Thursday, March 21, 2013


There could be people selling vintage in Malaysia...or Asia, but I haven't found them. If I do find them, chances are the pricing won't be low.  There are many websites selling vintage patterns and if you are from the US, it's a breeze buying any vintage patterns. They are plenty, cheap and available if you know where to get them. I often read of windfall where buyers get bundles, even boxes of vintage patterns no one want for a song. However, it won't happen here.  So, I thought I'd do a post on buying vintage via my favourite online avenue, Etsy.  Esty is a place where you can buy a lot of stuff and patterns are easily available with hundreds of sellers. My guide is strictly on how I choose and buy, so if you are a newcomer, you'll need to find your footing on this.

1. Determine what type of patterns you want. Modern patters are plenty on other websites at very affordable pricing, so I only buy vintage from Etsy.

2. I tend to love those from the 50's and 60's. Some 70's are okay with me. I do stay away from the 80s and 90s. General rule, the older the patterns and rarer it is, especially designer ones, they are more expensive. It could range anything between USD10 - USD200 ++.  So, I guess one really have to love them to spend such money.

3. While prowling on the web and if I find a pattern I like, the first thing I do is to go to the seller's Etsy and go through every pattern on sale.  The reason is simple. With patterns coming from the US and postage being expensive, I will only buy if I have a minimum of 8 patterns and above. I almost never buy 2 - 3 patterns per seller. This saves postage and sometimes, you do get very good bargain.

4. So, to find 8 patterns and more per order does take some searching. Most of the sellers have a huge listing so finding something I like within that range is usually not a problem.

5. Postage. All the way from the US wont be cheap but worth it. I've got a seller who gave me 2 free patterns which I was beyond elated. Those were printed in the 1920's and something totally relevant in today's fashion. Bearing in mind, one can tweak the pattern to suit own taste. Postage from US also means that you package can go missing, so that's a risk. My most expensive package cost more than USD300 and it did went missing for 3 months. When I almost gave up on ever it coming to Malaysia, it turned up at my doorstep one fine day. So, be aware of the risk. If it goes missing, it's a goner. Simple as that.

I hope that more people will love vintage here. Sometimes I do buy vintage just because I love the pattern and not necessary want to sew the exact pattern. Since most vintage are dresses, many times I fall in love with the top and have in mind to make the top only and not the skirt. So, change as one please.

This is just vintage. I do buy a lot more modern patterns online from the US too, and a lot more of Japanese books.  I find Japanese sewing the easiest if you can figure out how since everything is in Japanese. With a little sewing experience, it's quite easy to figure out the instructions.  However, there are times when the instructions are too simplistic and I do struggle in figuring out how to.

With all this, not to mention I have 2 boxes of Work In Progress, Abandoned, Bored, Dont Know What To Do, I Give Up and just Plain Fed Up of unfinished sewing projects. I do know that they will stay there till I have great-grandchildren as time is tight and too many things to do and sew.

Well, that's the price one pay for trying to self-learn-sew and no-one-to turn to.
I admire sewist who churn out one after another projects - successfully while I am stuck at sewing-block disease. It freezes the brain and put into 'dreaming of sewing', rather than actually stepping on the machine and sew.

So, I am rambling, but let's see how it goes.

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