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vintage sewing patterns & spirit goods from hamburg, germany

pattern care


If you have purchased one of my original vintage paper sewing patterns or have received one from someone else, there are a few tips I can offer anyone who is interested in caring for their pattern.

make a copy

always make a working copy – this is best for fitting and alterations, while protecting the original pattern. Tissue paper or regular drawing paper on a roll is good for this.

scan it

it is advisable to scan or copy the information sheet for use, these often fall apart first. Vogue Instruction sheets of the 1920’s-30’s are often missing or crumbly.

store it

please keep your pattern in its plastic bag or sleeve when not in use, the paper is old and needs to stay hydrated .1

iron with steam

Iron pieces gently and with steam – this helps prevent tears.

lavender helps

steam ironing with lavender water can remove musty smells of improperly stored patterns.

old plastic tape

avoid melting tape when ironing, in the case of old plastic tape on pieces, place plain tissue paper between iron and piece.

plastic tape residue

baby powder can reduce sticky residue from old plastic tape, just sprinkle some on the paper rubbing it in with the palm of your hand, then brushing off the excess.


taping a pattern is sometimes necessary. If tape is needed, archival tape for books should be used – Filmoplast P | Neschen AG is optimal. you will be able to iron over this tape without discoloring or destroying the paper underneath.


to keep the pattern envelope and illustration bright and pretty, it is advised to store it away from sunlight. Making a copy to display is a better choice.

a few extra tips


unprinted patterns have perforations as guides, you will find them explained on the information sheet that came with the pattern.

seam allowances

seam allowances are included on US patterns, each pattern has its own specifications, pls check the information sheet that came with the pattern.


for style research & vintage fashion pattern illustrations visit: https://vintagepatterns.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Page

  1. rehydrating: To rehydrate the paper needs to be stored over night in a humid environment. Insert the brittle pieces to an XL ziploc bag. Dampen a scrap of material or toilet paper, place it in a small bowl, add this to your ziploc, keeping it seperate from your paper pieces. Zip it & let it sit flat overnight. It should be less brittle in the morning & easier to work with. ↩︎