Since 1998, VPLL has been the 'go to' source for historically accurate reproduction sewing patterns. We find our originals through private collections, estate sales, and even the internet. Once, I have the perfect vintage pattern in my happy little hands, it takes a fair amount of time and energy to give it a second life.
Depending upon the era, the available formats vary - blank sheets, magazine pages that need to be assembled, etc. But, regardless of how they arrive, all pieces are meticulously re-drafted with a pattern making program to ensure the proper period correct design. Modern notations like seam allowances, darts, notches, pleat line, etc., are added, so when it arrives in your happy little hands, it looks somewhat like a modern pattern.
To maintain period correct accuracy, no changes are made while transcribing the original directions and preparing artwork. You can always use a serger or add a zipper, but that is up to you.
Our original patterns are then stored with acid free paper and backing to (hopefully) preserve it's integrity. The rarer patterns are sent to the Archive at University of Rhode Island where they have an on-line catalog so everyone can access much of the information.
The entire process for bringing a pattern back to life takes about 2 weeks - it truly is a labor of love. And, yes, other than pattern testers, this is a one-woman studio.... patterns are printed in house, one at a time when you place your order.
I love to hear from my customers and I adore it when they send photos. Let me know if I can be of any assistance in your upcoming historical fashion endeavors.