I’ve been slowing down my vintage pattern buying lately. When I do buy it’s exclusively online – old patterns in London vintage shops are usually hideously marked up, and when you’re used to Etsy prices, forking out a tenner for an 70s dungarees pattern stings a bit.
(reminds me of a late 60s/early 70s shift dress I saw at a fair in East London.Extremely ‘distressed’, unlined, and made from polyester. The price? £75, because, as the woman solemnly said to me “This is a very, very rare piece. It’s actually from the 1960s. It’s old!”. Er, thanks love. I’ll stick to online vintage shopping then)
Anyway, I had to break both of my self-imposed rules to buy Blackmore So-Easy 9422, because I’ve never seen a British-made sewing pattern for sale before.
It’s a very simple shift dress, but I love the slim overskirt which buckles up at the front, or can be held casually over the arm if you… I don’t know, get too hot? Where would you wear an overskirt, anyway? I guess it would be handy for the Railway Children/runaway train situation recently discussed on this blog.
Some super chic accessorising going on as well. A flicky bouffant, long white gloves, pointy stilettoes, AND chunky jewellery? Nice.
I did a bit of online sleuthing on Blackmore, which was set up in 1845 by 8 siblings, who sound extremely interesting to say the least. 4 of them were deaf, one was a chemist, one managed a dress-shop, one was a ‘Professor of Shorthand’, and one was a mannequin for a fashion house (anticipating the work of Tom Cruise by over 100 years)
Anyway, it looks like my pattern is from the late 50s, as that’s when Blackmore were bought by the Associated British Paper Patterns Limited, the name written on the back of the envelope.
The tissue is marked with holes rather than printed on, and the instruction sheet is rather short and sweet. I assume that the phrase ‘Turnings are allowed on this pattern’ means that the hem allowance is included?
It’s a shame that there isn’t a home-grown British pattern industry operating at the moment. Even all the awesome new start-ups seem to be across the pond (Colette patterns, Sewaholic, etc).
I did find a few more Blackmore patterns on Etsy – click on the picture to see the listing.
Demonic Pippi Longstocking in a tweed cape, anyone? No?
This voluminous nightgown is actually rather sweet (and suitable for newspaper reading, apparently)
Shirtdress patterns are two a penny, but I really like the inverted pleat on this one (more redheads as well – are they related to the evil cape-wearing child, perhaps?)
That’s about it really, there’s doesn’t seem to be that many of these patterns out there.
Have you heard of Blackmore before? Do you know of any British sewing companies? And most importantly, would you wear a buckled-on overskirt, and if so, in what situation would you remove it?