How-To What's Old is Made New Again!
Retro fashions have been very popular for the past several years. All of the major pattern companies have variations of these styles, but the variety can be limited.
For authentic retro style, it's best to go right to the source, vintage patterns!
Retro patterns can be found in a variety of places. Check garage sales, estate sales, or your mother or grandmother's old stash! The Internet, however, is the best resource for finding what you're looking for.
There are several virtual pattern stores on the Internet. It's easy to do a Google search for "vintage patterns" and come up with several. A few favorites are Mom's Patterns, Patterns from the Past, and Out of the Ashes Collectibles. You can usually browse through patterns by era, style, or size.
Perhaps the best resource for finding retro patterns is eBay. Start by searching for "vintage patterns" if you just want to see what's available. Prepare to be amazed at the sheer volume of listings! Refine your search by searching for "vintage girls dress pattern" or "vintage wedding dress pattern". If you find what you'e looking for, but it isn't the right size you can search for specific patterns. Type in "Butterick 5542" and you'll see every listing of all of the eBay auctions plus the eBay stores. If you still didn't find exactly what you need, you can save the listing and have results emailed to you every time a new item that matches your search becomes available.
The same is true for Etsy. Etsy is a great place to buy handmade items and supplies. Again, start by searching for "Vintage Dress Pattern"and refine your search from there.
When shopping online for vintage patterns it's a good idea to pay attention to details like the condition of the pattern. They don't need to be pristine, but if they've been cut you need to be certain that all the pieces are included.
Also be aware that sizing has changed in the past 50 years so the size you wear now may not be the size you need to buy in a vintage pattern. If there's not a picture of the sizing chart on the back of the pattern and you're in doubt about the size, it's a good idea to email the seller and see if you can find out the measurements from the envelope.