Fashion Plates: DIY Sewing Pattern Wall Art

Fashion Plates: DIY Sewing Pattern Wall Art

Whenever I’m in a thrift store and I see a box or bin full of old sewing patterns, I can’t help but paw through them. Usually, I find regrettable patterns for 1980s-era dresses (think “Working Girl”) or early 1990s babydoll dresses and overalls (think “Blossom”).  Truly fashion that should never have been fashionable! But that all changed during one recent thrifting adventure when my upcycling eye spied some older patterns peeking out from a bin.

Vintage sewing patterns at the thrift store /

Looks very promising…

I went through them one by one until I had accumulated the best of the bunch (in my opinion)- all of them from the ‘50s,’60s, and one from the early ‘70s.

Vintage sewing patterns from the thrift store /

My selections!

Yes, I’ve previously played around with old sewing patterns…but that’s when I simply craved the patterned tissue paper within the envelopes. But this time…THIS TIME I wanted the envelopes themselves. Why?

To make wall art, of course! Simple, inexpensive wall art for a walk-in closet…the room of a child who just loves fashion …a sewing room…even a powder room. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Creating Vintage Fashion Wall Art

So, I of course nabbed some cheap-o picture frames from the thrift store, too- deciding that 8 x 10s would be a good size for what I had in mind.

Creating DIY Fashion wall art with thrifted vintage sewing patterns by Sadie Seasongoods /

Hurray for thrift store frames!

With patterns and frames in hand, I went through my stash of vintage bed sheets and pulled out a few that had a “Mod” fashion vibe.

Vintage bed sheets for repurposing and upcycling /

The perfect fabric backing for my wall art…

I deconstructed a picture frame, setting aside the glass pane to wash and the actual frame to paint. Then I trimmed down the cardboard backing (just a smidge on each side) and cut out a rectangle of bed sheet fabric larger than the cardboard, which I then ironed.

Let's begin!

Let’s begin!

I carefully folded the fabric over on one side and sponged on some watered-down Mod Podge to fuse the fabric to the cardboard. I did that on all four sides, pulling the fabric taut as I went along.

Creating DIY fashion art with vintage sewing patterns and Mod Podge /

Happy to see that Mod Podge was the right choice.

While the Mod Podge dried, I used my iron again and carefully used it on each pattern envelope. I knew they wouldn’t go totally smooth, but it gently pressed and flattened them. Then, I used more watered-down Mod Podge to attach the pattern envelope to my fabric-covered cardboard pieces.

Repurposed vintage sewing patterns as fashion wall art /

How perfect are those!!

The Big Reveal

When all was said and done- including spray-painting my frames in a glossy white- I reframed them under the original glass panes (which I washed!). Aren’t they stunning?

Upcycled vintage sewing patterns as fashion wall art /


Upcycled vintage sewing patterns as fashion wall art /

I love how these turned out.

I thought I’d put them in my Etsy shop, but I’m not sure I can part with them- I just love how they turned out (but I *DID* put my extra vintage sewing pattern envelopes in the shop if you want to make your own!). And there’s zero waste since I can recycle the pattern tissue paper (if I don’t save it to make flowers). I just love a net-zero project!

Craft on!


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  1. I adore your sewing pattern art! My mom is a seamstress and would love them. I’m thinking I could copy some of her patterns and use the copies. But I have to question you that you prefer 70’s fashion over…anything. 🙂

    • Ohhh I like 60s fashion more than ANYTHING…70s fashion makes me giggle, though. 😉

    • I love this idea. I have an apron pattern from the 40’s I bought at a Goodwill several years back. Its fragile but i would like to display it. I have to do this and find a couple more to hang on my love. You are very clever. I buy vintage sheets to and make cute blouses.

  2. Denise at Knothead's Landing says:

    Ummm, *raises hand timidly* (shut up, I CAN do timid) I’ve probably got quite a few, OK, a LOT of patterns from the 70’s stashed in boxes in my sewing/crafts/junque room. Some of them I actually used. I even made the hubs a hooded robe from a brown blanket from one of them. He looked like a monk. Didn’t act like one though. Nevermind…my kids are hollering TMI Mom! What does that mean? ; )

  3. I have a bunch of vintage patterns that I have never known what I could do with them. Great idea Sarah. I need some wall decor in my craft room these would be perfect and I love that you used vintage sheets rather than card stock. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm today. sb

  4. These are so cute, Sarah! I have a pile of patterns from the ’60s & ’70s from my mom’s collection. I’ll never sew with them but they would make really great art. Thanks for yet another awesome thrift store project. 🙂 And Happy Craft Month!

  5. I really like your creative use of fashion history!

  6. Sarah, this is such a great idea!! You really scored big on these patterns! The fabric you used to match the picture is perfect!! I have some old patterns I bought at a yard sale that are the cutest, now I know what to do with them!!

  7. mary scott says:

    So cute!!!

  8. Oh, I absolutely love this idea! And I also have many many vintage patterns. What a nice use for them! Great choices with the complementary fabrics, too.

  9. Woah, that’s a brilliant idea! I have quite a few old patterns I inherited form my nan and mu mum, all this sort of style. I kept them out of sentimentality but to make art from them – how lovely.

  10. This came at the perfect time. I was gifted 2 vintage boxes of patterns from a patient and we are in the process of moving into our dream home in 5 weeks where I will have a sewing studio. These will be perfect for decorating my new space! Thanks for sharing and for the idea!

  11. This is PERFECT for my sewing room decor! What an awesome idea! I buy these all the time at garage sales

  12. You always have the cutest ideas! I wish I had your creativity. Thanks so much for sharing at Throwback Thursday!

  13. Julie Henderson says:

    Sadie, I love your framed patterns! I actually did a close variation 4 yrs ago, for my sister. Found 2 toddler/child patterns from her birth yr, and framed them w/ a background matte of pattern pieces. I created some little caption strips which said, “A sister is SEW dear”. Anyhoo, I have a ton of pretty 50s, 60s, & 70s patterns, and I’m inspired by ya to frame some more of them. You rock! Blessings, Julie H.

  14. This is such a fun idea! Seriously, I think I recognize some of those patterns…:) Thanks for sharing this with us on Throwback Thursday~


  15. I love this idea, it is so colorful and unique.

  16. The wedding dress pattern is the one I used for my wedding dress — over 40 years ago! I still have it and can’t wait to frame it like yours — Thanks for this idea!

  17. Sheryle says:

    This is such a cute idea! Love your creativeness. As I took a closer look at the patterns, I realized I actually made the long dress, that really dates me doesn’t it? Lol I made one for my first prom n made another for a singing group I was in from school. It was a cute dress. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Dee Greyling says:

    Love your idea BUT would love a copy of pattern Simplicity 7120 that you framed!!! I live in South Africa……

  19. Sarah, These turned out so cute! Love the material you used! This is a wonderful way to display old patterns! Pinned to share. Thanks for linking up for Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  20. These are so darn cute ~ love how you paired them with the vintage sheets!

  21. I have patterns my grandmother used back in thee 30s and 40s so I am going to do this. I have also copied them, shrunk them and printed on card stock about 2×3 punched hole and used twine to make package gift cards. These are always received with joy.

  22. This is truly a darling idea. And, it brings back memories of when my mom would be at her sewing machine.

  23. Oh this is just too cute! 🙂 Love this look!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  24. What a clever idea for sewing room decor!

  25. Seriously, we were hot in the 80s and that mauve frame came from my first apartment!! 🙂

    Just playing with you. But really…the 80s were so fashionable.

    Thanks for joining Thoughts of home on Thursday. Your patterns make cute artwork!

  26. What a great way to decorate a sewing or craft room. I have so many of these vintage pattern packets.

  27. I made a mistake on my name. Please don’t publish my email!!!!!

  28. I just love this idea! Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party! Pinned & Shared. Hope to see you again soon.

  29. Now this is absolutely darling! I simply love the vintage fabric and patterns! You are incredibly clever to put the two together in a frame – pure perfection! 🙂

    So glad you were able to join Roses of Inspiration this week! Hugs!

  30. Thank you so much for linking this post up on #HomeMattersParty last week. It was picked as one of our feature posts. You can check it out at While you are there make sure to grab the I was Featured button for your sidebar so you can brag a little. Thanks for linking up and hope to see you link up again.

  31. Saw this on the #HomeMattersParty. This is such a great idea I want to go to thrift store right now.

  32. Those are adorable!! I always remember my Mom having those all around her craft table when I was little! So glad I saw this at the #HomeMattersParty

  33. Oh my! Such a great and clever idea. But, you know, I could have given you the same patterns for free! I’ve got a box of ‘vintage’ patterns that I’ve been thinking about donating to a thrift store. Maybe I ought to frame a couple before giving them away! 🙂

  34. How absolutely cool is this! I have my mothers sewing kit and there may be a few old patterns left in it. She loved to sew and would make a dress for me in the morning and I would wear it that night. I’m pretty sure she made a couple for me from pattern #7120. This brought back so many memories, thank you!

  35. Sarah, this is so cute and clever! I can’t wait to try it out with some vintage patterns that I picked up many moons ago.

    Thanks again for sharing at the Celebrate Your Story! Link Party.

  36. Sadie,
    I love this cute art. What a wonderful way for us “kids” who grew up in the 50s and 60s to repurpose our old patterns. Or, this is cute for anyone who sews. Especially if you have patterns you’ll never use again.

    I admire your creativity. Keep your wonderful blog coming!

  37. Our mom has tons of boxes of vintage sewing patterns. These are the perfect use for them! What a fun way to dress up a craft room. Thanks!

  38. Hello!! I wanted to let you know that your post has been chosen as a Feature post for the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party! Stop by tomorrow morning and see your post linked up and grab your Feature Button too!

  39. Good Morning!! I wanted to stop by and let you know that your post has been selected as a Feature Post for the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party!! Stop by this morning to see your post linked up and to grab your “Featured” button too!!

  40. Hi! I just looked at your pattern wall art — and was totally blown away! The pattern you show with the wedding dress is the one I used to make my own wedding dress in 1973! I do not have the pattern, the dress, or even the husband any more, but life is good and that sure brought back some memories!

  41. Very pretty and artistic and I love using and not wasting things! Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday!

  42. Great idea for a sewing room!

  43. What an amazing idea to use these in a frame and the vintage fabric as a background is giving them really the last touch! So cool and I love these for a walk in closet! I’m happy you shared them at Sweet Inspiration!!

  44. Fantastic, I have patterns from the f

  45. Love, love, love! I have some old patterns of my late grandmother’s. I am going to frame them just like this!! I have been holding onto a collection of vintage items, including an old apron, sewing patterns, old pair of Wiss pinking shears inn their original box, packets of free sewing needles from life insurance companies in Florida in the 1950’s. I hope to get these in a shadow box frame, and hang with my framed patterns in my laundry/sewing room- where my 30-year old Kenmore machine proudly rests on top of my great-grandmother’s antique Singer cabinet.

  46. I have many sewing patterns from the 60’s. They are items that I sewed then. This is a wonderful way to display them. I’ll be decorating my studio with them. Thanks for a terrific idea!

  47. Melissa Storms says:

    I just finished a couple wall pegs made from old wooden thread spools of different sizes. These would go with that whole look so perfectly. Thank you for sharing!


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  12. […] This project combines two cool things from the past- vintage sewing pattern packaging and vintage print fabric. The envelopes that vintage sewing patterns have great art on them and mounting them with vintage fabric really makes them stand out. Pop on over to Sadie Seasongoods for the tutorial on how to make vintage sewing pattern art. […]

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