Sunday, March 25, 2018

Independant Patterns of the 80s; Fashion Blueprints

(click on pictures to make them too big)

Sometimes an idea has to jump the queue.

I've been working on a set of posts about independent pattern companies of the late 70s and 80s,  paying attention to those that printed their patterns on newsprint (access to large format printing on a local scale). Doing my research, saving them up for when I'm on the summer job, and can just drop them into the queue. 

I will have more about this topic later, but in researching I ran across this eBay auction and figured if I'm going to talk about them, I should boost the signal on this.
Right now.

From the Ebay copy regarding the patterns that he is selling:

"In the 1980s Fashion Blueprints was a small company based in San Jose CA that produced a series of patterns for unique garments based on classic ethnic styles. These patterns were very popular and sold thousands of copies. Their motto was "Easy to make, fun to wear." Sylvia, the owner of this business, recently asked me to place the remainder of her inventory in my eBay store. The patterns are available in limited quantities and are being sold at cost in order to clear out inventory. All are multi-sized; this means you receive the entire size range in one pattern. The photo lineup includes a sizing chart. Unless otherwise noted, all patterns are for both men and women. All patterns are new and unused.
 In the 1980s Sylvia worked as pattern drafter and head of the costume shop at San Jose Repertory Theatre, a professional theater started in 1980 and still going strong today."

There's more on the auction listing.

This is not my auction. I don't know these people. But this is as much information as I have on hand about this company, I can't find anything else of use (oh Vintage Sewing Wiki, you are so useless) and it won't be up forever.

These are some of the pieces from my collection.
They are printed on 17 x 23" newsprint, in blue, with a blueprint style format.

This set is for add on items for other patterns. I believe it came as a set.

Purchased at the fabric store ACROSS THE AVE from my apartment, damn! 
In 1984. The Stitch was great, like all small fabric stores, it had a curated feel to it (cotton, shirting, denim); the owner went on to work at the University Bookstore, like all the other small business owners by the University of Washington.

In a land before WYSIWYG, we used typewriters to set informal type.

I have so many questions: what was the impetus for the company, how did it move from Minneapolis to San Jose, and what stalled it out. 
I have more of the FB patterns I am digging out of the archives in the coming weeks.

  I plan on adding on to this post as I acquire more information, so I am asking: if you have more information, please let me know in the comments. 


  1. These are so fascinating! I’m particularly enamoured of a company out of Edmonton from the 70s/early 80s that did jeans patterns. After I had collected a whole family’s worth my mom saw them and mentioned she had made me jeans from them when I was little. I didn’t even know she had ever made me jeans!

    1. Can you give me the name of the company? I love this stuff!


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