Early Sewing Patterns
Paper sewing patterns were first manufactured in the middle of the 19th century. The first paper patterns were designed by Ellen Curtis Demorest. Starting in 1860, these patterns were sold through a magazine, Mme. Demorest’s Mirror of Fashion.
The American tailor Ebeneezer Butterick was the first to create a graded sewing pattern in 1863. It was his idea to use tissue paper for the mass production and sale of sewing patterns. The Butterick Publishing Co. was also the first company to introduce an enlarged and detailed instruction sheet, which they called a “Deltor”.
From the time of the instroduction of the tissue pattern, through World War II, most commercial tissue patterns were pre-cut, with notches and drill holes for tailor’s markings. Until after WWII, most patterns were blank tissue with the notches and holes, but in the late 1940s almost all companies switched over to printed patterns. Multi-sized patterns (with more than one size graded and appearing on a single tissue pattern) debuted in the 1970s.