Frequently asked questions
How do I see your other listings?
Tell me about your shipping.
I usually mail the same afternoon of purchase, except when RA or lymphoma knocks me down. In that case your purchase usually goes out the next day. I mail patterns in archival plastic protectors, with a cardboard backing board. This should protect your patterns from the elements. I've been doing this since 1999, and trust me when I say that I have literally seen packages that arrived with tire tracks on them, with the pattern perfectly intact inside the envelope. I have no explanation for what the post office does once I put your purchase into the mail, but I do a lot to protect those precious paper products! I use stamps.com for my mailings. You will get a tracking number. Please keep in mind that my little town does not have Sunday post, so purchases after Saturday morning will go out on Monday.
Purchases over $35 enjoy free shipping!
***Please keep in mind that because of the pandemic and USPS changes, packages are taking longer to arrive. You will be provided with a tracking number so that you can track your purchases, but please be patient while the post office sorts out its issues.***
What is your refund policy?
Sewing patterns are easily copied, so for that reason, Vintage Fashion Library does not offer refunds. If there is a problem with your purchase, please contact me and I will see what I can do to resolve it.
I see a pattern I love, but it's not in my size. What can I do?
Vintage patterns frequently run smaller than the average size today. It is possible to resize a pattern, and there are some great guides online to help you do just this. First, you should see if the garment you want is one that you should consider resizing -- not all garments lend themselves easily to alterations, and if you are going up more than two sizes, it may be more time consuming than you anticipate. Take a look at this video from my favorite YouTube sewing instructor, Evelyn Wood, to help you with first steps.
Click here for my favorite online guide on how to resize a pattern to fit your needs.
What are reproduction patterns?
You will see the word REPRO in some of the Vintage Fashion Library's titles. Reproduction patterns are of two types: the first type is one that was reissued by the original company. For example, the pattern may have been originally published by Simplicity in 1952, but the decided to reissue it in 2018. Though these are really reissues, I note them as repros, because the modern pattern has most likely has been altered to make it more friendly to today's customer. Perhaps it was issued originally as an unprinted pattern, and now they have added markings, or perhaps they have sized it up. Most importantly, they may have resized it to be worn without the undergarments typical of the time. This is important to realize, as you may not get the silhouette you are looking for if you use the updated pattern.
The second type of REPRO pattern is ones that are done by me. These patterns are hand traced from the original, and come with the original instructions. They may be unmarked as the original ones were. They may have minimal instructions, as was common for the early 1900s. They may come in only one size, though some of my REPROs have been multi-sized. They are printed on stock paper, which is heavier than tissue paper, and also more durable.
DO NOT BE FOOLED by sellers who sell illegal copies of original patterns! It takes time and research to see if a patter remains in copyright, and basically anything mid-1960s or afterward cannot be legally copied. All of the Vintage Fashion Library's patterns have been properly researched and are legal to sell. Though I try always to support small businesses, selling illegal copies is copyright infringement and I do not suggest supporting it. ::steps down off soapbox::
What is an unprinted pattern? OR I got my pattern and there are no markings on it. What is going on?
Early patterns were very different from today's patterns. Early patterns did not have the markings that you see on patterns in stores now. They had a series of notches and perforations that marked where you needed to work. They are actually quite easy to work with, once you get the hang of it. Here's a great tutorial on how to read and use these patterns.
Please read shop listings carefully, as the first thing noted is whether or not the pattern is original, and printed or unprinted. Different manufacturers changed to printed patterns at different times -- McCall was the first to change, and Spadea was one of the last.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
How often do you list new patterns?
Virtually every day! I try to show off something from several eras every day. Keep checking back, because you never know what I'm going to come across and decide to share.
Can you find a pattern for me?
I love to search for patterns that people want to have! Let me know what you're looking for and I'll see what I can do.
Do you buy patterns?
Occasionally. Email me photos and let's talk.