Girl Scout Sewing Patterns
Making an official Girl Scout uniform from a pattern has almost always been an option. The earliest uniforms were most certainly made at home or by the neighborhood seamstress. Official buttons and labels have been available at various times to make the uniforms complete, along with the fabric.
In 2011 JOANN Fabrics joined with Girl Scouting to explore and promote the many needle-crafts, including sewing. They offered instructions to reproduce the 1912 Girl Scout uniform for free.
JOANN continues with craft ideas and 15% off on certain supplies for Girl Scouts.
Click the button to download a Word doc. of the 5 page JOANN 1912 Girl Scout Uniform flyer
The last year for khaki fabric
Official Girl Scout buttons were only on loan! It was expected that the buttons would be returned if the girl left.
Official Girl Scout fabric had a "watermark" on the reverse side. This came on in later years in an attempt to create a uniformed look in the various shades of khaki.
The May Manton Fashion Company, NY NY
had the manufacturing contract as early as 1928 (and likely before) and ended around 1932.
Butterick became the pattern company in the fall of 1932.
By the mid-1930's and 1940's there was more emphasis on "ready-to-wear" uniforms and less on home-made uniforms. Patterns, fabric and notions were still offered, but now also included materials for the new Brownie, Senior and Mariner programs.
Interestingly, although they offered the Mariner fabric, white braid and white buttons - they never offer a sewing pattern!
Butterick 1700, alternate Brownie pattern sleeve
same pattern number as above, but the style has changed
The Brownie figure transfer was included with the new Advance Patter #780
Butterick 93 (below) & Butterick 91 (right)
The Advance Pattern Company 1953 - 1962
Beginning in 1963 the whole concept of making your own uniform changed with the latest pattern company - Modes Royale.
You could no longer buy just the pattern, you had to buy all the fabric, notions and pattern for one price. The patterns no longer had sleeves, but were just fold and placed with the other items. Buttons were the only exception. You could purchase separate card set of Girl Scout buttons for replacements.
In 1973 the Girl Scout uniforms changed again. The GS catalogs note that the fabric is available (order directly from NES) but made no mention of sewing patterns, except for the adult uniform. It may have just been an error, because by the 1974 GS catalog sewing patterns were offered for all levels of Girl Scouting.
Girl Scout Uniform sewing patterns were also sold through local newspapers in the "Ladies" section or the classified ads, under the names of Marian Martin or Anne Adams.
In the 1980's - 1990's the Girl Scout Uniform sewing patterns were still available, but were often in non-descript or even mostly blank sleeves. Adult uniform designer Halston's fabric and patterns were not available.
on top of pattern sleeve
on top of pattern sleeve
Around 1997 Girl Scouts of the USA teamed up with Simplicity Patterns. Gone were the plain pattern sleeves! The Brownie pattern went through a small design change (and 2 number changes) and the Junior pattern went through just a number change. The Daisy Girl Scouts were ignored during this Simplicity adventure. However - since 1984 Daisy Girl Scouts had always had the option of the "Tunic Home Sewer Kit" that was mentioned, but not shown, in the GS catalogs.
The only difference I can see, aside from the different pattern numbers, is the UPC code numbers are different
The first Brownie pattern was numbered 7777 and apparently there were 2 design changes with 2 new numbers, 9437 and 0651.
It seems the pattern came with an official Brownie Girl Scout label and iron-on emblem transfer.
And this appears to be the end of the trail for Girl Scout Sewing Patterns..
"No pressure dear, just pretend we're not hovering over your shoulders while you're being photographed"
The photo (left) is from the Library of Congress and is showing an interior view of the "Girl Scout Little House" in Washington D.C. It shows a Girl Scout in khaki uniform sewing what appears to be curtains.
I can just hear Mrs. Hoover saying "No pressure dear - just pretend we're not here hovering over your shoulders while you're being photographed." I added the caption.