Tuesday, March 16, 2010

when is a vintage vogue not a vintage vogue?

When it's a New York Pattern Co. pattern, that's when! When I saw the new Spring Vogue patterns I thought the new Vintage Vogue apron was pretty, but familiar -- so I assumed that I'd seen the original Vogue pattern online at some point. But I was looking in my folder of apron images (madly downloaded in last year's free trial of the Commercial Pattern Archive) I spotted the original -- and it's a New York design from 1953! See them side-by-side:

new york apron.jpg

So, I don't know if this means that Vogue actually owns the New York Pattern Co. library (my guess is no), or if they've just decided that NY patterns are fair game, but it's certainly interesting either way. If they think they're fair game, that's pretty good backup for the people who are independently reproducing vintage patterns -- and if they own them, maybe we'll see more of them! The idea of more pattern lines getting a shot at reproduction is pretty cool. I love vintage patterns, but cheap multisized repros certainly have their appeal, don't they? The other two views of this apron are also from the NY Pattern Co. original; I don't recognize the other pattern included in the reissue so I don't know who originally put it out.

Since I went through all my patterns recently to destash I looked over my own collection of reproductions, and now I've started spotting them all over. Here are just a few of the matchups I've found (when I've uploaded some images I'll post more!):

Vogue 2903 was originally S-4579 (the "s" tells you it's a "Special Design"). (Dated 1955 by CoPA, 1957 by Vogue).
Vogue 2267 was 8223.
Vogue 1083 was S-4291.
And 1043 was yet another Special Design, S-4382.
Butterick 4792 was 7714.
Butterick 6582 was 9365.

I'd love to see all the reproductions matched up and compared to their originals! One thing that makes it difficult is the dating -- for example, CoPA and Vogue differ on a lot of those pattern dates. The Vogue 2903 reissue, for example, is dated 1957, but CoPA (who I trust more, to be honest) place the original in 1955. So you can't just look at the supposed original year.

Speaking of comparisons, I found these really cool pattern posts on the Pins and Needles blog about a few different reissues: Simplicity 1734 vs 3673, Vogue S-4382 vs 1043, and Vogue S-4007 vs 2239. Really great info (and support for Vogue's assertion that they barely change patterns!).

And not to ramble any more disjointedly than I already have, but I thought it was interesting to see that for all the things people say about vintage patterns and their "impossible" illustrations -- the modern one actually has the less realistic figure, I think! Her waist looks the same (although they narrowed the hip ruffles) but her neck, arms and legs look like they're about to snap.

Anyway, I'll be keeping my eye out for more matchups!


  1. Very cool post. During my pattern browsing I've seen the originals for some reissues, but I'd never looked at them side by side. I hadn't even realized that Vogue changed the colour of the pattern illustrations so much! It's a shame, really, I much prefer the original colours & fabric designs.

  2. Wow! that's so crazy! It's really great to see the images side-by-side!

  3. i have found this post fascinating thanx so much for my eyes are peeled!!!! x


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