"My Mum has a load of old dress patterns in a drawer. Are they worth anything or should she just throw them out?"
– Sarah (Telford, UK)
That’s almost like asking how long is a piece of string!
Vintage clothing patterns can have a monetary value, but many have no real value at all, so there’s no hard and fast rule.
Are yours worth anything? Read on for the key indicators of a vintage pattern’s value…
1. Condition: If the pattern is unused, it will be worth more. If it’s been used but kept in good condition, it will also be worth more. But sadly, the contents of the "bought" patterns are flimsy and damaged ones are pretty much worthless.
2. Style/era: It seems obvious to say that even though styles change, a classic 60s shift dress pattern will definitely be worth more than an 80s jumper pattern. That’s an extreme, but classic and period clothing patterns will always be worth more than more modern plain clothing items. However, times change and an 80s clothing revival could throw the market upside down!
3. Designer patterns: high fashion was once exclusively for the rich and famous, but you could make your own designer gear with designer patterns. Yes, during the 60s and 70s, you could pick up patterns by the likes of Mary Quant and Christian Dior. Obviously these patterns will hold their value more than your average Maudella pattern.
So how much?
Well, anything between £1 and £10, based on the above factors. I’ve not seen a pattern sell for more than £10, but I am happy to stand corrected!