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I’m looking for dress patterns form the Marilyn Monroe era. The 1930’s to 1950’s seem to have all the styles I’m looking for. I’m a crafter and would love to make my own pin-up style clothing instead of paying $250+ for a dress from some website. Good lord!!! I can make my own for cheaper, I just need a pattern or how-to. If any of you could help I would appreciate it.


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  • Missing

    Apr 7, 2012, 07.41 AMby Jaqueline Gutierrez

    I wish I could help. I have the same plight. Let me know if you have any luck.

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    Apr 11, 2012, 11.47 AMby Aliicat

    Simplicity have a range of retro patterns, from the 30’s to 50’s. I have 3 of them and they are quite easy to make, the only problem is they run smaller then modern patterns so you need to take that into account when purchasing

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    Apr 11, 2012, 06.49 PMby dicey1408

    Allicat – how much smaller do they come out as?

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    May 25, 2012, 04.21 PMby DorcasDesigns

    Have you heard of Lutterloh patterns? All you need is your bust and hip measurement and any pattern works. Its been around since the 30s and you can still find vintage lutterloh on ebay. It looks expensive (I just bought a pattern book from 1952 for $53) but you need to keep in mind that theres between 50-70 patterns in these deceptively small booklets. Check this out:http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?trksid=p5197.m570.l1311&_nkw=lutterloh&sacat=0

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    May 29, 2012, 08.52 AMby harrietbazley

    I’m not clear quite what “pin-up style” patterns would look like – there are a lot of relatively cheap second-hand 1950s dress patterns available as eBay auctions or (more expensively but more predictably) on Etsy, but they tend to be pretty demure by modern standards. (Your average off-the-rack dress at Primark will show far more flesh.)

    If you do buy second-hand patterns you need to make sure that you buy them according to measurements and not the ‘vanity sizes’ on the envelope. American ready-to-wear sizes in particular have suffered a rampant race to the bottom – the old pattern sizes were nominally based on what a girl of age 12, age 14 etc would wear! (Although already having suffered a similar process of vanity reduction since they were first introduced….)

    Also, patterns from 1930s-1950s mainly come as individual unprinted pieces, which you are intended to mark around the edge of and through the (unlabelled) piercings, rather than cutting out and tracing detailed lines and instructions from. I actually find these more convenient to handle with minimal equipment but then I have very little experience of ‘modern’ patterns!

    Alternatively you can buy from companies who specialise in reproduction patterns, but reprinted to suit the modern user and often resized for larger women: Decades of StyleEva Dress

    (Disclaimer: I am not a customer of either of these companies)

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    May 29, 2012, 08.18 PMby sewingfan1

    Vogue do lots of gorgeous 50s patterns and they’re easy to find online. I’m pretty sure the sizes are standard too.

    Here’s a link to some of their vintage ones http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/vintage-vogue-pages-850.php and I think they often have sales where they’re on offer for like $6. I’ve bought quite a few when they’ve been on special offer.

    This link might be good for ideas as it has patterns based on ‘movie stars’ but their prices would be way too much for me http://www.sovintagepatterns.com/moviestarpatterns.htmln

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    Jun 2, 2012, 05.26 AMby ToastyKnitsandSews

    Folkwear does a good reproduction of a Monroe dress (the bombshell ones). Otherwise I second the vintage Vouge patterns which I’ve used pretty successfully. You could also use more modern looking patterns and alter the silhouette or hemline for a more retro look.

  • Purplefan_large

    Jul 12, 2012, 12.11 AMby purplefan

    It seems that the Plus dresses in BurdaStyle July 2012 veer toward the look you want but they are more covered up in the bust area. Just a thought. Look at the Patterns>Dresses and select size as Women’s Plus to see them.

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