When I say unusual, there are several reasons I might call it so. The pattern may be for something you don't often see a pattern for, it may be a patterns that's rare or hard to find, or it may just tickle my funnybone! Here are some examples (and remember, these are not all from my collection!):
This hostess apron is wonderful. I can imagine myself dressed to the nines, throwing a dinner party in my 30s attire, wearing high heels, even make up. But I CANNOT imagine wearing those little sleeves to match the apron. It is a remnant of a different time.
This one sold on ebay just a few days ago and I really wanted it. I have always been interested in medicine and in college thought about becoming a doctor, nurse, or midwife. This is a very rare "Surgical Gown and Cap" pattern from the 1920s. Don't you love the artwork with the metal cart and beakers? I am wondering if the doctor's wives were responsible for making their surgical attire? Maybe so if patterns for home sewers were available for this type of garment.
You can't tell from the picture, but the unusual thing about this pattern is its size. The envelope is only 4" tall. It was a free sample to make a doll outfit. I have seen only a few sample patterns this tiny. This one comes up for sale quite often.
I own this pattern, too, and it was also a free give away (around 1910). This one is also fairly common. Vanta was a company that made baby and children's garments, mostly underwear. Maybe this pattern was free with a purchase or maybe just a gimmick to get people into the store. At the bottom it says, "Presented with the good wishes of (store name)". I like it because it shows how people sewed their own cloth diapers and one way of fastening them without pins. "Use Vanta tapes...they never shrink or twist"!
This one is also terrific. Like the first pattern I showed, I find it humorous that a woman would wear a dress with a potholder attached to the pocket! I am very old-fashioned, but even to me, this seems like wearing a chain attaching you to the stove!
This is the only pattern I've ever seen to make garments for the Infant of Prague statue. I think it is quite uncommon. I don't own this one, but I'd like to. It brings back memories of visits to my paternal grandparents and their "Jesus Doll" as I called it.
Isn't this a beauty? It is rare because of the beautiful fagoting detail shown on the yoke. I am impressed by the talent of home sewers of the past who could make a difficult pattern like this with minimal instructions.
Tune in tomorrow for more neat vintage patterns!