20th century · Personal Research · Sewing Patterns

Bonfit Patterner System from 1995

In the Vintage Sewing Pattern Nerds Facebook group, there is a unit on antique pattern drafting systems. As I saw the content being uploaded, I mentioned that it seemed similar to the much younger Bonfit Patterner. Since not everyone is familiar with Bonfit, I am sharing my small collection of Bonfit materials. I have not yet had the chance to read the books or figure out exactly how it is used. I do know that supplemental VHS tapes were offered, so I am hoping to someday purchase those because I suspect that will be both more interesting and a more easy way to learn how to use it.

Related Ephemera

My set was previously donated to a charity quilting group, who de-accessioned it to me. It came in its originally shipping box, unused, but unfortunately the box had mold damage and had to be thrown away. I did salvage the packing boxes for the individuals pieces, which you will see below. My set was originally mailed to Wesley L. Morris Sr., of Ballston Spa, New York on 20 April 1995, and included a phone number. Here is the original receipt. It appears that the only item missing out of the original shipment is the instructional video.

Photo by Author.

My set also includes two original, unmarked warranty cards. I find the nature of some of the questions they are asking of their customers rather strange. I wish we could know what sort of information they discovered after polling their customers – what sort of people were they?

Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.

Bonfit Books

My set has three books: Patterner Instructions (listed on receipt as “Instructional Book”), Fashion Sewing Instructions, and Fashion Concepts & Design.

Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.

The instructional book includes diagrams and lists of all the pieces that come with each part of the kit, since you ordered them as individual units.

Skirt Patterner

The skirt patterner includes multiple sizes in a single unit. What is odd, is that on the receipt and box there is no size label, yet the individual plastic patterner is clearly labeled “Medium”. This diverges from the bodice patterner, which comes in S, M or L and is so labeled on the receipt and boxes (I have all three sizes). The patterners do not include seam allowance.

Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.

The skirt “Medium” appears to include the range of waist sizes 26-40″ or 46″ depending on the style.

Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.

Pants Patterner

Like the skirt, the pants patterner has no size designation on the receipt nor box.

Photo by Author.

Bodice Patterner

This unit comes in S, M or L sizes. I have not yet opened it to determine the dimensional sizes included in each lettered size.

Photo by Author.
Photo by Author.

Designer Kit

This unit appears to be more of a supplement to the original bodice patterner unit.

Photo by Author.

Please do not use these images without express permission of the author of this blog.

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