Thursday, April 17, 2014


FEATURED SHOP:  MRS. DEPEW 



                Working in My Studio                  


Hi, My Name is Anna I live in Seaside, CA. My husband is in the Air Force so this changes every few years. I stumbled into pattern selling/ design quite by accident. It started as a bit of a hobby to entertain me when the Air Force shipped my husband and me to icy Norway for 4 years. I couldn't find work there - a French degree being as useless as you could imagine in a Nordic country - and so spent hours and hours playing in my sewing
room. To help me stay busy, my dear late Mama sent me care packages full of vintage patterns and fabrics from her antique shop. It kept me sane, and inspired. My mother owned an Antique Shop when I was a child. I've been selling vintage since I was about 12, using my allowance to buy great vintage things and sell them in my Mama's antique shop. I opened my shop on Etsy 4 years ago. 
Me working with Vinnie the cat in his cubby behind my chair
My Studio Companion, Butters

After a year or two, my growing collection of vintage sewing patterns reached a critical mass and I opened my shop MrsDepewVintage on Etsy to thin it out a bit.. That was successful enough but what I heard most often from customers was the regret that there weren't many options for reproductions. (I know we've all gotten that email from a customer - asking if by any chance we made a copy of that great pattern that just sold). Not wanting to step on any copyrighted toes, I designed my first sewing pattern - a 1950's inspired beach bra top. It was such a success as an instant download (Burda patterns being the only instant download pattern source at the time) that I just kept going from there! I started doing my research and then started offering a few reproductions not long after. The vintage patterns in my shop sell just as well as my vintage inspired patterns and many customers are happy to find both in one place.

Being a PDF seller is a bit harder than it sounds, that is, if you want to do it right. I think one of the things that sets me apart (from some, not from all) is that I do extensive research into the copyright/ public domain status of all of my pattern/ e-books. In many cases where the copyright waters have been murkier, I have acquired permissions to use those items. What might surprise readers the most is that I'm not in it for the money. My husband and I live simply and don't need much so I'm not in a mad dash to produce as many PDF's as possible. My major motivation for these items has more to do with growing up in an antique shop. I saw so many beautiful items over the years destroyed by people who didn't know any better, or by time despite the best efforts of collectors. More than anything, I want these beautiful sewing patterns and rare booklets to survive and to be loved by new generations who appreciate the art of hand-made. (I can remember one pattern in particular, rare and beautiful, literally disintegrating
in my hands as tried to unfold it, and breaking down into tears like a crazy person because I was sure that might have been the only one of it's kind left). I'm passionate about protecting these treasures and am so glad every day that I get to do this as my day job!


You can find me here too:


Blog: A Few Threads Loose (
http://afewthreadsloose.blogspot.com/) - you might especially enjoy my semi-regular series called Sew Expensive that features vintage patterns that have sold for surprising sums of money!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mrs-Depew-Vintage/169379143109993?ref=br_rs
Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/afewthreads/
Website: 
Mrsdepew.com

Please feel free to use the following coupon code for 15% off any order from our Etsy shop!
PATTERBLOG
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By: Mary Beth, RetroMonkeys


10 comments:

  1. Awesome! Love your patterns Anna. And your graphics are wonderful too!

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  2. You have a wonderful shop and love your patterns!!

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  3. If only my office looked even half that tidy! My sewing machine won't even fit!

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  4. I love both your vintage and reproduction patterns!

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  5. Enjoyed getting to know you better. lovely shop,lovely patterns.

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  6. I love your explanation of "why" you create PDF files. Preserving history is so hard in this throw away / buy new era that we live it.

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  7. I so agree with you about preservation. The real thrill for me, with patterns and with other vintage finds, is not the money (like you say), but finding a fabulous old item just the right new home. I cringe when a thrift store tells me, "Oh, we throw all the patterns we get away." One store years ago told me they used them to wrap breakables. I'm sure there are very few 1930s evening gown patterns getting trashed in these lots, but it's such a bad policy, especially when you consider that the people that are being told to do this probably wouldn't know a 2010 pattern from a 1910 pattern. And for that matter, why trash the 2010 pattern? I enjoyed getting to know about you in this post, and I love your shop. Keep up the good work!

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  8. Thanks everyone! It's so lovely to hear form all of you. I was so glad to be in the post this month. I have really enjoyed the other features and getting to know a bit about all of you, too! I think that's my favorite part about being a member of this team - the real sense of community, or even a sense of family sometimes.

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  9. A lovely feature...and I do love your blog, too, which I've now bookmarked. Sweet sewing room--I have serious sewing room envy since mine is the dining room table!

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