Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sew Expensive: Patou Paris Designer

 For today's Sew Expensive post, I have for you a very rare pattern. I know a lot of us were watching this little baby on Ebay and it was pretty clear that something like this was going to go for a whole lot of money.

This beautiful 1920's Pictorial Review 5565 sold on Ebay for an amazing $275.

~ On a side note, I have bought patterns from this seller a few times before and have always been very happy with my purchases. You might want to check out her shop on eBay. ~

So what was so rare about this particular pattern? Sewing patterns from the 1920's are rare just by themselves and don't come up very often. Evening gown patterns from the 1920's are almost impossible to find. Sewing patterns from Pictorial Review and the 1920's are even more rare and sought after but that's not the whole appeal. I think the biggest factor at play in this pattern's value is that it's a designer pattern. Designer patterns from this era are almost unheard of and this one is an original Patou design.

For those of you who aren't familiar with him, Jean Patou was a very popular French designer until his untimely and early death in 1936.

He is well known for eradicating the short boxy 'flapper' look by lengthening skirts and elongating the feminine silhouette.

Patou is also well known for designing sportswear for women. I have a 1931 French Modes et Travaux magazine in my collection (recently added to my etsy shop because I don't have the wall space to frame them all) that features a Jean Patou ski outfit on the cover.

How about you? Do you think that this amazing little piece of sewing pattern history was worth the price tag?


  1. Wow, what a gorgeous pattern! I can understand it going for so much, but would never be prepared to pay that amount myself.

  2. The pattern is is a work of art, truly beautiful - but I don't think it would be worth it unless one was actually going to make the dress (and have a place to wear it). Hopefully those pattern pieces are in pristine condition; given their age.

  3. Yikes! That seems like a lot of money for one pattern, at least for me to spend. However, if money were no issue... I hope the new owner reproduces this pattern, or makes it up and shares some pictures of the finished dress! That pattern has so much going for it!

  4. Oh my gosh I die! It is gorgeous! But I wouldn't pay that much for it. It should be in the Vintage Pattern Lending Library so we can all enjoy it...

  5. That dress is gorgeous! Not only that, but I think it could still look modern today. What a great find; too bad it's way out of my college student price range.

  6. an incredible dress, and if i had an event to specifcally wear it to i think it would be worth it! i mean to buy a dress like that would be at least the grand mark, and to make a pattern like that yourself would be so time consuming it would make it worth it.

    Man its beauitful, i could see myself getting carried away and accidentally winning teeheh

  7. Whats really important is that these patterns get acquired by someone who makes the PDF available its great to frame the original as its a knockout but these patterns should be published as PDF and archived for future and current designers to use.Its really important and we can use the digital age to conserve these precious resources.Anna has done a brilliant job and i hope she gets more gems for us all to use.Thanks Anna you are amazing

  8. I am completely obsessed with this pattern. I have an evening event coming up and would love to make this dress, but I cannot find the pattern ANYWHERE on the Internet. Does anyone have any idea where I might be able to find it? I'm not interested inherently in the original, I would be delighted with a copy. I really wish people would make PDFs of vintage patterns; I have seen so many gorgeous dresses from the first half of the 20th century!

    1. Hi Anelise,
      Thanks for your question! I don't know of any reproductions of this particular pattern but there are several in the same era/silhouette here: