When people praise the internet for making it easy to find almost anything, they’re normally talking about streaming TV shows or rare albums. But that’s not the only thing that’s archived online — you can find all sorts of cultural ephemera, from forgotten comics to vintage sewing patterns too. In fact,we just learned that the Vintage Sewing Patterns wiki has over 83,000 patterns of old-timey fashions to help you bring retro looks back in style!
The Vintage Sewing Patterns wiki has patterns available from the 1800s through 1992. If you’re familiar with patterns, you’ll see your favorite brands represented, from Simplicity to Vogue. You can also browse by decade and the type of clothes you want to make.
There are men’s patterns on the site, but the vast majority are for women. (We blame the patriarchy!) Still, perhaps you can adapt some of your favorite designs to make them fit your style. Or, if you want to make new threads for your drag persona, you’re covered too! And, when we say the vast majority are women’s, when we’re talking about so many patterns, that means that there’s still over 1,700 men’s fashions to choose from.
Unfortunately, the wiki is just about cataloging patterns throughout history — that is, it just mentions the garments you can create and details their fabrics and packaging. If you want to find the actual patterns themselves, you’ll have to buy them. But thankfully, many of the items have links to vintage pattern vendors, so if you fall in love with something, you’ll be able to find a copy for yourself.
Still, even if you don’t sew, it’s fun to look through the patterns. We’ve included a few of our favorites below, including a few selections from the various movie star-related product lines. The older ones are particularly interesting — it’s always fun to see what our forebears made for their everyday fashions. For example, we kind of love these men’s pajamas from 1889!