William Jennings Demorest and Ellen Louise Demorest began the home sewing pattern industry in 1860 by holding fashion shows in their homes and selling the sewing patterns. This was the beginning of the Mme. Demorests’ Emporium of Fashion. They published a magazine called Mirror of Fashion which sold hundreds of patterns.
Ebenezer Butterick launched the The Butterick Company in 1863 to create heavy cardboard templates for children’s frocks. Members of his family cut and folded the first patterns that were sold from their home. Manufacturing began in 1866 for women’s fashions. They began The Delineator in 1873. Their patterns started as unprinted tissue paper folded and pinned to instructions sheets. At this time there was no sleeve to hold the pattern. In the early 1920s they began the “Deltor” which used the first three and last three letter of Delineator. In 1948, they purchased two new presses specially designed to print markings directly onto the pattern tissue.
James McCall, a Scottish tailor, established the McCall Pattern Company in 1870 in New York City. Patterns were unprinted until 1919, when they started printing information directly onto the pattern pieces. In 1932 they started printing full color illustrations on their pattern envelopes. This is the only company to print the dates on their envelopes, which makes it easy to date their patterns.
Vogue Pattern Service began in 1899, as a result of Vogue Magazine publishing a once weekly pattern feature. In 1909 CondÃÂ© Nast bought Vogue. As a result, Vogue Patten Company was formed in 1914, and in 1916 they were sold in department stores. In 1961 CondÃÂ© Nast entered in a licensing agreement with the Butterick Company.
Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc. started producing patterns in 1927. Their goal was to produce an easy-to-ready, lower priced pattern. They were one of the fastest growing pattern companies, opening offices in Canada, London, Australia, and several in the United States. Their patterns are sold in over 60 countries. Their unprinted patterns ended in 1946, and were all printed thereafter.
DuBarry patterns were manufactured by Simplicity from 1931-1940 exclusively for F. W. Woolworth Company.
Hollywood Pattern Company was started by CondÃÂ© Nast in 1932. They were known for printing photos of Hollywood stars on some of their patterns, quickly making them very popular. They continued production through the end of World War II.
The New York Pattern Company started in 1932 and continued until the early 1950s. They were unique in that the pattern sleeves had drawn characters rather than photos and the paper used was non-glossy.
Advance began manufacturing patterns in 1933, which was sold exclusively at J. C. Penney Company. The company continued through 1966 until it was sold to Puritan Fashions.