History Of Hollywood Patterns
Created by Conde
Nast in 1932, the Hollywood Pattern Company quickly became popular due to
the photos of favorite radio and movie stars that graced the envelopes.
Collectors of Hollywood memorabilia often look for sleeves with their
favorite stars. Original pattern prices ranged from 15 cents to 25 cents.
Their manufacture stopped after World War II and due to their short
production span they are harder to find and considered highly collectible.
The patterns with a STAR from the War years are the most prized of all.
Hollywood patterns with
the Movie Stars are sometimes easy to date. If the bio
mentions "Starring in...." you can go to the
Internet Movie Data Base
and search the Star and the particular movies and get real close to
Dating on the early
Hollywood patterns doesn't seem to be as important and the front
cover content and the stars that were featured.
The pattern number is
only an indicator of the date on vintage sewing patterns. You
can’t use the number alone because the companies would start over
again when they got to a certain level. You must consider the
general silhouette of the clothing along with other factors such as
hair, price, sizing and envelope style and logo placement you can
get pretty close to the issue or copyright date. Please be
aware that even if a pattern is dated, it could have been in
production for years and could even be a re-release of a previous
often crossed decade lines. For instance it is very difficult
to tell a 1938 pattern from a 1941 pattern. The basic style
and design elements were the same. The same thing applies for
1959-1961 and again in the 60s and 70's. There is more
difference between 1964 and 1967 that there is between 1969 and
Besides the general
look and art work of vintage patterns, the sizing can be a very good
indicator. In the beginning of Home Patterns, the bust
measurement is often the only measurement given. By the 1940s
patterns gave bust and hip measurements but often the waist was not
given (due to the fact that the sewist could change that element).
Until 1956 a Size 12
was for a 30 inch bust. In 1956 sizing changed and a Size 12
was for a 32 inch bust. In mid 1967 the standard changed once
again and a Size 12 became a 34 inch bust and remains so today.
So if you are trying to date something near the year of size change,
the size can be a great clue.
listed have been found either on a dated pattern, or in a magazine
or other publication of the period.
are constantly changing as new information and new publications are
found. So check back often to see the current changes.