THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

April 26, 2008

Vintage Bonanza – Part 1

Filed under: Fashion,Vintage Sewing — phyllisc @ 8:37 am

My mother came for a visit last week, and she brought two suitcases of patterns that belonged to my grandmother Della Vestcyk.  What a treasure trove!  Most of them will end up on Ebay, although I did keep a handful.  So for the next few days I’ll share with you the ones I kept, and when my mother begins to  list them on Ebay I’ll make an announcement here on Sewing Divas.  All of them are in bust sizes 34-36-38. 

The collection spans the 1930’s to the 70’s and in addition to the Big 4 there are several smaller pattern companies, some I’ve seen before like Marian Martin and Parade, and others I’ve never heard of, such as Modes Royale and The Book of Fashion. 

Modes Royale No. 438 – 1947

This style was my mother’s high school graduation gown. Modes Royale appears to have been a semi-custom pattern company, and notice the price on the envelope is $2.00 – a huge sum of money for a pattern when most of them were only $.25 apiece.  The envelope is really large, about the size of today’s Vogue Designer patterns.  I doubt I’ll ever sew this one, but I had to have it because it was made for my mother, by my grandmother.

Simplicity 2617 – Early 1950’s

I really love both of these; the details are so different.  The one on the left is just about my ideal summer dress, I think it would look great in seersucker or madras plaid, and the style on the right would look great in red or pumpkin wool crepe for the fall and winter.

The Book of Fashion No. 2817 – Early 1950’s

This jacket reminds me of Vogue 7908, a modern Claire Shaeffer pattern.  The side hip buttons are very cool and the jacket and blouse version would also look great and very modern with wide leg pants.

Vogue 6995 – 1950

This one has a copyright date, which is missing from most of the collection.  I love this so much I’m tempted to see if Vogue would be interested in adding it to the Vintage Vogue collection.  This is one of those styles that is timeless and universally flattering to just about everyone.  In addition to being a lovely summer dress, the bodice could also be made in white and the skirt in black for a faux skirt & blouse look.  Add the jacket in the same fabric as the skirt and you have a very Chanel-like look from her 1953 comeback collection.


  1. Your “new” patterns are amazing! If I ever started to collect vintage patterns, I’d be dangerous! I don’t think I ccould get rid of any of them.

    Comment by Elaray — April 26, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  2. What a lovely treasured gift, enjoy.

    Comment by Els — April 26, 2008 @ 11:02 am

  3. That *is* a treasure!

    Comment by cidell — April 26, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  4. Phyllis, those are fabulous!
    You know that Vogue just issued a call for vintage patterns in their most recent issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine? Pg 4, on top of the letters to the editor.

    Comment by Marji — April 26, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  5. Wow, great patterns!

    Comment by Nancy (nanflan) — April 26, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

  6. Awesome selections. I really love the last one. I have pictures of my great aunt Rose, wearing something that looks almost exactly like this from the early fifties.

    Comment by toby Wollin — April 26, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

  7. Thank you! These are wonderful!

    Please do let us know when the patterns will be listed on eBay!

    Comment by Summerset — April 27, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

  8. Wonderful patterns, Phyllis. You must be thrilled to have them.

    Comment by cindy — April 27, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  9. All in my size?!?!?!?! Ack! You enabler!!!! 🙂

    Comment by Lorraine — April 27, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

  10. All those vintage styles from the 30s-50s just seem so classy to me.

    Comment by odumnobles — April 27, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  11. My mum always made her own clothes – not just sewing but tailoring suits. At times we had NO money and she dyed an old blanket bright red and made me a beautiful little winter coat. I have a picture of her as a War worker in Ottawa as a young woman in a black dress with a white collar she made – she also had a silver pin. And pics of dresses very much like the last two pattern covers, especially the last one.

    I’m sad I never learned to sew seriously – I didn’t think it was stupid or too “female” but I was trying to concentrate on painting and drawing…

    Comment by Maria Gatti — April 28, 2008 @ 6:13 am

  12. I got to see these patterns in person and they are even cooler than the pictures would indicate! I hope Vogue uses that vintage pattern, Phyllis. That would be great on several levels!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — April 28, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  13. If I’m not mistaken, Modes Royale was sold at very high-end stores – I saw one with a sales receipt from a Nieman Marcus store – and they did some really fabulous things. They sometimes come up on Ebay.

    Comment by jenny — April 28, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  14. Just a really wonderful post and love the connection with your mom.

    Comment by Lindsay T — April 28, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

  15. Oh.! Phyllis, you did well to keep these treasures. The jacket is precious and almost could be a model of the legendary “Adrian”. I love, so modern. And you are right, the last dress is a real delight, as a model of “Chanel”. I am sure it can be wonderful in classic navy blue color. thank you for this post, you have been very enlightening, as always. best wishes. Paco

    Comment by paco peralta — April 28, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  16. This is candy to my eyes, Phyllis!!! What a fabulous treasure!

    Comment by Tany — April 28, 2008 @ 7:37 pm

  17. Truly a treasure and your mom is a vision her Modes Royale. For whatever reason I can never get enough of looking at these old patterns. Thanks for that.

    Comment by Bunny — April 30, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  18. These are real treasures, Phyllis! I love the photo of your mother in her graduation gown. How wonderful that your grandmother kept the pattern.

    Comment by Gigi — April 30, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

  19. These are so lovely, and the story makes them even better. Before they get sold off, can you scan the covers and paste up a scrapbook of them along with you mom’s comments as a family document to keep?
    Looking back, I sure wish someone had done that with my own family’s patterns over the years.

    Comment by Jen O — May 3, 2008 @ 9:56 am

  20. бля это просто заебись !!!!

    Comment by RZA — December 23, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

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