Vintage 1940s plus-size sewing pattern catalogue

A while back I found a very tattered old mid-1940s pattern catalogue at an antiques centre. What was unusual about it was that it featured outsize fashions, something you hardly ever see. I paid a bit too much for it considering the condition, but I balanced it out with a few bargains elsewhere!

It’s a Leach-Way catalogue, a British company that seems to have been making patterns from the 1930s. You can find them now and then on eBay. All these patterns are for bust size 40″ to 50″, about a 14-24 in today’s clothing sizes. And they are about 5281% more flattering and lovely than nearly everything on offer in the plus-size market today, even in modern pattern catalogues. There are plenty of dresses, with complementary suits, blouses, skirts and coats. If you’re handy with patterns it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out how to construct them, especially if you have a few vintage patterns already. You can always trace and scale up a vintage pattern, too. Here’s a very useful tutorial: How to re-size a pattern.

I’ve put the whole catalogue into a PDF, it’s 27MB. A few pages are a little blurry on one corner or tilted off-center – sorry about that, but the disintegrating condition of the catalogue made it hard to scan properly. Download it here: Leach-Way Outsize pattern catalogue.

Cover of outsize fashion catalogue

1940s vintage plus size dress patterns

1940s vintage plus size dress patterns

1940s vintage plus size dress patterns

1940s vintage plus size dress patterns

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 10:01 pm and is filed under fashion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Vintage 1940s plus-size sewing pattern catalogue”

  1. Gillian Ann

    Thank you so much for the chance to download this amazing 1940s plus-size sewing catalogue. The designs are beautiful and have given me lots of ideas about which style I’ll be using for having the dresses made up at the local tailors.
    All the best

  2. elise

    Thanks so much . Sewing for the retro plus size gal’s time has come !

  3. pennie

    I have put this 1950′s patternmaking book online to download here is the link for Dressmaking at Home from Autrailia.

  4. pennie

    The ulitmate patternmaking books that can be made in any size.1936 and 1938 books complete with sizing tools

  5. angie.a

    Wow, this is beyond awesome! Great find. Thank you for the pdf! :)

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