Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Mystery" Pattern #1073!

Hello. A Facebook friend recently sold me a "mystery" pattern. She admit she didn't know much about it and she and her friend guessed the year to be early 1920s. Well, I saw a good opportunity for a strange 1930s pattern so I snatched it up!

This is it. The pieces are factory folded, but there are no instructions and the artwork, which is usually on an instruction sheet, seems to be some sort of cut-out from a pattern magazine...

Needless to say, there are no instructions, but my FB friend had her friend scan a copy for me :) The pattern came in one of those waxy department store casings -- this one from a store called W.T Grant Co., which operated from 1906 to 1976. Written on the waxy paper are the numbers "1073" and "40"...

I am certain "1073" is the pattern number. This is stated on the cut-out photo. My GUESS is that the "40" is the size. The "-40" made me think it was a price at first from some antique shop, but that's usually written as "40-". The only way I'll know the size for sure is to open it up and measure it! As for clues in dating this pattern -- too easy! The "NRA" symbol narrows that down nicely to between 1933-1935! And that is the National Recovery Administration (a Depression thing!) -- not the National Rifle Association ;)

My guess is the owner lost her original instruction sheet so she cut the picture of the pattern out of her W.T. Grant pattern catalog. She then wrote the pattern number and size on the wax casing so she wouldn't forget. And since the pattern is still factory folded, I'm assuming her loss of instructions is why she never got around to making this! Another theory I have: The actual pattern may be something completely different! Ooooh! It's second in my sewing queue.

And since she cut the photos out of a catalog, there was some nice 30s fashion porn on the back, too!...

I just love cracking mysteries (regardless if they are right or not!) Do you have any weird patterns you have decoded or wonder about?


  1. Because I'm pretty new at this, there's the occasional 1970's does 1930's patterns that confuse me for a bit...especially what I like to call "transitional fashion" - the fashions that don't quite fit into a stylistic norm, that seem to appear in between fashion fads. Sooner or later I'll get better at this! :)
    Amazing pattern, BTW - I love mysteries!

  2. It'll be drafted for a 40" bust - I've got a couple mail order 1930s patterns, and the sizing often gos from size 20 for 38" bust to size 40 for 40" bust.


Dress #8 -- Simplicity 7382 (1976)