I received a 40 year old book in the mail…but it’s not what you think…

I must be weird… I got a book in the mail from 1974; the year I graduated from high school, and have looked at it from cover to cover. I am very excited because the price with shipping was only $11.00. Sometimes these books go for $50 – $150! It’s not your typical old book; it doesn’t have any stories in it, there is no plot, no characters, no settings, no title, no author, it’s 1712 pages long, and has lots of illustrations! It does has some costumes though! Can you guess what it is? It’s a huge Simplicity pattern book from 1974…the kind that you find in the fabric stores. It’s full of fashions from the 70’s and is a terrific find for someone like me who likes to “copycat” fashions from the past.




Want to see the “doll patterns?” …don’t get too excited…

Two for Barbie and two for baby dolls…



…and one for Holly Hobbie dolls…first you had to “make” the cloth doll, then you could clothe her… Rats…should have saved my pattern, I’ve seen it go as high as $25 on Ebay.


You can Google 1970’s patterns and get ideas, but there’s something about having the book in your hands, looking at each and every detail of an outfit. Last night I was on the internet looking at 1970’s patterns and talk about Deja vu …I saw so many patterns that I used to own and it was so weird, almost like I could remember each and every occasion I sewed them…I wish I had pictures to show you of me in them…*sigh* but I don’t.

Here are just a few…

This was one of my very favorites… I made a sweet dress almost exactly like the one on the right, only the short version…


This pattern was my Prom dress…it was a white dotted swiss with a little bit of pink and flowers in the fabric. I trimmed it in blue ribbon…I can’t believe I don’t have a single picture of me in it. All that sewing and not a picture in sight!


…and this was my After Prom outfit. I made the long (we called them Elephant pants back then) pants and top version in a silky olive green with pink and white polka dots… it was fun! We went bowling so I was really “flapping” in the wind! (sorry for the tiny picture…)

blog 1970 pattern prom elepant pants and top

Okay, enough on my past right now! Back to the pattern book…can you guess why I’m so thrilled? You’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out! Sorry….

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Oohh! What fun this book must be, Jeanne. This is when I made my first outfit for myself in junior high home ec. I bet that pattern is in there. It was a super simple wrap skirt with a basic drawstring triangular halter top. I picked out a floral printed light denim which was way too stiff, but it didn’t deter me. I learned from my mistake and kept on going little by little. By the time I was in college I could sew pretty well.

    Isn’t it fun reliving our youth through what we wore? The dresses you made are so cute. My mom made me a couple of dresses in jersey and dotted swiss that are “sort of” like yours, but styled for a younger girl. I was in 7th grade in ’74.

    I think I might have an idea what you are doing with this book… and it is a great idea! Have fun! Can’t wait to see…

    • HI Cindy,
      It is fun looking through the book and remembering all the patterns I used to have. I had drawers and drawers full of them. I’ll have to look for your halter top and wrap skirt. I also see many that I made for my mom… it’s so strange seeing them. I can even remember the feel of the fabrics I used. Strange but fun…
      You might be right on your guess…. we’ll see….
      Thanks Cindy,
      Oh and I looked at Gina’s little knitted dress with all those bullion roses on it before I got out of bed this morning. I have my ipad beside my bed and I looked at it. What a precious little dress and those tights were adorable!

  2. Wow, this is so much fun to look at. I graduated in ’76, and I learned to sew in 9th grade Home Ec. class. I made a halter top just like the one on the front cover. I too think I can guess what you are using this book for. Can’t wait to see!

    • Hi Regina,
      I think it’s funny that no one wants to say what they “think” the book is for… but you’ll all see soon enough. I think many of my readers are 70’s gals…
      Thanks Regina,
      Blessings, Jeanne
      P.S. You are the Regina that won the Patsy dress right? I mailed it off today…

      • Yes Jeanne, I am the one who won the Patsy dress. Yay, I finally won one of your dresses and I can’t wait to receive it!

  3. Barbara Behm says:

    I just had to laugh when I read this post. I have all 5 of the doll patterns you mentioned. They are in a box in the top of my sewing room closet. During the ’70’s, I was sewing doll clothes for my daughters’ dolls. One of the Holly Hobby dolls is waiting to be refurbished for a granddaughter! I also remember making the Barbie wedding gown and the baby doll clothes.

    The pattern on the left, with the doll in a long white dress with the hat is Simplicity 6061 and was for Crissy and Velvet dolls. Crissy was 18″ tall and very slim. Velvet was 15″ tall and was Crissy’s 10 year old cousin. They were all plastic and had ‘growing hair’.

    Thanks for bringing back some fun memories.

    PS: My daughters still have their Crissy and Velvet dolls and the clothes I made. What I noticed when we got them out of the attic was how my sewing skills have improved over the years!

    • Hi Barbara,
      Oh how funny that you have all the 5 doll patterns. I sold my older patterns long ago, but wish I still had some of them. It is so much fun to relive the 70’s with all of you ladies. I know the dolls you are talking about too. My grandma gave my daughter her Crissy doll but she wasn’t interested in it.
      It’s nice when you can see improvement in your sewing, isn’t it?
      Thanks Barbara,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, this is my second attempt to post something, it just wouldn’t go through.

    Oh my gosh, a 1974 Simplicity Pattern book! I practically lived for the days when I could have my mother-in-law babysit for my two toddlers and would go to the local fabric shops and spend hours leafing through those pattern books, plotting my next outfits for me and the kids! What fun those days were!
    Oh my gosh, I have a few of those patterns too, and that Holly Hobby one, I still do! I bought it thinking that I would make my daughter the doll to go with the bedspread and curtains I would be making for her room, and well—-she has now moved out and has 3 children of her own, and that pattern is still waiting for me to make it!!! But what fun it is to see those patterns again. Actually, I still have a lot of mine in my sewing cabinet!

    • Linda,
      Your comment was my first really good laugh of the day… still having the Holly Hobbie pattern that you were supposed to make and now your daughter is moved out and has 3 kids of her own… I laughed out loud on this one! So funny!
      I can totally relate to you in your “escape to the fabric store” while the kids had someone to watch them. I did the same thing…
      Thanks so much Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Lucky, you Jeanne. I saw one on e-bay the other day from 196– for $150.00 BIN. Even with the free shipping, seemed like a lot. Waaaay to much for me.

    • Hi Jevne,
      I can’t believe how much some of them go for. I think they’d be good for plays and theater people who do costumes… I am glad I got the one I did.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Hi Jeanne,
    Wow, what a neat find!! I turned six in 1974, but I see pictures of all the clothes my mom dressed me in. Health-Tex brand with wild colors and prints. My mom saved some patterns of baby and little kid clothes that we have. Oh my, I remember Holly Hobbie. I wanted the doll, but never got her. I did have some lovely stickers of her though and some school folders with her on them. I was really into the Little House on the Prairie stuff because I was reading the books and the TV show debuted. (I still like pioneer things). My daughter saw the show very young and that’s why she wanted Kirsten.
    I just KNOW who is up for a dress next. Can’t wait to see her in it..

    • HI Laura,
      You may have guessed her, but I think it’s funny that no one wants to say her name and spoil it for the others… Sorry you didn’t get the Holly Hobbie doll you wanted… there are patterns you know… you could fulfill a lifelong dream of getting that doll and then make her some clothes… just a thought…
      Thanks Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. What an exciting find! Like the other girls, I think I know what we will be seeing in the next outfit! I have fond memories of standing in a fabric store while my mom paged through those pattern books and look at material- although I would get so tired of waiting. Some of patterns were McCalls (I think) and Butterick. In my sophomore Home Ec class, I dreaded the sewing semester because I had no knack for sewing. I managed to make a gold corduroy jumper and an apron though. That was when I realized, sewing was not for me even though I loved looking at the patterns and fabrics. At one point, I had pale yellow tweed-looking material for a double breasted Spring coat similar to the Jackie Kennedy style. It never got made even though I think I have the buttons. Your book has created quite a fun response from your readers!

    • Hi Paula,
      Sorry you didn’t enjoy Home Ec… it was my favorite! I took to sewing like a duck takes to water. I remember making an apron in class too… must be the standard thing to make. I could look at pattern books for hours… I buy the discarded ones now so I can look at them in my home…
      We’ll see if everyone “guessed silently” but right…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. mikekathie@msn.com says:

    That was a trip back in time…my sisters wedding dress was from that time and me and her friend made our Bridesmaids dresses and my daughters Flower girl dresses from some organdy -like fabric that we paid 38 cent a yard for!! Big ole floppy see thru hats too…we were so “IN” LOL
    You are going to have a great time with that!

    • Hi Kathie,
      So many of my readers can relate to the 70’s… this is going to be more fun than I thought.
      I remember those big floppy hats… might have to get some…
      Thanks Kathie and thanks for the soup recipe… cold weather is perfect for soups!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. What good memories! Your prom dress was from the same pattern I used for a bridesmaid dress. I remember it was yellow and took quite a few yards of fabric. Now I’m off to eBay to see what pattern books I can find!

    • Thanks Carolyn,
      Ebay might see a spike in their vintage pattern books in the near future. Wasn’t that a pretty pattern? I loved my dress. I’m hoping my mom might have a picture of me in it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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