Saturday, 24 February 2018

It Costs How Much?

There has been an Issey Miyake skirt pattern that I've been searching for years now.

And this evening I actually came across it on Etsy. In my size range! I would have been over-the-moon excited if the price tag didn't stop me in my tracks. The price for this vintage pattern, with exchange and shipping, a whopping hundred fifty-eight (Cdn) dollars and fifty-five cents. That was enough to give up my search and any desire to ever own and sew this pattern. I think I need to start drafting my own patterns. When did pattern prices get so insanely crazy?  

Okay, I do realize that it is an Issey Miyake design but really, do people pay over a hundred dollars for a sewing pattern?  

I found this one, circa 1950's listed for one thousand six hundred (US) dollars. It's not even a designer pattern.  

It makes these Givenchy patterns look like a bargain listed at three hundred twenty (US) dollars for OOP McCall's 3625 and three hundred thirty-nine and eighty-nine (US) dollars for OOP McCall's 3788.  

This Simplicity pattern from the nineteen thirties is listed for two hundred and fifty (US) dollars.

And this pattern capturing the era of 1950s glamour is listed at three hundred sixty-four (US) dollars and forty-six cents.

Even patterns from the nineteen sixties are demanding some serious coin such as this Fabiani design listed at two hundred twenty-five (US) dollars. Not only is it a stunning design, it comes with a label.

Even this 1970s futuristic Handsmaid's Tale cosplay pattern disguised as a bridal pattern has an asking price of two hundred two (US) dollars and forty-eight cents.  

It's not just patterns from last century that are priced with eyebrow raising price tags.  This McCall's 4659 pattern from this century, circa 2004, is currently listed at one thousand three (US) dollars and sixty-four cents.  

So it begs to be asked, how are these patterns priced? Is it whether or not a pattern is considered rare, culturally relevant, or could it just be a typo?  

Happy Sewing!  


  1. I suppose some are antiques and rare, but there will be others where the seller is just trying to make as much cash as they can. I do use patterns, but most of what I make comes either from Burdastyle magazines of are self drafted.

  2. The Simplicity 1662 50's wrap dress is now a reissue. Hopefully the seller was able to move that pattern before the bottom fell out.

    That Handmaid's Tale bridal gown is so bonkers I can almost see the point of the price, but that mid-2000's McCalls? What?!

    1. Ah, I see the Simplicity is still up there on Etsy..

  3. Hmmm. I guess you can PRICE things any way you want, but if people won’t buy them! I see this a lot with vintage machines. Just because you ask for $1000 for that mouse infested stinky parts missing no name treadle doesn’t mean anyone will ever take it off your hands. Plenty of wonderful vintage patterns from reputable sellers at more reasonable prices.

  4. Have you tried reaching out to your sewing circle? There was someone else who was looking to purchase a pattern and could not find it. However; their were two other sewers who were willing to mail it to her for a loan. IHTH ... FIESTA )

  5. It's amazing what some dealers will charge for a pattern. And I don't understand what makes a pattern rare and desirable at a high price. But the caveat remains; just because you ask doesn't mean you will receive.

  6. Some of the patterns you posted pics of are not even rare. This is why we all need to research or do our due diligence before buying expensively priced patterns. And even if a pattern is rare, it's probably not worth a thousand dollars to most of us. Hope you find your pattern! Good luck!

  7. Hello!

    As a person who sells sewing patterns I can say the shop that had the $1600.00 pattern is a typo. I have just emailed the shop to let them know. I've done it....listing patterns late at night while the kids are asleep and you're tired makes it easy to make mistakes.

    I search very hard for the patterns I list in my shop and some of them are very hard to come by. Issey Miyake at the time was seen as more avant garde and for some there just are not as many out there. I am constantly looking for the harder to find patterns for my customers. There have been some Miyake patterns that have taken me over a year or two to find and so those I've only been able to offer a couple times over the past 6 years I have had my Etsy shop.

    After I get them many of them need to be counted and I also iron all the pieces so the new owner will have nice, not crumpled pattern pieces. Actually there is a lot of time that goes into the entire process of finding, counting, ironing, scanning, listing, packaging and shipping.

    I wanted to let you know that the majority of us pattern sellers are not trying to be outrageous but we work really hard, and sometimes make typos for $1600 patterns.

    Take care and have a wonderful day. Your blog is lovely and I wish you all the best!

    Ally at Design Rewind Fashions

    1. Thank you Ally for the description of what goes into listing and selling a pattern. I do appreciate the amount of work that goes into searching, listing, photographing and shipping patterns. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't criticizing your right to sell a pattern for whatever price you see fit. I have also sold patterns. And I do realize that it is your pattern that I'm swooning over. I almost purchased it until I calculated the shipping and exchange rate, that's what pushed it over my budget. I was just sad that it didn't fit into my budget. I'm not saying that it's not worth it, it is an Issey Miyake design and an item is worth what the market will pay for it. And I'm sure that the pattern will make someone really happy. Your shop is great and you do offer wonder patterns. All the best to you too!

    2. Thank you for your kind response. Shipping prices have gone through the roof! I try to make my packaging as light weight yet durable as possible and it astounds me how much it costs. For the more expensive patterns I even include insurance and pay for that myself because ---shipping prices are crazy!

      I know what it's like to search for a pattern...and I'm always looking! I have been trying to find a Vogue 2424 by Ungaro in my size (14 or 16) for a few years now. I absolutely love the coat with its pockets and the pants and top (well, it's a dress but my mini days are long gone so it would be a tunic for me.) Someday, when the planets align....

      I also didn't catch it last night but I am positive that last McCalls 4659 is a typo too because of the prices of other patterns in her shop. I will send out an email so that can be corrected. Etsy is kind of funky with the listing fields and sometimes when you think it has overwritten a price, it hasn't and you end up with a strange, long number sequence.

      Anyway, thank you again for your understanding. It is greatly appreciated!

  8. That was my 1950's pattern for $1600 it was, as Ally mentioned, a typo which often happens when you are listing late at night early morning.Thanks to Ally I have corrected it now. My apologies!!!

  9. Thank you ever so much “unknown” to alerting me to my typo error. I do work late at night, I have a husband who is ill and I watch grandkids during the day. Selling a pattern is not as easy as you think. One must account for all pattern pieces. Then one must take fairly clear pictures. Next one does their research online, year, price, and other interesting footnotes. I keep my prices reasonable and charge $5.00 Canadian for shipping. Then the fun part . Listing the pattern. Sometimes I get carried away as an avid sewer and describe how I would use the particular pattern, maybe some purchases have never thought of that idea. The expensive ones, well some people like the originals. Hope this clears up any misunderstanding. Cheers Christine


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