Vintage sewing patterns: children’s clothes and quilts

Vintage sewing patterns are cool. Not only do they give us a link to the past, many of the patterns are classic and can still be used today. Children’s clothes and quilts are one area of vintage patterns were this holds true. However, there are several things to keep in mind before purchasing the fabric and sewing notions for a kid’s pattern.


Copyrighted Image

Vintage Toddler Pattern

Size matters. Today’s sizes are not the same as they were even 10 years ago. Before you purchase a pattern for children’s clothing, take your child’s measurement. You should measure hips, chest, waist, and height. Make sure that they are wearing the same type of undergarments that they would be wearing with the item in the pattern. For example, girls might be wearing tights, or little ones may be wearing diapers or training pants. By taking measurements this way, you will get the correct size.


Buttons and other potential hazards are something to be aware of. Items that are smaller in diameter than a U.S. quarter, and shorter than your thumb, pose a choking hazard to small children. Vintage sewing patterns did not take this into account. Make sure that buttons, and embellishments will not pose a hazard if they come loose. Things to look for are buttons, zipper pulls, using beads for eyes, hook and eye closures, and small sewn on items made from felt or cloth.


Older quilt patterns like the one shown here are a great way to make a unique item for your child or grandchild. Make sure that any small items used as play pieces are large enough to prevent choking. Never leave a child unattended with small items around. This particular quilt is not quite large enough for a twin bed, but it would fit a toddler bed.


Fun on the Farm copyrighted image The Granny Squared

Fun on the Farm is a quilt pattern from the 1970s. It was published by Good Housekeeping.

Quilts and bedding are another issue. Measure the mattress that you want to use the quilt on. You may find that vintage quilt patterns have smaller measurements than today’s beds. This is because most modern beds have pillow tops and are thicker than older mattresses. Plan to add additional borders to account for the larger size of today’s beds.


Do you love vintage patterns as much as I do? Drop me a line and let me know.


  1. Loretta Morrison

    Do you know where I can get the Good housekeeping fun on the farm quilt pattern?

    1. fusgeyer (Post author)

      Sorry, I have no idea of another source. I only had one copy for sale on my etsy shop.


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