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How Much is Too Much for a Sewing Pattern?

Recently I saw a comment on the web that the price of sewing patterns is too high and this got my analytical brain thinking. New patterns from local fabric do seem kinda expensive but they're almost always 30% off. Is this still expensive? Do they cost more proportionately than say in the 1980's?

I randomly selected a Designer Vogue pattern from the Patternzoo pattern collection - (Vogue 1684, Paris Designer Guy LaRoche suggested retail in US $9.00.

Then I went to Google and asked what the retail value of something from 1985 would be in today's dollars. Here's the answer I got:

Value of $9 from 1985 to 2023

$9 in 1985 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $25.74 today, an increase of $16.74 over 38 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.80% per year between 1985 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 186.05%.

This means that today's prices are 2.86 times as high as average prices since 1985, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 34.965% of what it could buy back then.

The inflation rate in 1985 was 3.56%. The current inflation rate compared to last year is now 3.70%. If this number holds, $9 today will be equivalent in buying power to $9.33 next year. The current inflation rate page gives more detail on the latest inflation rates.

How does this Impact the Cost of Sewing Patterns?

I checked this information against random designer Vogue Patterns on the Internet and I found  prices ranging from about $17 to $24. If you factor in inflation, the price of patterns really hasn't changed much. Considering they are almost always on sale, these sales are a great value!

When you look at sewing patterns from PatternZoo, you really find tremendous value. Prices range from $5 - $20, averaging about $12, including high end designers.  Add to that a maximum shipping charge of $3 (no matter how many patterns in your order), this is a sewist's dream.