What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Sew Helpful


While I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, I do like to take the beginning of a new year to take stock and decide what arts, crafts, and/or intellectual pursuits I’d like to spend more time on in the coming 365 days. I have decided that 2018 is the year when I’m going to really, officially learn to sew. I’ve been cobbling costumes together with some success for years, but I never learned the basics. While I can design, drape, and create a pretty convincing Grecian-style 1920s evening gown, I have no earthly idea how to make a sleeve. Or pants. And I never learned how to follow a sewing pattern. But this, my friends, is the year I change that.

Enter the Vintage Patterns Wiki, right on cue! Browsable by decade or clothing type, the wiki contains more than 83,500 patterns, all at least 25 years old, and all completely free! Okay, no, you won’t get the actual tissue paper pattern from which to work, but you can view and download templates and images of the patterns which you can adapt to your own size and use. At the very least, it’s a wonderful rabbit hole down which to throw oneself on a rainy afternoon.

I plan on using it as a resource for many years to come! Now, does anyone know where I can find an online comprehensive sewing class on the cheap?

Go check out the Vintage Patterns Wiki website!


Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

27 thoughts on “Sew Helpful

  1. Good luck in this latest endeavour. I am sure you will become great at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Craftsy has good online classes. Don’t know if they have sewing classes or not. And sometimes they have sales on classes. Joane’s is another place to look.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do these look????Yes…they do. I have some of these very ones. For a very long time I sewed most of my clothes and for my boys too. I’m talking wedding dress, new mother to be clothes, jeans and suits for Sunday. But it eventually got so expensive I stopped.Patterns now are out of sight price wise and good material is hard to find. Also…my machine has had a bunch of problems.. Now with all these little grand-daughters I would love to pick it back up.
    Go for it…you will enjoy the adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great plan for the year! Craftsy would be an excellent place to start. They have both free and paid classes on basics. Also there are a lot of sewing blogs that have done “sew-alongs” that might be helpful to start with. I have followed Peter Lappin at for a long time and he has some nice tutorials (and he’s a fellow New Yorker. He might be willing to hold a class for you. His series of outfits made for his “identical cousin” Cathy Lane are wonderful). You might also look at or Actually, just searching on sew alongs will give you a huge range.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG I learned to sew on these kinds of patterns! I was lucky enough to have a mum who was not only a truly brilliant seamstress, but who took the time to teach us how to do it. I still remember the smell and feel of opening up a new pattern and spreading out the pieces. Good luck and have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Those old patterns are a walk through history! I can really relate to the 50s and 60s ones. In the 60s I made many of my clothes, and in the 70s I sewed little outfits for my daughter! Too bad I got lazier over the years, though. The sewing machine now sits in my daughter’s basement, used for clothing malfunctions. At least it still works. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d like to share this blog post with you – it tells about the time I wanted to be a fashion illustrator – this was in the early-to-mid 60s. I attached some of my drawings. Hope you like it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I loved that! I don’t have them with me, but once we’re back home, I’ll try and remember to scan in a few of my high school fashion designs for you. I had precisely the same dream (and let myself be similarly discouraged by a bit of criticism). I always thought I’d get back to it, but I never did. That’s okay. You and I have a lot going for us anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a fabulous plan! I look forward to seeing what you create from all this vintage inspiration and your growing skills.


  9. Oh wow, I’d love to be able to sew. If nothing else i can never find the clothes i want to wear. I have no clue about online sewing classes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Color Me Free | My OBT

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