Dating vintage patterns
Dating vintage patterns
After Butterick started, three other major pattern brands emerged: Mc Call’s, Vogue, and Simplicity.
Butterick, too, pushed its mail-order patterns through fashion magazines, the first being the “Ladies Quarterly of Broadway Fashions” in 1867, and the monthly publication, “Metropolitan” in 1868.
Then, in 1873, Butterick launched a magazine called “The Delineator,” which was first simply a vehicle to sell patterns, but quickly became one of the most popular general-interest women’s magazines in the country.
Scottish immigrant James Mc Call, a tailor, began publishing his own patterns branded as Pictorial Review in 1870, and he also created a four-page magazine to market them named “The Queen: Illustrating Mc Call’s Bazaar Glove-Fitting Patterns.” Mc Call passed away in 1884, and his wife hired a new editor of “The Queen,” who expanded the magazine to 12 pages, selling patterns and offering homemaking advice.
In 1893, the Mc Call Company was taken over by James Henry Ottley, who increased the page count again, this time to include articles on international travel, beauty tips, health advice, and child-rearing techniques.
The first commercially produced sewing patterns were designed in the mid-1800s by an American milliner named Ellen Curtis Demorest.
With her husband, William Jenning Demorest, she founded a company to bring au courant French fashions to the United States via sewing.
To market these latest European styles and her patterns of them, the couple launched a magazine called “Madame Demorest’s Mirror of Fashion” in 1860.
But American tailor Ebenezer Butterick was the first to produce sewing patterns—which were pre-cut and marked with notches and perforations—out of tissue paper. In 1866, Butterick finally produced its first dress pattern for women.
His first patterns for men’s and boys’ clothing came out in 1863, and they were the first patterns to be offered in various sizes, what are known as “graded patterns.” An early hit for E. Before the invention of patterns, most women could only afford to take apart old, worn-out garments and reconstruct them out of newer fabric.
Only affluent, high-society ladies had the money to wear the newest styles coming out of Paris and New York made for them by high-end designers and tailors.
Butterick’s graded tissue paper patterns had a wide-reaching impact, offering access to high fashion to almost anyone who could sew, in the United States and various countries around the globe.
By 1903, Butterick was one of the largest manufacturers in the world.