This weekend I was on a quest to hunt out the best place to find vintage sewing supplies in Edinburgh. Whilst rummaging in Herman Brown I discovered a stash of pattern magazines from 1984 called “Make it Easy: Mix & Match Pattern Wardrobe & Sewing Guide” published by Marshall Cavendish. Here is one of the original ads, which pretty much covers the awesome concept!
I’ve always been totally fascinated by collections which claim you can make an entire wardrobe with just one set of patterns. Has anyone ever done this? Could you dress yourself from head to toe with just one of these magazines – I’m tempted to try one day.
The magazines come in their own cardboard sleeve with a full paper pattern and technique cards. I only bought one because I wasn’t sure how good they would be – but when I opened it up at home I wasn’t disappointed.
As far as I could tell all the patterns were uncut and selling at £2 a piece. They originally sold for £1.75 back in 1984 (£5.10 when you account for inflation). I found a few for sale on Amazon at £4.50.
One pattern – so many options!
There are also helpful articles on colour matching.
Full instructions on how to make each outfit – including a step by step photo guide.
There are also pattern variations showing you how to transition the pattern effortlessly from day wear to evening wear. I love the dress and the evening wear version of the jumpsuit with the frill neckline. I think the dress would make a great casual summer outfit in a patterned cotton, while the jumpsuit would be fantastic in a dark silk with a slim belt (worn with or without the gloves!).
The technique cards also look pretty useful, especially if you’re a beginner. Why google how to do something when you can use one of these cards?
Herman Brown looked like they had almost the full set so if you’re Edinburgh based and having an 80s sewing moment its worth investigating.
Have you ever used vintage patterns? Where are the best places to pick them up? I’m looking for as many hot tips as possible so please share the love!