Hot! 1958 Simplicity Counter Book


Yesterday, while visiting one of my thrifting haunts, I found this rare gem: a Simplicity counter catalog from March 1958!! These are incredibly rare to find (I have found) and when I have located them at flea markets, they are usually way more than I want to spend. I was able to snag this one for $40, which I consider a great deal.

It's 900 pages (!!!) of glorious pattern illustrations. Most all of them are women's patterns, which is fine with me. Other than the binding which could use some tape, every page is in glorious condition. No yellowing, no ripped pages. If I had the stomach to remove the pages, they would make awesome prints. 


Anyway, I wanted to share this with all of you guys since it's so rare to be able to have a record of all patterns from a specific season.

I'm planning to take photos of every one of the patterns in the catalog. In fact, I already photographed the first section "Junior/Misses/Teens." I uploaded them all to a Flickr group for you guys to browse.


Now, here's my request for you guys. If you have some free time, please help populate the Vintage Pattern Wiki with these patterns. I use the wiki all the time and would love to provide these to folks searching for a specific pattern from this group.




Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. WOW! Thanks so much for posting them all on flickr! This is amazing!

  2. Drool 2072……………….what a great found and thanks for posting them!

  3. When I first started getting to a point where my sewing skills were good enough to think about making my own vintage outfits, I thought it would be awesome if I could find some vintage pattern catalogs for design inspiration. I had about as much luck as you seem to have had. I can’t wait to go home and start poring over these pics. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh my, what an incredible find! I can’t wait to spend some time browsing through your photos!

  5. YAY! What a find!!! I’m doing the same with a 1938 counter book!! LOVE it!

  6. Oh Wow… What a bargain..
    thankyou so much for downloading them to flickr, for us to look at.. I know..I will spend hours looking at them..Oh how fun..Again,thankyou for sharing.

  7. Oh Wow! I feel a pinterest spree coming on

  8. This is amazing, and also I think the woman on the cover looks like a blonde version of Mena!

  9. Thanks so much for the scans! You’re a gem to put so much effort into the vintage sewing community. I have several catalogs from the 70s but I am waiting for my scanner to be replaced.
    You could also remind people to put up images of their finished garments as well! I find those to be far more important when I am browsing the wiki.

  10. Thank you for being so generous to share! It is always so thrilling to find a vintage treasure like this!
    Happy sewing,

  11. Thats an amazing find! A part of history right there!

  12. It’s wonderful, and the terminology is great too – lost information which will be now retained. Thank you.

  13. Oh I particularly love the 1957-1958 fashions. Thanks for posting all these flikr photos. It’s \great inspirations. Don’t you wish you could still buy these patterns?

  14. Wonderful! What a find! Thanks for sharing.

  15. this is really amazing. thank you for sharing!

  16. Oh wow what a find. I’m so glad you’ve put it on Flickr. Thanks Mena

  17. Wow!!!!!! Thank you for posting these in flckr!!!! I love the inspiration! It’s great to see the illistrations that they did for these patterns. If someone wanted to draft their own pattern of these vintage styles, seeing these drawings, which show off perfectly the design detail helps a lot! I wonder why it is that back then, all of these pattern drawings showed very stylish fabric choices for the patterns and now in present times pattern companies can use some very tacky fabric choices for their pattern envelopes! I find myself many times forcing myself to look past the sample of the garment on the pattern envelope, and remember that a different fabric choice will change the garment completely!

  18. Thanks for posting these! I had so much fun looking at them. Simplicity, please bring some of these patterns back!!

  19. GREAT find–that price was fantastic for something like this! I have a slightly later (1964) Vogue counter book, but it’s nowhere nearly as nice condition wise. Thank you so much for sharing all this inspiration–off to browse (and drool! ;)…

  20. Oooh! Nice find! How fun!

  21. I could not be more jealous of anyone right now. What an amazing find :o)

  22. See the pattern book you found for $40.00 a 1958 issue
    Goodness – In about 1945 when I was 13 I was sewing and you could ask at the counter if they had any pattern books for sale .They did go fast but sold for 50 cents each .
    of couse patterns were 25 cents going up over the years
    Time marches on it just was a memory seeing that book

  23. Wow, that is an amazing find!

  24. I saw a counter book from the 1930s a while back at a vintage apparel shop, and it was as you say waaay expensive. Still I wish I had it for inspiration.

  25. oh my gosh, i am so jealous of you! i wish i had that book so all of those clothes could be my wardrobe! (i love 50’s and 60’s fashions, i’d wear them instead of the clothes today!)