January 28, 2014

New old patterns!

I've been collecting vintage sewing and fashion stuff for a while. I've found and bought Dutch ladies' magazines, French fashion magazines and sewing magazines without and with patterns on tracing sheets from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and England (all from Dutch sellers, and most likely bought here back in their day).
And all that time, vintage envelope patterns seemed to be pretty much non-existent here in the Netherlands. Sometimes, someone would sell a couple in English, McCall's and the like. On rare occasions, you would find a few of the patterns which could be ordered from ladies' magazines like Libelle or Margriet or fashion/sewing magazines like la Femme Elegante (wh ich was originally French but also published in a Dutch version).

In fact, it had been quite a while since I had even browsed Marktplaats (a Dutch Ebay version). But a few days ago, I was tired and it seemed like a nice distraction. And this time, I found something I hadn't come across before: Dutch envelope patterns. 
Not one, but two different sellers were selling patterns by the previously unknown-to-me company Harmien's. One offered a single lot of three patterns in size 42 and identified them as 1940's. The other had more patterns on offer and had put up each design separately. And she had different sizes: 38, 40 and 42. She didn't mention the era but the designs looked late 1940's, early 1950's to me. And the packaging was exactly the same as in the first lot.

I know from my magazines from that period that I would probably be a size 38, so that was the size I went for.
My seven lovely new vintage patterns arrived in the mail today.

Just look at them:

A lovely shirt dress with interesting yokes,

And this one, with the wider surplice bodice and a full skirt.

One with a slim skirt with stand-out pockets and a lovely collar. This design was also in the three pattern lot which was sold and 1940's

A dress with a pleated skirt with an interesting overlapping tab waistband.

And this stunner with gathers at the bust and along the center front.

I had almost passed over this one but it has a feature I'm interested in: a pleat in the skirt, right at the bottom of the front closure. It's a fairly common feature in designs of the era and I'd like to know what it looks like on the pattern.

And finally, my favorite. I just love the complex skirt, the asymmetrical closure, the collar and that deep neckline filled up by a shirt front.

There are no dates on any of these patterns, just pattern numbers. I stick with my previous dating though. The shoulders are modest and sloped down compared to any mid-1940's fashion drawings I've ever seen and the fairly long and modestly wide skirts would fit in with the notion of post-New Look beauty but the restriction of expensive or rationed fabric.
All patterns are still in the old plastic, so as I already expected from their grouping on the site, I'm pretty sure they are deadstock.

At the back of each envelope, there's a short text which explains the design and  tells you how much fabric you need.
And in fact, these are not really envelopes at all: the tops and bottoms of the wrappers are open. Printed on their insides, there is a very limited explanation about the use of the patterns.

The patterns themselves are unprinted and clearly in their original folds.
I would have liked to have instructions for a change and it's a bit weird there isn't even a sizing chart (maybe you could also order these patterns from a magazine which included that) but I'm still thrilled with these.


  1. Oh wat gaaf! Ik ben inderdaad ook nog nooit zulke Nederlandse patronen tegengekomen. Heel interessant om te weten dat ze wel bestaan!

  2. Ooh, leuk ik zag laatst een set van 3 op marktplaats. Maar het was niet in mijn maat dus heb ik het laten gaan.

    Ik heb vorig jaar een partij van 'het nieuwe modeblad' uit de jaren 30.

    Ook al heb ik veel Engelse naaipatronen, ik vind het extra special als ik iets in het Nederlands vind.

  3. Oh! These are so amazing!! I love the pattern covers!

  4. Oh my!! What a find!!!!
    That last one, with the green cover art, is a total knock-out!

  5. Can't wait to see some made up, they are really great.