Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Vintage Clothes Shopping

I spend a lot of time on my phone, like when the baby is nursing. I have been wasting a lot of time on Instagram lately (@mollysews but it is mostly baby pictures at this point).

There are a few vintage clothes sellers that I follow on Instagram. I (and lots of you) love vintage clothes and I use them for sewing inspiration since they are often horrifically expensive and usually not anywhere close to fitting me.

Two points for discussion:

1. I really really enjoy looking at the clothes, which are often very simple 50s dresses, and then looking at how much they cost. They are often well over $100 and so simple that you could buy a similar modern pattern on sale for 99 cents and then make a replica for less than $30. That is really why I got into sewing; I am so cheap at heart and love to gloat about how much money I saved (which only makes sense when you either talk about vintage or designer, not regular everyday stuff). Do any of you like copying expensive stuff and the feeling super proud? Mmmm, my favorite!

2. I see them tagging and labeling so MANY dresses as 40s and 50s and they are often very clearly not. Frankly, the 40s were 75 years ago and there really cannot be that many pristine and intact pieces to sell. I think lots of times they are similar styles from the 70s and it's just wishful thinking. I see the same thing with 80s dresses that were inspired by the 50s. Sometimes they tag it as "inspired" but not always. Granted, I can't see the labels and that would help determine if they are or aren't. I know a lot of the styles and features that date an outfit to a time period from sewing from vintage patterns for so long, but I am sure lots of their buyers have no clue. But then again, they may not care. Do you think there can really be THAT many pieces (shoes and dresses) from the 40s or 50s?

Either way, I love looking at the pictures and thinking about how I could and would sew that myself!


  1. Yes I think there can be, only for the fact that the people who lived in that era (40/50s) are passing away now and there belongings are being sold. I say this as I lost my mom a few years ago and I needed to sell her stuff to divide the estate and she, like many of that generation saved everything! My mom was 88 when she died and she had a lot of stuff from the 50s. (When I was born!)😊

    1. That's true. I go to a lot of estate sales and don't see much, but I am also to one to get up at the crack of dawn and wait in line, so maybe the good stuff is just gone before I see it!

  2. Great post. I think not only is it cheaper to make your own inspired by patterns, a lot of the vintage patterns are really very complicated! But your second point, I was lucky enough to find a small bag of patterns from the 1930s, 40s and 50s at a charity shop. They are immaculate, there previous owner had even cut out the newspaper adverts where she had mail ordered them and kept these neatly tucked inside the pattern envelope.

    1. That's really lucky! It is harder and harder to find vintage patterns like that, I think eBay sellers come and snatch them up!

  3. I don't buy vintage pieces, and really have no clue, but I do like vintage styles a lot. I sometimes sew with vintage repro patterns, but don't collect or sew with actual vintage patterns.

    Great post!


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Thanks for your thoughts and feedback!