Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sewing Pattern Collage

At a recent estate sale I found a couple great old pattern envelopes. Some were empty and even the full ones were torn and had tons of damage. This thrilled me because I felt free to use them in a collage instead of feeling that I should keep them intact and sell them. The lady didn't even charge me because they were a mess. Lucky me! I've been wanting to do a collage on a canvas for a while so this was the project for it.
I covered the background with the tissue paper. I glued the girls to the back of a new envelope because the one they came off of was too dark and dirty and I wanted the contrast. Then I sewed around her to ...um... well I just wanted to.
This past weekend I went to a church flea market and I saw a whole large box filled with patterns for only $3. I started to look through it to see if there were any good patterns in the box then I realized I didn't care and I grabbed the box and paid for it. Several months ago I was helping my mom get rid of old stuff and realized that even though these old patterns weren't going to be used again, the tissue paper would make great packing material for when I sell things on eBay or Etsy. So don't throw them in the trash. There are lots of things you can do with patterns. I actually did pull out some nice patterns and put the others into my collage or the recycle bin. I used the numbers on the envelope flap to make the base for this collage.
Then I found this ad in an old Good Housekeeping mag from the 50s.
I had two canvases and several old pattern envelopes so I made two collages.
Isn't that dress cute? Oh I wish I had a little waist! I would make this!
I used the dictionary to find some appropriate words.
 I got this old rhinestone trim at the same estate sale as the patterns. I found it at the bottom of a box and she didn't charge me for that either. The stuff that she thought was worthless was my favorite stuff. Funny!

That was a fun project! I'll have to see what else I can do with all those pattern women!

I hope you are having a creative week!


  1. Susan, I love how these turned out. You did a great job using everything!

  2. Susan you did a great job with these! I have a box of old patterns in my basement I keep meaning to get to - thanks for the inspiration!

  3. When I was in high school, I used to sew because my mom would always buy me patterns and material even when she wouldn't buy me ready made clothes. This was during the early 60s. I became good at making wrap around skirts. I had about 5 of them in different fabrics and colors. They looked great with flats. I did have a slim waist in those days: 22 inches!

  4. These are wonderful, I love what you've done with them. My favorite is the one with the dictionary page at the bottom and the two ladies. Beautiful job! You have some great ideas for using old patterns that I haven't thought of.

    I understand completely about not wanting to use up vintage items when they're in good condition. I found a few sewing patterns from the 50's a couple of weeks ago and I just can't use them. I waiting to find some that are in poor condition. :-)

  5. Dear Susan your collages are so wonderful, love that you used sewing pattern, and I love the advertisement for Singer sewing machines, have a nice and creative week.
    Hugs Anni

  6. They are lovely, Susan,- love the rhinestones on the second one!