Pattern magazines and counter books (the big books in stores which showed all the styles) are also interesting to collect, and they are invaluable aids in helping to place a date on a pattern.
When buying vintage patterns there are several things to keep in mind.
I’ve seen obvious 1930s designs with a 1921 copyright date.
Another way to date a pattern is by using the number of the pattern.
However, poor condition and incompleteness do affect value, so pay accordingly.
And for an ordinary design, it might be better to wait for a copy in better condition.
Sometimes the only way to determine the age of a pattern is from the styling of the illustration.
Remember, these were manufactured by the thousands!
If you want to know when your pattern was made, there are several ways to find out.
Butterick’s company was also the first to introduce an enlarged and detailed instruction sheet, which they called a “Deltor.” The earliest paper sewing patterns were pre-cut on plain tissue, with notches and holes for markings which aided in construction of the garment.
The printed pattern was introduced in the 1920s, but did not become commonplace until just after World War II.