Sunday, August 25, 2013

Facile Patterns

Hello one and all! I hope you've been having a pleasant week?

Last week I had a rather full mind posting often, but this week I decided to sew and let the blog breath a little. 

But anyway I'm back and in the mean time I've received these lovely Australian patterns from Bella's Vintage Affair - (She has a great floral Oilcloth rain coat for sale at the moment!)

Fitted dress with pleat opening from waist

Maternity dress

Shirt dress with long or short sleeves

Dress with princess seams

Drop waist dress with pleated skirt
These patterns are from January 1973 and are multi-size - which is great if you want to sew for a few different people as the patterns go from extra small to large. 

The pattern company and origins are a mystery. There are a few mentions of them on eBay, but the real clue as to what company these patterns came from lies in the message on the inside of the pattern 

Fashions Change. And children grow. With bewildering speed. Yet FACILE keeps your family fashionable - and up-to-the-minute elegant all year round - on a budget

For every three months, FACILE brings you a new range of 50 exciting family patterns, computer programmed to fit any figure. You select an many - or as few - as you wish for the incredibly low price of 99c for each pattern

There are adult and children's styles. All of them modern. All or them practical. And remember - childrens patterns grow with the child. FACILE is family outfitting - at fantastic cost savings

From my guess, there may have been some kind of catalogue or order form that came out every 3 months and you simply chose which ones you liked. 

The Facile patterns company was situated in or around Clayfield in Queensland - I would ask my mum if she remembered them, but she grew up in New Zealand and I don't think Facile stretched that far over the Tasman. 
I also searched the Queensland Library records, but alas nothing has been documented there either. 

So to my Australian friends - have a dig through your mums patterns and if you find one, make sure you keep a tight hold of them as they are not very easily found!

I also got this pretty Maudella Pattern - I love the sketchy style of the illustration and those two dollybirds look like their ready for a night out in their matching dresses. Maudella patterns eventually became New Look Patterns in the 1980's so you know if you pick one up, they are genuine vintage.

And here is the current progress on my red drop-waist dress! The instructions are very tricky (again Burdastyle, whats the go?) so I had to "translate" them into my own sewing language which is really more like the kind of wording in the Simplicity or Vogue patterns. 

Do you often find pattern instructions a little tricky to follow? 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend all! Mine is very close to finishing. 
We've had some lovely weather and a visit from 2 naughty wasps who decided to come inside the house. We trapped them between the glass and screen sliding doors, but they took a long time to find their way out again. Poor dears... 

Take care! 
Cat xo


  1. Hello Cat ,
    I can't wait to see your next drop-waist dress !
    I like the colored front cover of Facile patterns .
    I really love the Maudella dresses and it gives to me an idea to match purple and lime green most often .

    1. thanks! I love purple and lime green though i think i would get funny looks if i wore it to work!

  2. Looking forward to seeing this.

  3. I hadn't heard of Facile patterns before, I've got a few Maudella ones but I didn't know that they later became New Look. Your dress looks great so far! I often find patterns tricky to follow and often just refer to my sewing books rather than the pattern instructions.

    1. i hadn't either! The things you find in this world...

      usually i follow intuition with crappy instuctions, but if its something new i try not to be too fancy, but once you get going, you can kind of fill in the blanks easily

  4. Hello, dear Catherine! As you might expect, I'm totally in the dark about sewing. However, as a man, I appreciate it when women dress in feminine styles and colors such as those presented in this post. I especially like the sketchy illustrations of the Maudella Pattern and the yellow-green and raspberry colors - gorgeous!

    August has been a month of blistering heat and torrential rain here in Central Florida but at least the hurricane season has been kind so far. I can relate to your story about the wasps. Whereas most people would merely swat or spray poison on the invading insects, you chose to help them escape to freedom. That's exactly what I would have done, dear friend, and I applaud you for being kind to creatures great and small.

    1. oh yes, the Hurricanes haven't been that big this year, hopefully they stay right down and far away for you.

      As fpr my kindness to scary wasps, Im worried if a spray the wasps and fail, they might come back! haha so its more for fear of retribution that i let them go and then spray the whole of the door frame so they don't build a nest!

  5. I have never come across these facile patterns before! I would expect them to have made it to our fair shores, but if they did I have not spotted them. Shall keep my eyes peeled, however, although I need more patterns like a hole in the head!
    I have a couple of Maudella ones, from Vix. I've made a wee jacket and a frock, and I simply MUST get my sewing mojo running so I can revisit those! I'm swamped with alterations and repairs, not to mention 2 unfinished frocks, and I feel a bit overwhelmed!!! Dammit!
    Instructions drive me NUTS. If I can avoid them, I will...which makes for some rather organic sewing at times!!! Despite formal training, I am very lazy and cheat like a bastard!
    Which of these patterns will you make first, once you finsih that delightful red number?! XXX

    1. oh i have a big repair pile too but i just pretend it inst there! haha that way i can get on with the fun part of sewing new stuff!

      organic sewing?! the new trendy seamstress fad?

      I think i might sew the white dress, or the Maudella one at some point, but i have a black and gold chiffon dress lined up next!

  6. I actually found two Facile patterns in Frenchs Forest St Vinnies some time back - I should dig them out of my vintage pattern pile. Yes, I do find pattern instructions to be tricksy - thank god for youtube and online tutorials! Looking forward to seeing how your dress turns out.

    1. Oh cool! You'll have to show me if you take some photos!
      Yes! gosh i have been saved by youtube so many times, but if no one has made the same thing before, its still lots of guessing!

  7. Your dress already looks so good,
    it will probably turn out amazing. :)
    I wish I could sew, my grandma wants to teach
    me how to do it, we already bought a pattern
    and some fabric, I hope it will work out. ;)

    1. Thank you! You should totally take up your grandmas offer! sewing is so fun once you get the hang of it. It can sometimes be frustrating, but just be patient and ask for advice whenever you're confused and hopefully you'll have your first garment made soon!

  8. I have never heard from facile patterns before. I like the dress in red :-)

  9. eeek! Just looking at those pattern sleeves make my knees go a bit weak! I adore the top you've made and can't wait to see the drop waisted dress.
    I've a few of those Maudella patterns, I must get cracking on one! x

    1. Thanks! they're from 1973, so i thought you would like them!

  10. Lovely. Thanks for sharing the beautiful retro illustrations. Lovely shapes and colours.

  11. Hi Catherine, cute post. I found you while I was researching Facile patterns (I still don't know much!). Here is another pattern image for your collection:
    Cheers, Kate

    1. Hi there! thanks for sharing that image. The suit is so cute especially with her smart hat! Do you plan to make it up?


Thanks for your comment! Please do not comment anonymously - feel free to use the Name/URL option instead as I’d still love to hear from you xo

*Spam comments will be swiftly deleted, so please do not bother