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Topic: Need advice on grading down a vintage pattern  (Read 858 times)
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« on: August 13, 2010 09:16:00 PM »

I inherited a huge stash of vintage sewing patterns and fabrics a couple of years ago when a friend's grandmother passed away. She made all of her own clothes and obviously had excellent taste! My favorites are the 60's era McCall's, they look like something Joan would wear to the office on Mad Men. Especially this...

The problem is that all of these super fabulous patterns I'm dying to make are a much larger size than I am. Most of these fit a 39-41 inch bust and I am a scant 31 1/2. I've made a few dresses from simple modern patterns (with lots of mistakes and trial and error...but I'm getting there). Should I bother trying to grade this pattern down or will it just make me want to stab myself in the ear with dressmaker's shears? I've also thought about trying to find some sort of vintage pattern swap so any suggestions there would be great.

Read about my sewing adventures at http://shonastitches.blogspot.com
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010 09:18:16 PM »

Well, aside from stabbing oneself in the ear with shears, I'd say use your basic block if you have one or make one if you don't, and then use that to "re-create" the patterns you'd like to copy. So you'd be taking your personalized "basic bodice" block, but applying darts in the same places as M8101, shaping the armscye to be similar to M8101, etc, etc. Same deal with a "basic skirt" block, "basic pant" block, what have you. You'll have to make at least one mock-up of the new-and-improved M8101, but you'll get the same look with a personalized fit.

Please note, I'm a lazy seamstress and don't have any basic blocks myself Tongue

« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010 10:39:56 AM »

That's a good idea! I was about to go experiment with the cut and spread method mentioned here (http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4368/making-sense-of-pattern-grading), but if it begins to look too stab inducing I may resort to making myself a bodice block instead. All of these vintage patterns follow pretty closely to that anyway, I would just need to make adjustments to the darts and such. I'm not sure how I'd deal with the round neck facings like this one has though. I'm thinking just cut out the original onto my muslin and use my dress form to figure out where I need to trim it. Thanks for the tip!

Read about my sewing adventures at http://shonastitches.blogspot.com
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