Friday, November 6, 2015

History on a Pattern Piece

I recently purchased a vintage Simplicity pattern at a textile show. The pattern is a cute blouse-slip and jumper or sundress with panties. I see lots of possibilities for using the pattern and it has cute lambs to embroider or applique which made me smile! However, there is no date on the pattern envelope. You can guess at the era by the design and the packaging-somewhere in the late '50's or early 60's. (Did I say vintage-what does that make me?!)

On opening the pattern to check the pieces were all there, I discovered that the panties pieces were missing. Oh, well, the rest of the pattern was there, along with hand written notes about what to add where and dates for 1961  and 1962. That is a help in dating the pattern, but then, folded with the pattern direction sheet, I found a panties pattern-well it was copied onto pieces of newspaper. As it turns out, not the pattern pieces that were in the original pattern, but obviously one the maker thought worked better for her purposes. It is an all-in-one piece and again, has hand written instructions and comments on it, but what was interesting to me was the fact that the newspaper helped date the pattern-very accurately.

The paper is the New York World Telegram (and Sun) and dates from July 18, 1961, which was a Tuesday, by the way. The headline proclaims "Kennedy Warns Kremlin of 'Grave Danger' in Berlin". The inside page shows refugees from East Germany lining up to be processed after escaping to West Berlin. A piece of history.

Oh! and by the way if you wanted to buy a Pontiac Tempest it would have cost you $2156.63, and it is shown pulling a folding tent/trailer all ready for the summer vacations!

Other interesting items from the news columns:

It was 90 degrees in New York.

The Space Administration were planning on launching a manned Mercury space craft that day as weather had improved. It would be the second manned space flight. It had been postponed the previous day due to bad weather. The astronaut was Vigil I Grissom who, the article says was known for his ability to relax under pressure, as on hearing the news, he yawned and went back to sleep!

So I not only bought something very usable today, but also a history lesson!


  1. That's pretty amazing! A great treasure find in the most unexpected place!