Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Vintage Fashion Library?
The Vintage Fashion Library is a constantly expanding collection of vintage and antique fashion patterns and related materials. Our collection features patterns reproduced from the original, as well as original vintage patterns and recently discontinued, period correct patterns. The collection includes clothing patterns for men, women, and children, and vintage fashion magazines and pattern catalogues.
- Who runs this show?
I do! I'm a single mom of three who sells patterns in my spare time from my full time job. I started on ebay way back when listings were text only -- no pictures -- and left there six years ago to go out on my own. I hope to make this my full time job once the youngest is out of college. Meantime, pattern sales help pay college tuition for the two youngest.
- How did you get started selling patterns?
This is probably the most common question I get. I really can't remember, other than to say that I was selling stuff on ebay, and decided I wanted to open a store. I needed to find something that would both store and ship easily, and somehow I decided sewing patterns was it. I still remember the first pattern I listed in that store -- it was a 70s Simplicity bathrobe pattern. It took a while to get it sold, but I was a little sad when it did. That pattern was the beginning of everything.
- Are the patterns copyrighted?
We carefully research individual patterns before deciding if we will offer it as a repro. VFL only offers copies of patterns that are in the public domain: That means that the original copyright, and any renewals that may have been made, have expired.
- Do you have a brick and mortar store?
Sadly, no. But there are hopes for one in the future, when college tuition is no longer part of my every day life. (See above)
- How do you copy the patterns?
Non-printed pattern pieces are traced by hand, and all markings and notes are accurately transcribed. A short description (such as SIDE BACK) is sometimes added to each piece to make the pattern easier to use. Printed pattern pieces are mechanically copied at 100% or traced by hand, depending on the pattern. A copy of the instructions and a color copy of the front and back of the envelope are included when available.
The patterns are complete with all the pieces and original instructions, unless otherwise noted in the description. The original pattern and instructions are not altered, tested or edited.
- Do you have the patterns in other sizes?
Although we are working to digitally create our patterns in multiple sizes, this is a slow process. Until that time, the VFL has only the sizes shown. If a pattern isn't available in your size, you can easily alter it to fit you. Threads magazine ran a very good article about pattern grading in the June/July 2002 issue. You can also check with Amazon Dry Goods for instructions on altering patterns.
We are working with pattern drafters and plan to have our first multi-size pattern available in Spring, 2009.
- What payment options does the VFL offer?
We accept credit cards and Paypal. Sorry, no checks or money orders, after one too many messy sales with them. We accept Mastercard, Visa and Discover directly through our site. Sorry, we do not currently accept American Express.
- Do you combine shipping?
Our shipping calculator is generally very accurate, and should combine shipping, based on weight. If you have questions or would like different shipping options than we have listed, including overnight shipping, please contact us before making your purchase.
- What are your shipping policies?
We generally ship once a week, and sometimes ship more frequently. Please keep in mind that Priority and Express Mail options involve transit time, not shipping dates, and that your package will be shipped on a normal shipping day unless arrangements are made before you make your purchase. Delivery confirmation and insurance are extra charges, and must be requested before making your purchase. We do not take responsibility for packages once the post office has taken them from our hands. We will do anything we can to accommodate your needs, as we realize that some of our customers are working on a deadline, but those special shipping requests do need to be made in advance of purchase. We do not guarantee that we can accommodate special requests, but we generally can, if notified.
- Do you buy sewing patterns?
Yes. I once drove to Kentucky one day for patterns, then turned around and drove to Ohio the next -- and those were some really FABULOUS patterns, I must say. I buy patterns all over. If you have some you'd like to sell, just email me. Include some pictures, and maybe we can do business.