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CynicalGirl is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Taking a break from Etsy for an indefinite period of time.

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Jul 27, 2017

Taking a break from Etsy for an indefinite period of time.

Mary - CynicalGirl - Vintage and Modern Sewing Patterns

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Mary - CynicalGirl - Vintage and Modern Sewing Patterns


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About CynicalGirl

Sales 5,859
On Etsy since 2010

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Making it Unique - Making it Vintage

I have always been fascinated with the process of creating sculptural form from a flat surface. Garments, with their tucks and folds, imposing dimension to enhance the figure, is to my mind one of the most amazing engineering feats known to women (and men). I have never studied draping or flat pattern design. Thank goodness sewing patterns take the guesswork out of clothing construction.

Since high school, in the 70's, I have been an avid collector of vintage housewares, furniture and clothing, with a special interest in Mid-Century Modernism. That period, that spans the 40's and 50's, brought forth designs that were elegant, dignified and what are now considered classic.

As quality vintage garments become harder to obtain, the patterns to recreate these fashions has not. What started as a search to repurchase some of my favorite patterns from the 60's and 70's, has become an obsession. After witnessing thrift shop workers dump boxes of patterns into a dumpster, I started my quest to rescue these icons of women's history one pattern at a time. I'm up to around 20,000 and going strong.

I blog over at It's a blog dedicated to bringing to light some of the overlooked aspects of fashion and women's history, and sewing in particular. I also use my blog to share patterns. I am constantly finding odd patterns from the past that I cannot part with and so have them available to anyone to download for free. To my mind the most wonderful thing I have found while sorting through the patterns I have accumulated, is how often these were used and shared. I continue the tradition of sharing at Zips and Darts.

Besides rescuing patterns I am also an artist. My training was primarily in drawing and painting but sewing and fibers have always been my first love and have worked their way back into my artwork. Since a child I have always pursued drawing and craft as my preferred activities. My first weaving loom was gifted to me from Santa when I was 7 years old. I have woven fabrics, sewn quilts and garments, spun wool and even taught handspinning and natural dyeing at our local weavers guild. As a fine artist I have had many solo shows and had my work featured in exhibitions all across the US as well as Europe, South America, Korea and Japan.

In addition to fiber arts, I am an avid gardener and conservator of nature, providing habitat for all manner of species that wander onto our little 5 acre paradise in the middle of the cornfields.

Shop members

  • Mary Behrens

    Owner, My Shop Is Run With An Army Of One - Me.

    I am an artist, born and raised in Milwaukee, living in the middle of Iowa for the past 20+ years with my writer/designer husband on a secluded acreage with our collections of objects and animals both wild and tame.

Shop policies

Last updated on May 9, 2022
Thanks for popping in and looking around at CynicalGirl. This shop houses vintage and newer sewing patterns. I have a huge inventory and am constantly adding more patterns to my shop. Don't find what you are looking for? Please ask. I'm always happy to assist.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Visa Mastercard American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
All sales are considered final. I do not accept returns.

For orders that are returned for insufficient address or not claimed at customs, I will contact the customer and offer to reship the order with the customer paying for additional shipping costs. No refunds will be offered.

Once an order has shipped it can not be cancelled or refunded.

Cancelled orders that have not been shipped will be refunded.

Items lost in the mail and confirmed by USPS tracking will be refunded.

If you have any questions regarding my policies please contact me prior to making your purchase. My goal is to protect your purchase as best I can so that it is delivered safely and in a timely manner.
I accept PayPal and Credit Card payments. I will also accept a postal money order as payment. When received, I will ship the item. For items not paid for within a reasonable amount of time, I reserve the right to cancel the transaction and restock the item.
I ship patterns from my shop as a First Class Parcel. My patterns are placed in a resealable poly bag and shipped in an envelope with a cardboard backer to prevent bending. The shipping rates are slightly higher due to the rigid mailer. I do not ship my patterns as First Class Letter for safety reasons. I want to be sure that the pattern you purchase will arrive in the same condition that it left my shop. For larger orders and heavy fabrics, I will do my best to ship the most cost effective way without compromising the safety of your purchase. I will combine shipping on multiple purchases to save you money.

Once an item is paid in full it will be shipped via USPS Mail. My shipping charges are for USPS First Class postage but heavier items, such as fabric may be calculated using Parcel Post. International orders over 4 pounds will ship via USPS Priority Mail. Orders are shipped within 24 - 48 hours or the next business day. All items ship using the Etsy address provided when you check out. Please check your address for accuracy before completing your purchase.

***** International Customers

Please note that shipping First Class International Mail may take up to 6 weeks or longer due to customs delays. If you need your order faster please choose the Priority option.

Import duties, VAT taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are the buyer's responsibility. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing. Avalara Sales Tax software will calculate your VAT fees for free: Enter your location ad the program will insert the current percent of VAT for your location.

I do not mark merchandise values below value or mark items as "gifts" - US and International government regulations prohibit such behavior.
Additional policies and FAQs
My patterns are the original vintage (or newer) patterns, not reproduction copies or PDFs. Photos are of the actual pattern you will receive. The first image is edited for clarity. Most of my patterns and fabrics are vintage and will have normal wear. Please keep this in mind when assessing the item's condition. I try to describe every item in detail, noting any irregularities so that you can make an informed decision and there are no surprises when my item arrives. As computer monitors differ, colors may also vary slightly. My home is smoke-free but because my patterns are collected from many sources, I cannot verify that they have never been exposed to cigarette smoke. I will, if detectable, mention any odors in my descriptions. Please contact me with any questions before purchasing items if you are unsure.

Smoke Free Environment.

To learn how to successfully enlarge a vintage pattern that is too small, download this free tutorial

In the 40's, 50's and 60's the USDA published many informational fitting and tailoring booklets that, although not applicable to many of today's fashions, might be helpful for sewing with vintage patterns. If you are interested in viewing of these publications, please visit my blog