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Topic: sizing on 'vintage' patterns  (Read 2268 times)
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Debzy
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« on: November 24, 2003 01:18:21 PM »

hey guys  Smiley

i have this really lovely 'vintage' butterick pattern



i'm going to make it in denim, but i'm not sure about the sizing. it seems smaller than the usual butterick patterns...

any thoughts? has anyone used any retro patterns before?
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action_kitty
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2003 03:37:25 PM »

I think you are right that the sizing is different- I would either start with a few sizes larger and/or do a trial run with some real cheap fabric. I have never used a vintage pattern, but have been interested and done some reading up on it.
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washu
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2003 04:39:34 PM »

What a great pattern! I love it.

I have made garments over vintage patterns in the past. The instructions and sizing are both weird.

The pattern may have a size chart on it. If so, you'll see that women were a lot smaller in the 40s.  Smiley What is now called a "12" was a "16." So you're right; it is smaller. Patterns pre 1960 or so vary by about 2 sizes and patterns in the 60s and 70s vary by about one size.  Sometime in the 80s they switched to the sizing system we have now.

Anyway, the real trick is to measure the pattern itself at the bust, waist, hips, and everywhere else that it could be important. Subtract out the seam allowances and then you'll know if it'll fit or not. This looks pretty tailored, so there likely isn't too much design ease, but measurements should range from 1 to 6 inches larger than your actual size.

Starting with a pattern the right size is nice, but it's not necessary. If the pattern's not right, you can use it to draft a new pattern in your right size. If it's close to your size, you can add and subtract at the appropriate places pretty easily. In fact I do this with every pattern. Like ready-made, the pre-printed sizes don't match me, and I figure that making your own clothes gives you a wonderful opportunity to make the darn thing fit right.

My first advice to friends about sewing is to throw out the pattern guide and my next is to not cut the pattern out on their lines--use your lines.

Okay, enough santimonious pontification. Stopping now.

Oh, no I'm not, actually. I'm still going!  Grin I just wanted to say that jackets are difficult and I'd make sure I was familiar with their construction in general before diving into a vintage one. Okay, done now!
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Debzy
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2003 11:35:40 PM »

hehe i know what you mean! customers are always asking me, "what are vogue sizes like? what are new look sizes like?" and i always say, "well, the size chart's in the back of the catalogue, what are your measurements...?"

it's hard to get thru to people that pattern sizes are nothing to do with r-t-w, isn't it? they almost get offended!

but thanks for the tips guys. just thought i should add, that this isn't a 'true' vintage pattern, i only got it about a year ago! it's one of those 'retro' patterns, yet they seem to have stuck to the old sizing too.
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knittykat
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2004 12:50:05 PM »

I'm a fan of sewing both vintage and modern patterns, and there is no way to get around measuring.  If you're sensitive about your 'number' be prepared for a shock.  I wear a size 8 dress in regular clothes, a 12 or 14 in modern sewing patterns, and a 16 in vintage patterns.  Lucky for me, my dear grandma had a big cache of vintage patterns and my lovely auntie happened to be a size 16!!!

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supadupaflychic
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2004 08:10:08 AM »

I actually made one of the suits pictured for an actress to wear in a play.  I followed the size chart and had no problems with fit.  Butterick updates the vintage reissues to comply with the pattern industry standard sizing guidelines.
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Debzy
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2004 09:26:26 AM »

Butterick updates the vintage reissues to comply with the pattern industry standard sizing guidelines.

cool thanks for the input!  Grin
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