Calandra Cooper

Knowing the lingo: buying vintage sewing patterns

Calandra Cooper
Knowing the lingo: buying vintage sewing patterns

Sewing pattern lingo; it’s worth knowing

Up for bid is a lot of three vintage dressmaker patterns: M1021, New York Designers Collection, ff, uc, complete; lfvv, uc, ff, printed, mint condition, Paris Original, circa 1950s, Pierre Cardin, V2075 w/label; and Dior, lfvv, cut, vc, complete, Paris Original, V2911.


It’s the language of online buyers and sellers of vintage sewing patterns. Jokingly, I call it "vintage shorthand".

Of course, there are variances in the completeness of seller descriptions and lingo varies from person to person, but there are general commonalities in vintage shorthand.

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 12.45.33 AM.png

Deciphering this particular auction loosely translates:

McCall’s pattern 1021 of the New York designer’s collection in its original factory folds uncut condition with all of the pieces present.

Mint condition large format Pierre Cardin Paris original vintage vogue pattern 2075 in its original factory fold uncut condition including the designer counter label. Probably from the 1950s.

Vintage condition large format Christian Dior Paris Original vintage vogue pattern 2911 that’s cut, but complete.

Vintage patterns in their original factory fold condition indicates the pattern is in the same off-the-press condition as it was when originally manufactured.

These patterns are coveted by collectors.

A sewing pattern which is cut, but complete indicates the original owner cut one or more of the pattern pieces out, but all construction pieces of the pattern are present.

Here are some suggestions on how to become familiar with vintage sewing pattern lingo:

  1. Ask the seller questions. The more questions asked about curiosities, the more learned.

  2. Review vintage sewing patterns you presently have on-hand. This allows one to gain a better understanding of what to look for in a vintage sewing pattern and help in building a repertoire of questions for the seller.

  3. Review online pattern descriptions. This helps in becoming more familiar with pattern terminology.

  4. Understanding the definitions and lingo of buying and selling vintage dressmaker patterns goes a long way in becoming an informed collector of these timeless treasures.

March 23, 2017