I am Michelle, the owner and CEO of oldpatterns.com since 1996. I am a one-woman show selling my ever-escalating boxes of patterns in Massachusetts. I am a treasure hunter by nature, finding the best patterns from yard sales, estates, thrift stores, and from my travels across the world. I started off selling grab bags on listservs and have grown to sell individual patterns on Etsy, Amazon, and oldpatterns.com.
Vintage fashion is my passion, and when I am not hunting for patterns, you can find me at the latest museum fashion exhibit. I love seeing old patterns come to life and find their next homes!
What Do We Do?
Patterns from the Past resells out-of-print vintage, retro and costume sewing patterns from the 1920s to modern day. You can also find older knitting, crochet, and tatting books. All of these items are original, not reproductions!
Who Buys Vintage Patterns?
From home sewers, public school plays/musical costume directors, community and regional theatre companies, to Hollywood costume directors, my patterns inspire all kinds of artists. My patterns have been used on American Horror Story, “Mad Men”, Public Enemies, and Tyler Perry. They have also been used in theater productions such as the Phusion Performing Arts Alliance, Theatre Ballet Of Spokane, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre and the New York Ballet.
In the News
I have been mentioned online on: A Dress a Day, Sew Retro, A Summer Gypsy, and more. We are also in print in: Martha Stewart Living, Black Meringue, Threads, and Sew News. I have given lectures on the history of sewing patterns for Costume Con 18, and Costume Con 26 on the history of sewing patterns.
Q: How do I find my perfect pattern?
A: Read my article about Locating Discontinued Patterns on the Internet.
Q: Do you buy vintage patterns?
A: Yes! I am currently only purchasing patterns published before the 1960s. Please scroll below for more information about selling your patterns!
Q: How do I find my size?
Q: I want to see more modern patterns?
A: Check out my Amazon site! I sell more modern patterns there.
How to Sell Patterns
- Currently, I only purchase patterns published before 1960
- I purchase bulk lots, not individual patterns
- The only post-1960s patterns I purchase are designed by: Betsey Johnson, Kenzo, Mary Quant, Jane Tise, Daniel Hechter, John Kloss, Laura Ashley, Gunne Sax, Diane Von Furstenberg and Issey Miyake
- I will not trade for patterns
- Please contact me with pictures of your patterns and how much you want for the lot
- If you are interested please download the instructions below
Please click on this link to learn more: How to Sell Your Sewing Patterns
Thanks for stopping by!
Keep Up With Me:
Kind Words from Customers
I just wanted to let you know that the patterns I ordered arrived with me today. I am absolutely thrilled!! They are fabulous and exactly as you described. Thank you so much. I am very impressed with your on-line system, easy payment and quick service. They arrived here in Australia in 7 working days!! Again, thank you so very much and I look forward to ordering more patterns from you in the future. Time to dust of the sewing machine!
Cheers, Michelle – South Australia
I am absolutely delighted with the knitting book. It was as advertised. Many thanks for turning this transaction around quickly. I look forward to doing more business with you in the future.
I love your website. Of all the vintage sewing pattern websites I’ve visited, yours gets it right!!!! Patterns are categorized in a totally logical way – makes searching a breeze. The best part is I finally found THIS pattern. I sold all of my old patterns in a garage sale years ago and now that I’m sewing again – I really regret it. I remember this as the best t-shirt pattern I ever made or purchased readymade. The notched rib collar wasn’t as tricky as I thought it was going to be and the top’s fit is very attractive. I wasn’t sure which designer, but knew I’d made it in sometime in the 80’s (that’s about how long it’s been since I’ve sewn anything of consequence too). Anyway, finding this particular pattern became kind of an obsession. I figured either I’d see it again or I wouldn’t, but it was fun searching. Thank you so much!
Just a quick note to say how pleased I am to receive the patterns I ordered from you and to thank you for your excellent service. The package arrived
in just one week across the “pond” and during the Christmas rush, and I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve commented to my friends several times recently
how I regretted getting rid of patterns for clothes I made back in the late 1970s/early 1980s now that there’s nothing I particularly want to wear
available on the high street (and now that I’m of an age when a little eccentricity doesn’t go amiss!) So stand by for some of these garments to
be made up as wearable art (and in purple). You’ve made an aspiring ageing hippy very happy! Thank you.
Good afternoon Michelle,
I just wanted to send a little note of thanks. Your site saved me a whole lot of work. I made the Butterick #4466 pattern, that I ordered from you yesterday, for my son 26 years ago when he was 11 months old for Halloween. My daughter’s daughter wore it for Halloween when she was a baby and now my daughter is getting married and wants her 6 month old son to wear it to the wedding. (I used black and white fleece so it looks like a tux). After many, many hours of searching the net and going to our local fabric store I was getting very tired, frustrated and was almost at the point of giving up when I gave your site one more look – and there it was! I was so elated that I had to get my husband’s help to order it because I couldn’t keep my thoughts straight!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Michelle, I can’t thank you enough for getting my pattern to me so quickly. I placed my order Friday evening and it arrived on Monday. I was amazed! Your prompt and professional service is appreciated and I will certainly order from you again.
Thank you for sending the pattern so promptly. I wanted to share a short story with you, if I may. My grandmother (now long gone) did a lot of sewing over the years, and made each of us grandchildren Christmas stockings. Mine is a little worse for wear, but it is the one that means the most to me, and it’s the one that gets hung on the fireplace each year. I have continued the tradition with my grandchildren; I made a stocking for my granddaughter when she was born and am ready to make another one for my grandson, who is almost a year old now.
I started searching for ideas for his stocking on the internet, and as luck would have it, your website popped up…and there was the pattern my grandmother had used for our stockings! Mine was red, with a Santa part at the top where you had to lift up his beard to get inside the stocking. I have to tell you that it was an emotional moment to see that little picture on the pattern – immediately recognizable. It honestly hadn’t occurred to me that my grandmother had even USED a pattern, and here it was! Thank you so much for reviving those memories, and I’ll definitely incorporate some of the ideas on the pattern into my grandson’s stocking. The pattern has extra-special meaning to me.
I had a package in the mail when I got home from work last night! I was amazed to see it here so soon – it’s absolutely lovely and I really appreciate your speedy customer service. You’ll be hearing from me regularly.
I just wanted to say thanks very much for the dress pattern. I love it and can’t wait to start sewing!
Was really impressed with your service and speed of delivery.
Best regards, Fiona **********
I recently bought a 1940’s-made pattern from you. I was so surprised and delighted that you have patterns that actually fit me! Delivery was fast and the quality is fantastic! I am VERY happy with my purchase. The dress and jacket are beautiful.
Thanks again, Michele M **********
Your attention to detail with regard to customer orders is very efficient and effective. As a small business you surpass the larger organizations when it comes to a personal shopping service – no matter where in the world your customer is. You provide a wonderful service.
Kind regards, Janet R North Yorkshire, UK **********
Dear Michelle, My most WONDERFUL pattern arrived today! Thanks for being such a good caretaker…and for offering such a valuable service to the home sewer. I have a wonderful fabric that I bought at the Puyallup expo last year, and it’s been waiting for the right pattern…this is IT! Again, many thanks….
Happy Trails, Linda **********
I received the patterns last night and I am thrilled with them. They look great and I can’t wait to start and work with them. Thanks so much for your website. Your service was great and fast and I will definitely use you again.
Regards Amy L **********
I just want to take a moment to let you know how great it is to do business with you. Transactions are always smooth, quick and thorough. If there’s a way to give you a rating, tell me. Working with you is A number one!
Thanks! Jaymme **********
No, Michelle, thank you!!! My daughter picked out a designer’s wedding gown and the price is $3,000.00. The pattern you just shipped is the EXACT dress, only with a wider strap!! I am so excited, not only over the savings, but I always wanted to make her dress.
I’d just like to say WOW. Your site appears to have everything. I was a recent customer and I was amazed by you not only having some what I would consider very rare costume patterns but for the prices that are posted! I ended up spending less on your site for the pattern I wanted than I would have on eBay (and in my book that’s quite an accomplishment.) The order was shipped lightning fast as well. I didn’t really expect to have it within three days of ordering it. I’m impressed and will definitely be considering this site again in the future.
Thanks Michelle. I ordered Simplicity 4279 (1943) from you this past January as I’ve been unable to find a decent pair of slacks in any store, one that wasn’t a hip-hugger, that is. I copied the instructions at work and copied the pattern onto PatternEase because it’s so fragile, of course and I don’t want to handle it any more than I have to. Have made 2 pairs of trousers so far out of shantung polyester (one navy blue and one white) and they’re just beautiful! The style is perfect for me and they’re oh so elegant. Nothing but compliments from everyone. Looking forward to receiving this new one. Long Live the ’40’s – so classy and stylish!
Thanks again, Jan **********
I’m an adequate seamstress – usually make a couple of things a year – and I was very intrigued with your website. I found it when I was searching for Halloween costume patterns this year and kept going back until I finally purchased a pattern from the 40’s (McCall’s) a couple of weeks ago. This has been the most fun I’ve had in a long time!! I had no idea how differently people sewed back then, and to think they were advertising themselves as “the most modern”. I’ll be wearing my new “old” dress on Thanksgiving and I’m sure to get allot of comments.
Thanks for doing this! Cindy **********
The three wedding dress patterns I ordered from you were in amazing condition, just incredible! And there was a lucky winner (which happened to be almost exactly like my mom’s, how about that) that was turned into the most beautiful wedding dress I ever could have hoped for. Thank you for having the pattern for my dream dress. We got married on Friday July 13 and the day was fabulous. You were a part of it!
Thanks again, Erin **********
Thank you, Michelle, for your prompt responses and your good quality business. You have the best old pattern website on the net. You have more patterns and your site works very well. I have about 10 patterns that I bought from you. I was so thrilled to find the tent dress pattern that I was looking for. Keep up the good work.