Latest thrift store finds

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Soon I hope to be able to write about some of my completed and ungoing sewing projects, but as I had such a good haul at the thrift store yesterday I decided to do a round up of some of my latest second hand finds. (And photographing pattern envelopes and other small things is more pleasant than taking pictures of garments, let alone of myself). Sorting out the patterns I bought today reminded me of the first vintage pattern I ever bought (and a good one it is): Simplicity 5774.

Simplicity 5774

Simplicity 5774. View 1 is so elegant, it’s about time I try out this pattern!

I don’t remember exactly when I bought Simplicity 5774, but it must have been at least six years ago. To be honest, I never paid that much attention to older patterns when visiting thrift stores, but as I had been checking out the fabric and textiles sections for many years, I was bound to come across one that appealed to me sooner or later. I still haven’t made Simplicity 5774, because I was worried about the fit, but now that I feel a bit more confident in adjusting a pattern to my own measurements I should probably give it a try.


Butterick 4755. One of my latest vintage patterns. A very cool little model with a bias-cut yoke and funnel neck.

Here in Sweden many older patterns are by Stil, Vi-mönster and Record, but occasionally international brands can be found as well. My copy of Simplicity 5774 is in Swedish, but most patterns I bought yesterday are in English. As they are also in more or less the same size, I suspect that they were owned by the same person. They are all cut but complete and in good condition. The previous owner folded the pattern pattern pieces so neatly that I felt a bit bad unfolding them to check whether everything was there.


Butterick 4416. A nice, simple dress. I like the curved diagonal darts in the front. They remind me of a Burdastyle pattern I recently traced and cut but haven’t sewn yet.

Most patterns I bought yesterday are from the sixties and seem more simple than the forties and fifties styles I have been looking into lately and which probably work better for my body type. At the same time, I think these less fitted and shorter styles look quite refreshing, not to mention that they take up much less fabric than a wide-skirted fifties dress.


Butterick 4818. View A of this short dress with a curved front seam is my favorite. I can imagine making this in one of the woolen fabrics in my stash and pairing it with tights and boots for a comfortable winter outfit.

Unfortunately, I did not realize until I came home that most of the American patterns I got yesterday are probably a couple of sizes too small for me. The ones that I measured, though, did not seem that tiny, so hopefully they have quite a lot of ease built in. If I am going to use them I will trace them anyway, so that I can enlarge them without cutting up the original pattern pieces. Or I could try to adjust a shift dress pattern in my size based on the drawings on the envelopes.


Butterick 4699. I bought this pattern because I was curious about its contruction, but to be honest I think it’s kind of ugly. It reminds me of a hospital gown.


Simplicity 7315. A blouse with a back button closure and different sleeve options.

I arrived at the thrifstore quite late yesterday and I was pondering over what patterns to take home with me when they turned off the lights, so I rushed to the check-out with whatever I had in my basket. In hindsight some of the patterns, such as Butterick 4816 and Simplicity 7315, are not that special or just downright unflattering and I might give them away or try to sell them once the drawer I keep my patterns in gets too full. The pattern that immediately appealed to me, however, was this one: the stunning Simplicity 6218.


Simplicity 6218. My best find of the day! Not only is it a beautifully-designed dress, but it also seems to be a relatively rare pattern.

Now, there aren’t many occasions in my life at the moment for which I can wear a dress like that, so for the time being I’ll just enjoy looking at it. By googling the pattern number, I discovered that this pattern is quite sought after and can get pricy. I don’t want to part with it just yet, but I guess it’s good to save it for a rainy day.

Besides the Butterick and Simplicity patterns from the sixties, I found two unusual vintage patterns issued by the Polynesian Pattern Company. This is the first time I’ve come across this pattern company, which was specialized in Hawaiian fashions. Both dresses are loose-fitting with interesting sleeves and I suppose they were meant to be made up in fabric with large-scale prints.


Polynesian Pattern 184. This dress has double French darts and pretty tulip sleeves.


Polynesian 186. Great sleeves on this one as well.

The last patterns is new and uncut, although it does feature historical styles. Recently, I have been thinking about sewing or knitting a beret or other type of hat that would fit with my vintage(-style) coats, so I was very happy to find Vogue 7464. Would be fun to try out and a good way to use smaller pieces of fabric.


Vogue 7464. I love the sculpted look of view B, but D and E are more practical, although they might be bit over the top for everyday wear.

The most expensive item I purchased at the thrift store yesterday was a small bag of mixed buttons, which cost no less than 10 kr (c. 1 Euro). Usually I avoid bags like that, because at least half of the content seems useless and ends up clogging my button drawer (which is thankfully much smaller than my pattern drawer, by the way). The white textile buttons mounted on cards looked old and I had never seen thread buttons like the ones the pink card before, so I decided to take the bag with me anyway.


A mixed bag of buttons and a random suede flower. I was particularly interested in the buttons mounted on cards, but the large black faceted buttons are pretty cool as well.

As it turns out, the small thread buttons were produced in the area around Vadstena in the Swedish province of Östergötland. They are hand-made and according to the information on Digitalt Museum (fantastic website, by the way) they date back to c. 1913-1925. Now that I know they are that old, I am not sure I dare to use them, also because they seem quite fragile.


Close-up of the thread buttons. On images on the internet of complete cards it says on the top of the card: “Handgjorda Trådknappar (Wadstena-knappar) No. 1.”

Besides what I’ve shown here, I got a handful of new sewing patterns by Burda and some children’s patterns that are not too exciting. I do feel inspired to try out some of these sixties dresses now!

1 thought on “Latest thrift store finds

  1. Jackie Eppenbaugh

    Do you still have the Butterick 4699 pattern (3 arm/wrap around)? I made this dress while living in Greece in 1967-69. Loved it and have been looking for the pattern. Thanks.


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