Patterns from the Past has been in business on the web since 1996. We resell vintage, retro and costume sewing patterns. We carry all kinds of out-of-print patterns, from the 1920s to the present. We also have older knitting, crochet, and tatting books. These are the original items, not reproductions.
My company has been mentioned in the following magazines: Martha Stewart Living, Black Meringue, Threads, and Sew News. On the internet I have been mentioned in A Dress a Day and Threadbangers. I have given lectures on the history of sewing patterns for Costume Con 18, and Costume Con 26 on the history of sewing patterns. My clients range from the home sewer to public school plays/musical costume directors, community and regional theatre companies, to American Horror Story,"Mad Men Costumes", Public Enemies, Tyler Perry, Showtime Networks, Budget Living Magazine, Wardrobe Department of Belterra Casino, Phusion Performing Arts Alliance, Theatre Ballet Of Spokane, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre and the New York Ballet. You can see my rating as a buyer on ebay.
Want to know more about me? Check out the interview that the blog Sew Retro to with me.
Are you searching for a specific patterns? Read my article about Locating Discontinued Patterns on the internet.
Are you selling vintage patterns? I purchase vintage sewing pattern lots. Please tell me: how may patterns you have, their condition, how old they are, what kind of patterns they are, and what you want for them as a lot. I am presently only purchasing patterns that are published before 1960. Email to sell your sewing patterns!
You can find me on Facebook , Pintrest, Twitter or check out my blog on sewing vintage patterns in the modern world. You can find a reviews/interviews about on the Threadbangers, Sew Retro, A Summer Gypsy Sews and Dress a Day.
Thanks for stopping by!
Kind Words from Customers
I just wanted to let you know that the patterns I ordered arrived with me today. I am absolutely thrilled!! They are fabulous and exactly as you described. Thank you so much. I am very impressed with your on-line system, easy payment and quck service. They arrived here in Australia in 7 working days!! Again, thank you so very much and I look foward to ordering more patterns from you in the future. Time to dust of the sewing machine!
Cheers, Michelle - South Australia
I am absolutely delighted with the knitting book. It was as advertised. Many thanks for turning this transaction around quickly. I look forward to doing more business with you in the future.
I love your website. Of all the vintage sewing pattern websites I've visited, yours gets it right!!!! Patterns are categorized in a totally logical way - makes searching a breeze. The best part is I finally found THIS pattern. I sold all of my old patterns in a garage sale years ago and now that I'm sewing again - I really regret it. I remember this as the best t-shirt pattern I ever made or purchased readymade. The notched rib collar wasn't as tricky as I thought it was going to be and the top's fit is very attractive. I wasn't sure which designer, but knew I'd made it in sometime in the 80's (that's about how long it's been since I've sewn anything of consequence too). Anyway, finding this particular pattern became kind of an obsession. I figured either I'd see it again or I wouldn't, but it was fun searching. Thank you so much!
Good afternoon Michelle,
Michelle, I can't thank you enough for getting my pattern to me so quickly. I placed my order Friday evening and it arrived on Monday. I was amazed! Your prompt and professional service is appreciated and I will certainly order from you again.
Thank you for sending the pattern so promptly. I wanted to share a short story with you, if I may. My grandmother (now long gone) did a lot of sewing over the years, and made each of us grandchildren Christmas stockings. Mine is a little worse for wear, but it is the one that means the most to me, and it's the one that gets hung on the fireplace each year. I have continued the tradition with my grandchildren; I made a stocking for my granddaughter when she was born and am ready to make another one for my grandson, who is almost a year old now.
I started searching for ideas for his stocking on the internet, and as luck would have it, your website popped up...and there was the pattern my grandmother had used for our stockings! Mine was red, with a Santa part at the top where you had to lift up his beard to get inside the stocking. I have to tell you that it was an emotional moment to see that little picture on the pattern - immediately recognizable. It honestly hadn't occurred to me that my grandmother had even USED a pattern, and here it was! Thank you so much for reviving those memories, and I'll definitely incorporate some of the ideas on the pattern into my grandson's stocking. The pattern has extra-special meaning to me.
I had a package in the mail when I got home from work last night! I was amazed to see it here so soon - it's absolutely lovely and I really appreciate your speedy customer service. You'll be hearing from me regularly.
I just wanted to say thanks very much for the dress pattern. I love it and can't wait to start sewing!
Best regards, Fiona
I recently bought a 1940's-made pattern from you. I was so surprised and delighted that you have patterns that actually fit me! Delivery was fast and the quality is fantastic! I am VERY happy with my purchase. The dress and jacket are beautiful.
Just thought you might like to know:-))
Thanks again, Michele M
Your attention to detail with regard to customer orders is very efficient and effective. As a small business you surpass the larger organizations when it comes to a personal shopping service - no matter where in the world your customer is. You provide a wonderful service.
Kind regards, Janet R North Yorkshire, UK
Dear Michelle, My most WONDERFUL pattern arrived today! Thanks for being such a good caretaker...and for offering such a valuable service to the home sewer. I have a wonderful fabric that I bought at the Puyallup expo last year, and it's been waiting for the right pattern...this is IT! Again, many thanks....
Happy Trails, Linda
What service! I received the patterns today and they are exactly what I wanted.
Thank you, Georgia
Thank you for finding my discontinued pattern and getting it to me so quickly. I was astounded when the pattern arrived in England on Saturday, just four days after I had placed the order! Brilliant, easy to use site and unbelievably prompt attention. I couldn't recommend more highly. Looking forward to doing further business with you.
Your website is one of my favorites! I check it every now and then to see if there if anything I want to sew. It's also the most user-friendly as far as websites for old patterns are concerned. The other ones I've checked have the worst graphics and you can barely make out the pattern picture. I hope that you are making enough money so that this is your only job.
I received the patterns last night and I am thrilled with them. They look great and I can't wait to start and work with them. Thanks so much for your website. Your service was great and fast and I will definitely use you again.
Regards Amy L
I just want to take a moment to let you know how great it is to do business with you. Transactions are always smooth, quick and thorough. If there's a way to give you a rating, tell me. Working with you is A number one!
Well, I found this beautiful fabric recently and I've always had my eyes looking through old patterns for this beautiful full full length, princess seams, double breasted w/flared skirt house coat that came from the 40s and of course I haven't found it. I have looked on the web for everything else and one day it came to me to try vintage patterns, little did I realize that there are a slew of them. Yours is the one that most impressed me. If you've gone in an looked at some of them, they may have one pattern or you can't really see the patterns or they just seem like there all over the place (not organized). I like the look of yours and you have a good selection. Its easy to move around in plus, its a pleasing - happy web site.
I received my patterns in the mail yesterday! I've already shown them to several people, including a potential seamstress (did I mention that I don't actually sew?). Actually, I had the instructions photocopied and also the covers of the patterns so that I don't damage them. They are great and I'm excited about having one made (3432). My mother enjoyed reminiscing over them as well. Although she was just a teenager when the 50's ended, she recalled many of her "special event" dresses to me and we had a fun time discussing potential fabrics for my dress!
Thanks again! Christine
No, Michelle, thank you!!! My daughter picked out a designer's wedding gown and the price is $3,000.00. The pattern you just shipped is the EXACT dress, only with a wider strap!! I am so excited, not only over the savings, but I always wanted to make her dress.
I'd just like to say WOW. Your site appears to have everything. I was a recent customer and I was amazed by you not only having some what I would consider very rare costume patterns but for the prices that are posted! I ended up spending less on your site for the pattern I wanted than I would have on eBay (and in my book that's quite an accomplishment.) The order was shipped lightning fast as well. I didn't really expect to have it within three days of ordering it. I'm impressed and will definitely be considering this site again in the future.
I received the patterns on Saturday. I made the "boxer: panties for my girls to wear under their dresses many years ago and had lost the pattern. My oldest daughter wanted me to make some for my granddaughter. I really did not think I would be able to locate the pattern. Now I can make her several pairs. Thank you so much.
Thanks Michelle. I ordered Simplicity 4279 (1943) from you this past January as I've been unable to find a decent pair of slacks in any store, one that wasn't a hip-hugger, that is. I copied the instructions at work and copied the pattern onto PatternEase because it's so fragile, of course and I don't want to handle it any more than I have to. Have made 2 pairs of trousers so far out of shantung polyester (one navy blue and one white) and they're just beautiful! The style is perfect for me and they're oh so elegant. Nothing but compliments from everyone.
Looking forward to receiving this new one. Long Live the '40's - so classy and stylish!
Thanks again, Jan
I received my order (2 vintage patterns) yesterday. Thank you very much for your prompt service. The patterns were as advertised, complete with instruction sheet, envelope and all pattern pieces. Since this was my first time ordering items online it was a relief to receive it on time and complete.
Thank you and I look forward to ordering from you in the future.
I LOVE your website! This is the most user-friendly catalog website I think I have ever seen. wow. I have found soooo many things I like here! Wish all designers would return to the modest and feminine fashions of the 40s~!!!
Received them this morning thank you for all your help, I was very impressed with the fast efficient service I got. Thank you again
Best regards, Justine
I'm an adequate seamstress - usually make a couple of things a year - and I was very intrigued with your website. I found it when I was searching for Halloween costume patterns this year and kept going back until I finally purchased a pattern from the 40's (McCall's) a couple of weeks ago.
This has been the most fun I've had in a long time!! I had no idea how differently people sewed back then, and to think they were advertising themselves as "the most modern". I'll be wearing my new "old" dress on Thanksgiving and I'm sure to get allot of comments.
Thanks for doing this! Cindy
The three wedding dress patterns I ordered from you were in amazing condition, just incredible! And there was a lucky winner (which happened to be almost exactly like my mom's, how about that) that was turned into the most beautiful wedding dress I ever could have hoped for. Thank you for having the pattern for my dream dress. We got married on Friday July 13 and the day was fabulous. You were a part of it!
Thanks again, Erin
Thank you, Michelle, for your prompt responses and your good quality business. You have the best old pattern website on the net. You have more patterns and your site works very well. I have about 10 patterns that I bought from you. I was so thrilled to find the tent dress pattern that I was looking for. Keep up the good work.
I am so very sorry that I am just getting back with you...I wanted to let you know that I received the beautiful patterns.. Thank you so very much I look forward to buy from you again in the future.
Ever so sincerely, Mary Beth