Childhood Memories Friday: Simplicity Patterns

Childhood Memories Friday

Simplicity Patterns

My mom is visiting this week, and brought along a pile of nostalgia, largely featuring vintage Simplicity patterns.

Remember sewing in the ’70s? I do — it seems like more people used to sew then, although maybe it just seems that way to me since we did in our family.

Simplicity Pattern 9441 vintage '70sLet’s begin with this one. I never sewed it, but my mom made me the outfit on the top left — both the top and pants in purple corduroy. It was my “Seymour Owls” outfit, since purple was the school colors. I remember wearing it, quite shyly, as a child when my dad invited members of the basketball team to our house.

Simplicity patterns 6640 vintage 1970sNext, it’s on to this one. My mom made the dress on the right for both my sister and me. The bottom was quilted fabric. We wore these in formal photos, and our aunt made us dolls with matching dresses — this was the pre-American Girl era 🙂

Simplicity pattern 9136 vintage 1970sNow, the pattern of my sister’s and my famous Bicentennial dresses. Mom made the dress at the bottom right — mine was yellow with flowers, and my sister’s was orange. We wore them a lot during 1976, and they’ve gotten wear since then as well when my girls needed to dress like a city founder for a school report.

Simplicity patterns vintage 1970s 8244 peasantFinally, a pattern I sewed. This is my 8th grade home ec pattern — we all made the top, I think, and I also made the skirt since I already knew how to sew thanks to 4-H. It was the 1970s, and the peasant look was “in.” My skirt and top were light blue with little flowers. I loved that outfit and wore it so much — I made the pattern at least once more, for my Easter dress one year. That one featured the over-skirt thingie the lady in the top row center is wearing. I would not try pulling off that look now, but at the time, I loved it.

I like noticing how the pattern prices increased over the years — here, from .75 up to $2. Have you priced patterns recently? They’re ridiculous — many like $12 or so! Of course, stores often run them on sale for .99 or so, so that is when I buy them.  Sewing one’s own clothes was fun for me for many years, and I sewed matching Easter and Christmas dresses for my girls when they were little. But I don’t think I’d ever sew my own clothes anymore. It seems like clothing is one thing that hasn’t increased a lot in price over the years. In many cases, I think you would spend more sewing an outfit than buying it on sale.

Easter 2002 homemade dresses

Easter 2002 — the older 2 in homemade dresses — AWWW 🙂

How about you? Any sewing memories?

7 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Simplicity Patterns

  1. I believe you have one fact incorrect. I made the Holly Hobby Dolls with their outfits for you. I got the pattern from Pauline Moeller and loved making them. I even made one of the dolls for my Aunt & Uncle, Noble & Ellen Katter’s 25th wedding anniversary. That was in the spring of 1975. Your Aunt Mary Ellen certainly made you each dolls but they were larger dolls.
    Sewing plays a large role in my life, even today. It’s a rare day I don’t do some stitching. It helps keep me grounded. I did crewel embroidery at the hospital while in labor with Ellen. I’ve embroidered at solo/ensemble contest, while waiting to be evaluated for my church piano job and various other stressful times. Stitching is calming for me.

  2. My girls and I do a lot of sewing through 4-H. In fact, tomorrow is the annual 4-H Fashion Show. Megan (my 12 year old) will be modeling her skirt … complete with pleats. Sewing is lots of fun, and we’d certainly do a lot more of it if buying patterns weren’t so expensive. Thanks for sharing the vintage patterns … fun to look at and remember. 🙂

  3. My Mom usually preferred Butterick or Vogue patterns, but we had a ton of these as well–usually for my clothes. Until about 8th grade, Mom made nearly everything I wore.

  4. Wow, do I ever remember Simplicity patterns! Mom had tons of them. She made quite a few of my clothes, actually clothes for all our family. She made all my “special” clothes, to go to camp, or for prom, and even my wedding dress. I, on the other hand, was terrible at sewing. I did a few things, but it was stressful for me, and for my Mom. If there was an Olympics event that involved tangling thread, I would be solid GOLD! Luckily, I had boys; my sister, who sews amazingly well, had girls, and they all sew everything too.

  5. All I can say is that I did sewing in 4-H because it was expected of me. I can’t say that I ever really enjoyed it. I lived in the shadow of an older sister who loved doing this kind of thing, so it was expected of me. I believe the last dress I made was a semi-formal dress required in that year of sewing for 4-H. I don’t know if it upset me more than Mother, or the other way around. I took my sewing machine to Africa and it never came back. Was that a blessing in disguise?

  6. There was a lot of sewing in my house / family too. My grandma H always made us these cute prairie girl dresses. My grandma R was a crocheter and used to make us socks all the time. My mom was a home ec teacher so of course, we learned to sew. I never was great at making clothing that felt like it fit well, but I liked making maxi skirts and dresses! 🙂 I make pajama pants for my boys sometimes, but otherwise, I prefer sewing things like quilts and curtains today! Great memories though!

  7. OMG, that brought back memories big time. I took sewing classes but stopped a long time ago. I would revisit this hobby but I have been too busy working on my blog.

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