Sunday, November 2, 2014

Simplicity S-Series - I have dated them at last!

Hello my dear readers! It is a bright, sunny Saturday here in California and I am a happy girl today. Many of you are quite familiar with my obsession with the Simplicity S-Series Patterns. I have been collecting and researching them for a few years now and while I was relatively confident that they were from the late(ish) 1930's, I had no proof. None of them have ever had any copyright dating on them.  I have scoured the internet and antique shops for old Simplicity pattern flyers - buying every one I could find, and finding no trace inside them of S-Series patterns! (You can see a fraction of my collection of Simplicity pattern flyers here.)
I was at a dead end.
Until recently, that is...

I found this Simplicity counter catalog from March, 1938 on Ebay last week, and while I was browsing the auction pictures, I saw it - a small glimpse of what I knew to be Simplicity S-602! I didn't care that the booklet was in sad condition, and that it had been used as both a recipe book and diary (strange, and fascinating) for 40 some years... I had to have it! Boy, was it worth it! I found EVERY SINGLE S-Series pattern they ever released, both in the index, and in illustrations.

Without further ado, for your viewing pleasure...

Simplicity S601 and S602, both in my collection.
Simplicity S607 and S603, both of which I NEED!
I was delighted to find illustrations of Simplicity S603 and S608, both of which I knew existed, but had never seen before!

Simplicity S604 (in my collection) and S602, which I need!
Simplicity S612 and S605, both in my collection. Reproductions of S612 and S605 are now available! Just click on the links.
Simplicity S606 and S609, both in my collection.
Simplicity S611 and S610, both in my collection.
Simplicity S614 in my collection.
As you can see, the lady who owned the catalog pasted recipes from newspaper all over the 300+ page book!

Simplicity S615, in my collection.
Simplicity S616, in my collection.
Simplicity S618, and S617, both in my collection. A reproductions of S617 is now available! Just click on the link.
Simplicity S619, in my collection.
Simplicity S620, in my collection.
Simplicity S621, and S613, both in my collection.
Simplicity S622, in my collection. (Also, check out the hooker eye shadow on the lower right corner. Lovin' it, girl!)
Simplicity S623 and S624, both in my collection.
I now have gratuitous amounts of boxer patterns for no reason.
So what's next? I need to find only three: S603, S607 and S608, and then I will have them all... Then I will sew them all. I'll be swimming in silk nightgowns and my poor husband will have more vintage boxers (which he wouldn't wear) than he'll know what to do with.

How about you? Do you have something vintage and charming that you obsessively collect?


  1. I would pay good money for a traced version of those. Ooooooh boy they are so pretty! ESPECIALLY S-610 - love it! You could easily get away with those as daywear these days too, if made out of the appropriate fabric.

    Srs about the good money part too ;-P

  2. What a fabulous score! And to see drawings of the elusive 2 patterns you knew must have existed. I love

  3. fantastic! just the illustrations are great inspiration. impressive on how few you are missing

  4. Anna, this is such fantastic luck! I can't believe that you have the entire collection sitting in this book. I hope the sewing community can come together and help you get your hands on the remaining three patterns. (Partly because I want you to have your complete collection, and partly because I want to see all of these lovelies sewn up).

  5. These are all so beautiful!!
    I'd love to see your finished pieces!
    I have developed a serious crush on vintage patterns over the last couple of years or so and though I don't admit to the addiction - I pretend it's still manageable....- I have a weakness for anything dating before and including the 70s. The 1930s are my latest fascination.

  6. the patterns are so wonderful, i dont know which one is the best, i want all of them

  7. Jewellery. If I have one piece from a parure, I need to have all parts. I have been told I suffer from SCS (Set Completion Syndrome). I suppose this also applies to sewing patterns. Congratulations on the book, and yes, why glue in recipes in a sewing pattern book? Strange and funny. :)

  8. Fantastic! What a find! Have you thought about creating a PDF to sell of this catalog? Even with all the newspaper clippings added, which I think is really neat, this would be a great resource. I know I'd be willing to pay for a copy. Will also check my patterns when I get home as I 'might' have one of them. I know I have a couple Simplicity nightgown patterns but can't remember at the moment what they look like.
    Thanks so much for sharing this awesome find with us!

    Emily's Vintage Visions

  9. I wish I had some of the missing ones! I posted a link in the Pattern Patter Team Threads.
    Maybe we'll get lucky!

  10. WOW! That is a treasure. I can't get over how racy S602 is for 1938! I can't wait for you to sew all of these. They're really fantastic. I have s617 at home, and I keep promising myself I'm going to make some silk jammies, but I haven't gotten around to it.

  11. Oh wow, this must be the icing on the cake of your collection! I totally understand that you collect these patterns, they are so beautiful. What will you collect next when you've got them all? I have a slight obsession with 1930s and 1940s robes/housecoats/dressing gowns/hostess gowns.. I'm trying hard not to buy every pretty robe pattern I see (well, not having much to spend helps).

  12. YIPPPPPEEEEEE! That is so exciting! Wow...only three more to collect...super cool! I'm almost half way through the 1940 McCall pattern collection. (collecting not sewing that is)....hahahaha :-)

  13. It's so exciting to see these beauties, congratulations on the find.

  14. Wow, what a find. I love the "housecoats". My blue fluffy one certainly does not meet the "glam" factor of this amazing era of clothes. Thanks for sharing your treasure!

  15. I love everything about this story! I hope you find those last three patterns soon. It's so amazing you scored this pattern book to fill in the final missing pieces. What a great slice of pattern history all gathered back together.

  16. Wonderful!! And so thrilled to hear the update. What a great addition to your fabulous collection. :)

  17. What a lucky find! I hope you find the last 3 very soon Anna!

  18. Hi i have a friend who needs the instructions for simplity s 601 could you help with that?

  19. Can you give me a Scan of S624? I was searching all over the internet, but the only copies I found where already sold out

  20. Could you send me a Scan of the S624 Patterns? I was searching all over the internet and found only sold out copies

  21. This is totally random, but I have had some success using "stamp lift fluid" getting newspaper unpasted from things. Depends but it's made for lifting glue without damaging the stamps.