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Topic: Ethical quandry: vintage pattern, to cut or not to cut?  (Read 4270 times)
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2008 07:13:19 PM »

Personally, I would cut the pattern and not worry about it. You aren't running a library, you don't have an obligation to preserve a pattern you bought for your personal use. Obviously, if you're wanting to make multiple dresses from the pattern, preservation is an issue. But you should feel perfectly fine with cutting into it if future copying or adjusting doesn't matter so much.
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2008 07:54:58 PM »

You know how old books used to be printed on much larger pieces of paper, and then the paper was folded, and bound into book form?  And then, to actually read the book, you'd have to take a knife or letter-opener and slice open the folds.  That's why some books have that funky edge.  Also, why some contemporary books have that funky edge, to make them look older.  Well, one day in my art history class, my professor was telling us how he chanced upon one of these books, uncut, in our library.  It was the book he was looking for, so of course he cut it open and read the passage he was wanting.  I can't explain it, but upon hearing that he'd cut those pages, something in my chest literally clenched.  I suppose it gets to a point, after so many decades of being preserved, purposefully or not, that something just becomes that little bit more special because of it.  It's why, after all, most people collect things to start with...old things, at least.  But then that's only some people.  There are many others who don't care at all, and a lot of others who collect old things in order to put them to the original use intended for them.  I think it's a combination of how people are raised, and how practical they are.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it, either way.  But I thought the story might interest you.   Smiley

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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2008 08:31:51 PM »

I'd like to add my 2 cents ... and a little story. When I was younger I was given a set of tiny Snoopy markers. I never used them. I kept them pristine for over 25 years until one day I see my daughter using them for a drawing. I gasped and felt a knot in my stomach as I thought of all the time I had saved them ... and then it hit me ... what a waste it would have been if someone hadn't used them. She was coloring so happily and loved the little Snoopy on them. I thought, how silly it had been to save them just because I didn't want to wreck them. I could have enjoyed using them long ago and there are lots more things that I have saved and now have used because why bother to buy stuff just to sit there so that it might grow in value? Isn't there value in actually enjoying what you buy? If you like the pattern, use it, even if you have to trace it but don't just leave it to collect dust. I often look for "vintage" patterns (and I use the word vintage loosely because before an item had to be at least 100 years old to be considered "vintage" now stuff from the 70's and 80's is even vintage ... geez!) and I buy them because I intend to use them. I trace some of the ones that have not been cut because I feel bad for cutting it but thank goodness for the ones already cut that I get that I don't have to stress about.
Anyways ... use it and enjoy it! Value is not just measured in $$$.
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2008 08:48:53 PM »

Now I feel a little ignorant.

I adore vintage patterns. I seek them out. I buy them.

I cut them.

And then I wear the finished product. This is why I adore them - because I want to wear them. Not because I want to save them for .... Huh?

Not once did I ever think "hmmmm, maybe I shouldn't cut this." It just never entered my mind. I mean, it's paper. For how many centuries are people going to save it before it disintegrates completely?

You can do the tracing thing, though that never entered my mind either. Ooooops.

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« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2008 09:00:20 PM »

Personally, I would trace it.  Vintage patterns typically have different sizing and ease that current designs might not have - this way if you have fitting issues or if you gain or lose weight, you'll always have the original pattern to go back to (since it's vintage, the likelihood that you'll find another might be tough).

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« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2008 10:50:40 PM »

I often look for "vintage" patterns (and I use the word vintage loosely because before an item had to be at least 100 years old to be considered "vintage" now stuff from the 70's and 80's is even vintage ... geez!) and I buy them because I intend to use them.

In the collecting world the rule of thumb is anything at least 20 years old is considered vintage and anything over 100 years old is deemed an antique.

I collect a lot of stuff (old books for one) and I realize there are a lot of things that shouldn't be handled or used because they are a piece of history. But then there are things like the Tonner Wizard of Oz dolls I've managed to get hooked on. A lot of doll collectors I know never even take their dolls out of the box, and if they do they dress them and put them on display. What the heck is the joy in having a doll if you can't touch the dern thing? I 'play' with my dolls and I don't care that the value goes out the window.

The point to my ramblings is this, using collectibles is a very personal choice, and I think whatever one feels like doing with their patterns is their prerogative. (But I do like the idea of using freezer paper!) If it brings you joy to open a pattern and cut along its lines, then by golly get to cuttin'.

Let us know what you decide, eh?


« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2008 07:14:19 AM »

If they were mine, I'd trace them Cheesy

But that's only partly because I'd feel bad about cutting them up - it's also because my figure resembles a pear and not (for example) Kate Moss. Also, it's true what people have said about vintage patterns having different sizing! It's worth it to check your measurements against the table the patterns have on the back of the envelope (if they have a table, otherwise you have to check the pattern itself, which can be a bit of a... challenge.)

And of course if you trace instead of cut them, you can make the same pattern in different sizes, either for yourself or somebody else!

You can also get reusable transfer paper and one of those pricking wheels, and trace the pattern directly on the fabric. No need to cut the pattern or buy freezer paper/transparent plastic!

« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2008 02:49:24 PM »

I can see both sides. I think that if it were me and I were a "collector" and a user, I would find some way to unfold them carefully and have them copied, then you could use the pattern, but you wouldn't have to cut the original. Who knows, they may be worth alot of money one day.
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2008 04:45:55 PM »

I also buy tons of vintage patterns - and almost all of mine are already cut. I think it makes it way easier, I hate dealing with those huge sheets of fragile paper.

Also, I may be wrong but aren't most patterns from that era only for one size? If so you aren't losing anything but extra blank paper by cutting it.

Most of these cut vintage patterns I have were cut by their original owners back fifty or more years ago, and I am still enjoying them today, so cutting it won't necessarily ruin it for future generations!
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« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2008 07:13:25 PM »

I would personally transfer them onto newsprint or something similar... using tracing paper or transferring w/ charcoal or something similar. I tend to do things like this anyways because I'm paranoid about cutting too small and then not being able to use it.  Wink

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