As I arrived for my weekly thrift-store scour, I saw the thing that most delights and alarms a thrifter: competition. A woman was standing over the pattern section (which was bulging), rifling through the patterns, basket beside her.
And peeps, her basket was full. Of patterns.
I checked out the rest of my usual spots—fabric, books, shoes—and wandered back. She was still there, still going through patterns. I hunted vainly through the bedsheets, but she was still there.
Finally, I gave up and went over and wriggled my way in beside her. She was mostly going through the ones already in her basket. I tried hard not to look at her basket, not wanting the pain of knowing what treasures I had just missed out on.
As I was sorting through the remaining patterns, another lady came and edged her way in beside us. This is a first ever, folks. I wasn’t even sure that anyone else *ever* bought the Value Village patterns—I had gotten practically complacent, frankly.
Anyway, despite getting the picked-over remains, I came home with a fairly massive haul. Not a lot of absolute gems, but some fun, quirky ones that I couldn’t pass up. And some more really cute kids’ clothes. The majority of the women’s patterns were in a size 6-8, however, which tempers my enthusiasm a little as that’s a fair bit of grading up. On the other hand, there was a man’s suit pattern (complete with the name of a designer I’ve never heard of), in a size 40 chest, which is my husband’s size—assuming we lived in some alternate universe where he would even remotely consider wearing a 70s-wide-lapel-bell-bottom suit.
I have definitely crossed a perilous threshold, my friends. I am now officially a pattern collector—someone who buys patterns merely to *have* them, even knowing she will likely never make such a pattern (boys suits, eg.) It just has to be the right vintage, the right style.
Well, at least they’re all cheap. And they take up less space than fabric. Now if only I can stay on the right side of the line leading to “pattern hoarder.”
I’m pretty sure she walked away with a basket full of forties and fifties patterns. In factory folds. With a 34″ bust. And probably this one, too.