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For your next step, we recommend the vintage patterns overview written by Vintage Fashion Guild members Karen Gray and Elizabeth Bramlett.
It's an easily digested summary of the history of sewing patterns and a good introduction to the important pattern companies.
For many years it was the only book available, and you still can track down a copy for quick, hard-copy reference.
Which brings us to one basic precept of collecting anything: Buy what you love, and buy the best example you can find and afford.
Estate sales, auctions, even garage sales can be sources of wonderful patterns -- if you have the time and the patience.
Happily, the number of vintage sewing patterns available online has never been greater -- although you may have to spend more time looking.
There are over 40,000 vintage patterns cataloged as of March 2011.
And while they're not for sale, the entries may include a link to an online shop that does have it.