R.I.P., Retired Patterns

As many of you know, Suitability Patterns was a longstanding source of great English and Western patterns, for years. When the owner retired, Suitability dispersed the remnants of its stock to various retailers, and set up shop with some of the pattern styles on Etsy, as e-patterns. Field's Fabrics had many of the remaining paper patterns, including Saddle Seat Suit Coat #5172, which was one of the very few saddle seat coat patterns available anywhere, and a good one.

Guess what? It's gone. Sold out, evidently. No more being printed, per Suitability's website.

Then, in the blink of an eye, Suitability's timeless Dressage Shadbelly & Frock Coat #5850 quietly rode off into the sunset, presumably to hang out with the discarded saddle seat retirees in the Pattern Barn of the Great Beyond.

Now, if saddle seat or dressage isn't your flavor of horsemanship, this isn't a reason to cry in your cereal. But if you do, that plants you in squarely in the OOP (out of print) patterns camp, and that is not a nice place to be.

OOP Patterns

I have quite a collection of old, weird, OOP equestrian patterns. If you are looking for old-fashioned flared jodhpurs from the 1930s or 40s, I probably have it. I have Western shirt patterns decades older than me, and that's... senior citizen discount age. But the reason I get them, is because once they're gone, they're gone. And as the availability goes down, prices go up. Honestly, there are some vintage patterns going for hundreds of dollars when and if you can find them. I sold a $9.95 pattern I paid $7 for out of my stash a couple years ago for nearly $100, simply because it was still in demand. Crazy, or what?

Buy Now, Thank Me Later

If you are an avid sewer, and if you're making horse show apparel or riding clothes, take my advice: When you see a pattern you like, buy it. Don't wait, don't think there are a million more where that came from, because that's not always the case. It may be all that remains of old stock, like Saddle Seat Coat #5172, it may be discontinued without notice, or it may already be extinct and cause a bidding war (my pattern did). And, here's the other problem: When and if you do find it, will it even be in your size? Maybe not.

If you see it, you like it, and it's in your size, just buy it.

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