The tracings of seamstresses past

Recently I picked up these vintage Stretch & Sew patterns at the thrift store.


Unfortunately, two of them were missing the instructions, but all four did have tracings in them – neatly folded, out of pattern paper, and already altered. If the name on one of the patterns is accurate, they once belonged to an Ann Kennedy. If the alterations were accurate, she was medium-sized and fairly short. There’s something eerie about looking at these traced patterns. I don’t know if Ann is still out there sewing or not; I don’t know if she donated these patterns or her heirs did. I don’t know if she made any of these patterns or if tracing them was as far as she got. It feels a little sacrilegious throwing the tracings away, but what else am I going to do with them?

There’s something neat and yet sobering about buying secondhand and vintage patterns, notions, and fabric. I always wonder who was the person who originally bought them, what she liked to sew, and what her plans were for the pattern or fabric. I suppose it makes us all think who will be going through our sewing things one day, wondering the same thing.


One thought on “The tracings of seamstresses past

  1. I have a collection of Stretch & Sew patterns that I got a an estate sale. I can check for the missing instructions, if you let me know the patterns (and if you are not in a rush).

    ~Rose in SV

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