Earlier this month, it was reported that the Vintage Pattern Wiki had uploaded around eighty thousand patterns that would be available free to use. You can imagine the excitement this caused, from those who were looking forward to strolling down memory lane, to vintage inspired fashionistas, to those who were looking to add a bit of retro style to their cosplay costumes. I, too, clicked through to see the supposed wealth of vintage patterns accessible to me by just a few clicks.
Unfortunately, there was a bit of misinformation, and although there are a lot of photos of the pattern covers, there are not as many that have links to the actual PDF patterns. Those that do often have the patterns for sale via vintage or retro boutiques that specialize in creating scans of older patterns or dig up used copies of said patterns.
Of course, if you’re simply looking for inspiration, it’s the perfect place to go, with plenty of pages to satisfy anyone curious enough to go through thousands of patterns. You can use them to sketch your own designs, or cobble together pieces of patterns you have that would match most closely, or, if you’re one of those rather daring sewers, to help you draft your own patterns.
The rest of us, however, sadly clicked away and wondered why it was so difficult to find free vintage sewing patterns. Luckily, I’ve been on the internet long enough to know that you can find nearly anything online if you know where and what to search. Below are several legitimate sites with free vintage sewing patterns that you can use to create your next party look, cosplay costume, or holiday gathering ensemble.
If you enjoy outfits inspired by 1960’s vintage looks, Andrea’s Notebook has a plethora of free sewing patterns available. From the Mad Men inspired Wiggle Dress and Office Girl Outfit, to the 1960’s Mod Dress and the Sweetheart Neckline dress, you’re sure to find something you love. There are also skirts, tops, outerwear, and accessories.
All Free Sewing has a multitude of re-fashion and retro-inspired looks that come with free tutorials, patterns, and plenty of photos to get you started. If you’ve been hunting a vintage-esque pillowcase dress, vintage jackets, pencil skirt, or maxi dress, this is the place to go. There are also free e-books and basic sewing tutorials available for those just beginning their stitching journey.
Classics such as the Peter Pan collar, the Jackie O. Pill Box Hat, and the Paper Bag Skirt that were worn in the 1960’s are also back in demand, and can be found for free on Seams & Scissors in their Golden Age Inspired section. Listed by decade, the patterns are links back to the original posters, who have reworked old outfits to make new retro looks, as well as began projects from scratch. The “Refashioned 1960’s Mod Dress” appears to be a perennial favorite.