100 year old sewing patterns- the oldest ones I own

My mom recently came to visit, and she’d been hanging onto these patterns for me for a while; she found them while cleaning out a relatives belongings and knew she had to save them from the trash. I hate to think about how much of our sewing history gets thrown out because people don’t know these patterns might be valuable to some or they think no one wants them!

Now that I had my hands on them, I could start doing some research on the dates and details of these lovely “frocks for Women and Misses”.

“New Butterick Pattern including New Deltor” states the cover. We know that Butterick patterns are still around, and they were first created by Ebenezer Butterick in 1863. “New Deltor” simply means that written instructions were included. There’s more to the name and story behind it but a Google search can give you more information.

Explanation of “New Deltor” in image, which also states that the New Deltor was patented in 1921.

I was very curious of the actual dates these patterns came out. About a year ago, when my mom sent me pictures of the cover, I had asked my “Vintage Sewing Pattern Nerds” facebook group, and they had guessed late 1920’s/ early 1930’s. Luckily when I (very gingerly) opened the patterns, there were some dates inside, and they dated the patterns even earlier than we thought!

“patented in the United States August 19, 1919, January 23, 1923”. I’m sure an expert pattern/sewing historian could tell me why there are 2 dates listed. Both patterns had these dates, and I am only assuming these are the dates these dresses are from.

Looking at the details of the pattern provided some other interesting differences in the way patterns were labeled:

Back of one of the envelopes. I guess the capelet on 2988 was called a “Bertha” .

The instructions were numbered with Roman numerals. These details are just fascinating to me.

Aside from the actual origin and details of Butterick patterns, the history of how the pattern actually made it into my mother’s hands is quite interesting. There was a store in St. Mary, MO (about an hour outside of St. Louis, and where my mother is from) called Rozier’s Mercantile.

And we know if came from there because we have the actual mailing envelope!! How cool is that?! “Messrs. Jules Rozier & Sons Mdse. Co.”
A picture my mom sent me of Rozier’s Mercantile, St. Mary MO

There is still a Roziers store in Perryville, MO, about a 20 minute drive from the original store, but the location this pattern came from is no longer there.

We can’t seem to figure out who in our family owned the patterns – the cousin who had them, neither her nor her mother sewed, and there aren’t any indications that I can see that they were ever used. I guess it was just fate that they ended up in my appreciative hands!!

All in all, it’s been a fun and fascinating trip through the history of these patterns and the trip they made to me! I never thought I would own patterns this old and they are in amazing shape for being 100 years old!

The inside illustrations are just beautiful.

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