer dress, a winter jumper or a simple shirt if it is shortened. An old pattern may have a twenty-five cent price on it, to replace that pattern today it will cost much, much more. Some doll and doll clothing patterns may not even be made in the present but many people may be searching for those patterns. Simplicity pattern company has been producing "retro patterns" which have proven wonderful to me.
There is no denying that fashion and trends tend to come back around after a number of years. In the eighties, Cabbage Patch Doll clothing patterns were plentiful. Although Cabbage Patch Kids recently resurfaced and were sold out just like back in the eighties, the patterns for those doll clothes did not resurface the way the dolls did.
Many people are searching for Cabbage Patch doll clothes patterns. Vintage aprons are another popularly searched for the pattern. Halloween costumes are not necessarily a costume, but a reenactment of a past era and an old fashion sewing pattern may be the perfect thing for exactly what someone is trying to achieve for their costume.
In many cases, a memory will cause someone to search for an old pattern. Something that was hand made in the past usually is well remembered by the recipient of the item. Some things that are hard to find now, were plentiful in the past and can have a new place in a new generation today.
The stash of patterns can have a second life and will be cherished by someone who wishes a pattern company had thought to make it a retro pattern.
The following is a list of possibilities for re-homing those old sewing patterns:
- Visit Vintage and Discontinued Pattern Websites. Inquire about them being purchased by or offered on those sites. One of the sites may be operated from a location that is local to you. Patterns on those sites become available to the masses and someone who is searching for a pattern will be grateful to find it.
- Local Goodwill or Salvation Army stores usually take donations. Donating your stash of sewing patterns is tax deductible to these organizations. Many people started sewing with a sewing machine that was purchased in one of these stores.
- 4H clubs may be interested in your patterns. If you are unsure about how to make contact in your local area, the National 4H Council can help.
- Contact Sewing Organizations and Groups such as Sewing and Quilting Guilds. These organization would probably love the opportunity to sort through these treasures.
There are drawbacks to old sewing patterns, but those drawbacks usually have solutions.
- Many times small pattern pieces are not in the envelope. Facing pattern pieces are commonly missing but with a little practice, you can make a facing pattern.
- Tracing wheels and transferring pattern markings is known to tatter a tissue pattern. There are ways to preserve a tissue sewing pattern.
- The fitting may be different than what you have been using in recent times. Carefully check the measurements on the envelope and make adjustments where they are needed. Altering Sewing Patterns and Making Clothes that Fit