History


User Avatar Here you will find a brief history of vintage French sewing/dressmaking patterns and vintage magazine publications with sewing pattern supplements from France. I will be adding more photos from my collection so please call back to see updates!

A selection of magazines and patterns

“Journal des Demoiselles”      pub.1834. The earliest pattern book in my collection. Contains 10 sewing pattern sheets with items of clothing on for enlargement.

This series of Hardback books carried on in publication for the next 30-40 years and often contained sewing pattern pullouts.

“Magasin des Demoiselles”   This business published large sewing pattern sheets on yellow paper with exquisite designs for embroidery. On occasion though full size patterns were published-I have one for a corset/basque top pub. in 1845 that can still be made up today.

 

Mode Illustree commenced in the 1860s-to 1930s –  magazine and large sewing pattern sheets for tracing out

A typical pattern sheet from Mode Illustree from 1890

 

Moniteur des Dames et Demoiselles-1860s-1890s-magazine and large sewing  pattern sheets for tracing out

Victorian fashion sewing patterns Moniteur des Dames 1870

Victorian fashion sewing patterns Moniteur des Dames 1870

Victorian fashion sewing patterns Moniteur des Dames 1870

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon Aiguille 1890s-1930s-magazine and large sewing  pattern sheets for tracing out

Mode pratique -1890-1960s?   magazine and large sewing pattern sheets

mode pratique 1909

 

for tracing out-these pattern sheets have many lines-for advice on using mode pratique patterns please visit

http://fabulousfrenchvintagepattern.com/using-french-patterns

mode pratique 1924 vintage french couture magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mode pratique sewing pattern sheet 1909

 

 

 

 

 

Mode pratique-Edwardian vintage sewing pattern sheet

 

 

 

La Brodeuse-Large Embroidery sheets

La Brodeuse

 

 

 

 

Jolie Modes de Paris-magazine and precut sewing patterns 1905-1920

Jolie Modes de Paris-Edwardian sewing patterns

1912 Salon des Modes Parisienne Sewing pattern supplement from the magazine Le Salon des Modes Parisienne 1

 

La Mode-1880-1920         magazine with miniature sewing patterns

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Mode Edwardian French fashion sewing patterns magazine

La Mode Edwardian French fashion sewing patterns magazine

La Mode Edwardian French fashion sewing patterns magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miroir des Modes-Edwardian buttericks sewing pattern magazine

Miroir des Modes was publisehd by Buttericks in Paris during the Edwardian era-this lavish magazine illustrated a large number of wonderful sewing patterns for sale.

Miroir des Modes-Edwardian buttericks sewing pattern magazine

 

 

 

Modes et Travaux-commenced in 1920s-still publishing sewing  patterns-early editions of this beautiful  magazine include large pattern sheets for embroidery

Modes et Travaux 1930s vintage sewing

Echo de La mode World War 1 vintage sewing pattern for skirt

Echo de La mode-commenced 1904-published magazines, pre-cut sewing patterns in separate envelopes and mini sewing patterns for enlargement

Je m’habille-published in the 1940s-often contains mini patterns for enlargement

Marie Claire-1930s-today    Magazines and pre-cut sewing patterns

 

Patron Minerve 1920s-1940s  Precut sewing patterns in envelopes

1930s sewing pattern

 

Patron Minerve-WW2 blouse

 

 

Nouveaute 1930s-1940s-Magazine with precut pattern supplement

Nouveaute-1930s vintage french sewing patterns

Patron Universels 1930s-1950s Precut sewing patterns in envelopes

Echo de La Mode 1950s vintage French sewing patterns

Patron Favoris 1920s-1960s-Precut sewing patterns in envelopes

Patron Favoris 1950s vintage French sewing patterns

Patron votre Mode 1950s only Precut sewing patterns in envelopes

Femmes D’aujourd’hui 1940s-1980s  Magazines with sewing patterns on large sheets for tracing out

Femmes d’aujourd’hui 1950s vintage French sewing pattern sheets

 

 

 

 

 

1940s world war 2 vintage french sewing patterns

 

1940s world war 2 vintage french sewing patterns

During World War 2, a number of magazines featuring patterns continued to be published in Paris-in particular Echo De La Mode-and each week would usually feature a pattern printed onto the pages of the magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a selection of pictures of most of the vintage French sewing pattern brands  that were published in pre-cut form from the 1920s till the late 1950s.

The brands include Patrons de Marie Claire, Patrons favoris et Parisiennes, Patron Elegance, Patron Modele, patron parisien, Patron universel, patron echo de la mode, Patron nouveaute. Not pictured are Patron Chiffon and Patron Minerve.

There are rarely instruction leaflets in the pattern envelopes. Instead the instructions and pattern layouts are to be found on the back of the envelope, with often brief instructions as to enlarging or decreasing the pattern for different sizes.

Most Vintage French sewing patterns for women are designed for Taille 44-approx UK 12/14 although other sizes were also published

Here are some rarer French vintage sewing pattern brands, including patron Elegance published in Paris in the 1940s and Patron Herbillon-published in the 1950s in Brussels

patron elegance

patron herbillonpatron Marie France

More couture patterns from the 1940s-these are pre-cut patterns on dress making paper

patron Marie France

French 1940s vintage sewing pattern Patron RLS

More 1940s couture patterns

 

 

 

 

Some 1950s and 60s vintage sewing patterns.

 

 

Dress/Robe

Echo de La Mode Patron Modele 1950s vintage French sewing patterns


16 Responses to History

  1. Chignon says:

    I love your site! Can you please help date a Patrons-Modeles pattern serie 165 no 120. It is in a green packet, cost 2.50 and does not show the 3 thimbles or a telephone number but shows the address as 1 rue Gazon Paris 14

    • marywillia says:

      Thanks-glad you love the site! The address on the pattern shows it was published by Echo de La Mode magazine and the price indicates your pattern was from 1931-to 1937…the numbering on Echo de La mode patterns is very erratic! Hope thats helpful-best wishes Mary

  2. Jeanne says:

    I absolutely LOVE your site, finding it through your Ebay shop which I had saved for several years! This is a subject – Vintage French Sewing Patterns – that needed attention and you are doing a great job! I absolutely love the old French patterns, especially the vintage lingerie patterns and including the embroidery patterns, as they had a level of design and sophistication that was superb. I hope to reproduce clothing from some of these old lingerie patterns.

    I have a few of the Mode Pratique magazines with the loose tissue patterns and wonder if these had the seam allowances included or are they to be added? (I will explore your link though as you may have already answered that!)

    • marywillia says:

      Thanks! The old Mode Pratique patterns,like all old French patterns, do not give seams allowances. These old patterns are really lovely and I wish you success in re creating them!

  3. mary morris says:

    Just found your fab.site looking at 1 of your patterns. Please advise which mag.to buy to look @ 1930s & 40s pictures of clothing styles of those era? Thank you for a reply.mm

  4. mary morris says:

    Which magazine do u advise I purchase for pictures of 1930s style of clothing? Also is the language printed in french? Thank you
    Mm

  5. Shella Murphy says:

    Hi,
    I’m looking for information on pattern sizes from French Sewing pattern sizes conversion to US bust sizes in inches. any suggestions? thanks

    • marywillia says:

      Hello-most French womens patterns are for Taille 44 which is approx bust 38 ins, waists 30 ins hips 40 ins. You can usually find the conversion on the back of Vogue patterns.

  6. Love the site. Came across it while researching 1914 French fashion for next novel. Governess character, late teen, Paris, makes own clothes. Would she have referred to Mode Illustree? Anyone have any other insights? Always interested in detail. Thanks.

    • marywillia says:

      Hello-How fascinating!Yes she most certainly would have refererred to this magazine although Mode Illustree was a bit like the Vogue of today! Quite upmarket, possibly she would have used the sewing patterns form Mode Pratique or Le petit echo de la mode newspapers. Sewing patterns were quite complicated 100 years ago-some came as ready made pieces to copy like today but would not give all the piece…usually though a large sheet of many lines would be given and you would have to trace off the pieces -some people used tracing paper whilst lots of people used newspaper. I have a 1915 edition of a mode pratique magazine/newspaper with illustrations and a sewing pattern cut from a 1915 daily newspaper-fascinating-I am open to offers if you would like to buy it! Good luck with your novel.

  7. Elle says:

    Hi,
    Do you have any information on a French pattern magazine titled “Le Grand Chic”.
    It is in a large format with colored illustrations of fashions along with the back view of each dress. Each is numbered, which makes me think it could be for ordering patterns. Any information you have will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Elle

    • marywillia says:

      The magazine I know as Le Grand Chic is a fairly recent ie 1980s onwards magazine…..I know of “Le mode chic” pattern/fashion magazine which was published from the 1890s to about 1950. What era are you looking at?

  8. Wendy says:

    Hello! Thanks for so much helpful information! I wanted to point out a source I’d stumbled upon, containing a number of patterns (plus knitting, crochet, embroidery, craft ideas etc.), from the late teens into the 30s, all scanned at the French National Library. The titles La Femme de France, Les Dimanches de la Femme, and Les Modes de la Femme de France… probably more, but those are the ones I’ve personally searched through hundreds of issues… have so much! Just go to http://gallica.bnf.fr/, put on one of those titles, or a search term, and go. I was looking for hats, and found over 100 unique sewing patterns for hats in those three periodicals from 1919-1938. Happy hunting! 😀

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