5. Do your homework.
Before you start collecting, it's worth having a good look around (particularly online) to familiarise yourself with the following:-
- language used by online sellers.
- how to identify or confirm the age of the patterns being sold.
- is the pattern genuine vintage or reproduction?
- how much you should pay for the pattern?
When starting your collection, make a couple of small purchases so you understanding what your buying. However if you buy what you like, you won't be disappointed.
There's a wide range of online pattern sellers and growing. These range from Ebay, Etsy and a number of specialist sellers websites. The biggest challenge in just trolling through them all to find what you like. You can spend hours - I know I have. You may find there are sellers you prefer, book mark these to make them easier to find again.
You can be lucky and find them in garage sales, estate sales and local markets. The hunt is part of the fun!
Do you have a favourite place you buy from?
7. Check your (sewing) patterns.
After purchasing, check your pattern for condition and completeness. You'll find patterns have pieces that are all cut, partially cut, pinned, taped, sized and pieces complete or incomplete. It's not unusual to find that the envelopes are often torn or damaged in someway.
8. Iron and refold
There's are different schools of thoughts on this. However sometimes the pieces can be so crumpled, they are difficult to use without ironing them flat. As vintage paper pattens are delicate, I will try to avoid ironing if possible but I will definitely remove any pins. Tape may come off easily but I'll leave it if it will damage the paper. If I do have to iron, I'll use a dry iron and be as quick as possible.
Do you iron yours?
I think vintage patterns are precious items. I like the fact that they continue to get used and get passed on from sewer to sewer over time. They have a history. So store them carefully, in their own plastic envelope, in a dry area and preferable flat to minimise any further damage.
Last but not least, enjoy your collection. Use them, sell them, swap them or loan them out - the great thing is they continue to get used and valued.