Selling vintage sewing patterns

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Chatter - Anything and everything' started by Midge, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    I've branched out a bit more into vintage sewing patterns with my little shop lately. The reason being, they're easy and fairly quick to list, don't take up a lot of space to stock them and they don't cost much shipping. Since Swiss Post have hiked up their prices for international parcels, I see a drop in selling "bigger" things... and I do want to keep my shop going, now that it has actually started to work, so I'm looking for smaller things, and patterns are doing well so far.

    Anyway, so far all of the patterns I've been able to snap up or have already had and put in my shop are for women. But how about vintage patterns for children's (or men's...) clothing? Do they sell or is the main interest only in women's clothing? I'd like to know if anyone who's selling vintage sewing patterns too could share their view. I've recently come across some nice vintage kid's patterns from the 40s/50s, priced at almost nothing, but even at that I don't want to build up stock that's too hard to sell... I like them, but I don't know if the interest for them is out there. I haven't found any patterns for men's clothing yet, but you never know. I've found a source where I never thought of looking before, and it's proving better than I thought.

  2. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    there are so many handy crafty people on Etsy ~ included many many many moms ~ i would think kids patterns would do well there.
  3. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Trade Member

    Karin, I have hundreds, perhaps thousands of vintage patterns and they sell well for me, and the internet is made for selling patterns, it really is so easy for both buyer and seller - the only issue is whether all the pieces are present, and checking is laborious. I find that about a quarter of patterns are missing pieces.

    Anyway, I have mens and childrens patterns and in eight years of selling them I've sold one child's pattern (for an eleven year old girl) and zero mens patterns. Maybe etsy would be better.

    Here are my pattern departments - I currently have 277 listed for sale. The biggest sellers, I find are full skirted '50s dresses.
  4. joules

    joules Trade Member

    I agree with Nicole, in that children's patterns are a harder sell.
    Nice selection, Nicole!

    If the patterns are complete, the fact that they're older, may help a bit, and you'll be able to price them competitively too.
    There is a lot of competition on Etsy, and across the internet, for that matter, in this category.

    I like to keep a few patterns in my shop at all times, for the sake of variety. Usually they'll sell, and I enjoy having them available.
    Here are mine at the moment:

    This was the last little girls dress pattern I sold; it was a sweet one:
  5. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl Administrator

    Hi Karin,
    I love selling patterns as apart from counting the pieces- they are so quick and easy to list, and nice and cheap to post.
    My current pattern listings are below. I have sold some children's pattern's over the years especially 40's one seem to go well- men's don't tend to do so well in my experience. Make sure you count the pieces, you don't want a drama over a missing pattern piece for the price you will get for the sale in the first place. :sunshine:. I have got another 20 patterns to list and can never seem to find the time- how did Nicole manage 227- she is a legend!!
  6. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Trade Member

    How did I manage 227? One word Gayle - staff :wub:
  7. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    Thanks for all your comments and advice! I always make sure I count the pieces :)! I think I'll keep concentrating on women's patterns at the moment, and kid's maybe only if they're really special. I've sold quite a few already - vintage, new, Vintage Vogue re-issues... I can't say yet that one certain style sells best. Some have even been quite a surprise to be going so quickly. I try to list one or two every day or so now. Keep it going and let new ones appear again and again - at least as long as the stash I just acquired will last. Nicole, 227 patterns, that is really amazing! That IS a lot to list!
    Just before my holiday I actually sold a vintage Swiss pattern (very mod 60s) to Australia :hiya:. Nothing complicated, someone who's good at sewing will be able to make this up even if they can't read the instructions - and I do always mention language too, as I have some vintage German and French ones too (I list in German and English, but I draw the line at French!). And funny enough, even 70s Burda patterns that have German-language instructions if bought here, but patterns were already printed in multiple languages, so that helps again. I'm learning a lot about vintage patterns right now and how Burda progressed to the now current multi-size patterns.

  8. Joyce D'Agostino

    Joyce D'Agostino Registered Guest

    There seem to be a lot of people selling vintage patterns so that means that the selection is greater for those who love to sew and wear vintage. I have seen many sellers though who mark things just a few years old as vintage which can be confusing to new buyers. You are correct that counting the pieces is necessary to ensure that your pattern is complete. I have purchased some patterns only to find that there is an assortment of pieces enclosed, so it helps to check what you have before selling or using. Joyce

    Attached Files:

  9. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl Administrator

    I had a feeling that might be the secret Nicole-oh I wish!! :drinking2:
  10. thespectrum

    thespectrum Administrator Staff Member

    I literally have boxes of children's patterns that I have acquired with other pattern lots. I have never bothered to list very many as I too have found they don't sell. But I hate to just get rid of all of them. The ones I have sold tend to be the older ones, like 20s through 40s.
  11. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    I actually have two different sections in my shop - one for modern sewing patterns and one for vintage patterns. I know what you mean, Joyce! I recently saw a lot listed as 70s, and when I looked at the pictures, they were all really broad-shouldered 80s :wacko:!


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