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Sewing from vintage 60s patterns

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possibly daft sizing question... [Aug. 10th, 2007|02:46 pm]
Sewing from vintage 60s patterns



I'm looking for patterns at the moment to make a 60s dress. All good so far and I've found some pretty cool ones. I can't get my head around the old sizes though. Here comes the probably really stupid question but I'm foreign so please forgive me :)

When it says "bust", does that mean I have to measure under my boobs, or is it the measurement that goes right across them?

And is there some sort of conversion chart for what size is what? I'm so confused. My measurements (35'' across boob, 25'' waist, 38'' hips) don't seem to conform to any of the measurements stated on the patterns. In modern UK sizes I'm pretty much a 12-14 on the bottom half and a 10 on the top half.

Many many thanks.

To make this post less boring, here's a skirt I made with a Vogue pattern my mum had flying around, she reckons it's early 70s:

It hangs nicer than that, it looks a bit stiff in the picture. My top is concealing another inch and a half or so of the waist of the skirt. Sorry if you've seen this on sew_hip already!

[User Picture]From: dashalovesyou
2007-08-11 01:37 pm (UTC)
Hm I've been watching this thread for an answer as well but one does not seem to be coming. I'll dig through my stash of patterns and do some investigating. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.
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[User Picture]From: altglas
2007-08-13 04:29 pm (UTC)
cheers :)
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[User Picture]From: on_octagon
2007-08-14 12:59 pm (UTC)
not a daft question at all, the sizes can be so confusing. disregard the numbered size (10, 12, whatever) and go by body measurements. the bust is around the biggest part, but surprisingly, the hip is not!

measure around the hip at a point between the top of the pelvis and the biggest part of the bum, about where the tailbone starts. this is according to my grandma, a dressmaker we went to when I was little, and a woman I worked with who studied at FIT in the 70's, but it probably is not the only or official way to measure. be aware that people had quite different ideas of the body and what was a nice fit in the past, your dress may have a lot more ease (room between garment & body) than dresses today.

I have been looking all over my house for a 60's sewing book that explains it all, with diagrams on how to adjust patterns but I can't find it yet. when I do, I could post some scans if anyone is interested.....
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[User Picture]From: oh_meow
2007-08-15 02:44 pm (UTC)
I always measure round the hipbone, but then I am knobbly and mine stick out. Before I realised that it wasn't the widest part of the hip I used to find the measurements on the back worryingly tiny.
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[User Picture]From: altglas
2007-08-15 04:20 pm (UTC)
thanks so much!

I had no idea I'm not meant to measure around my bum, that makes sense now. I do have some amount of booty but was getting paranoid about being a complete heifer because my lower body measurements seemed so out of sync with the uppers...

thanks again and yeah scans would be great if you have them :)

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[User Picture]From: on_octagon
2007-08-16 12:33 am (UTC)
I guess they measured at the hipbone because many of the styles have an a-line shape?
my grandma and mum still think that anything tight/tailored around the bum is too shocking for words.

I'll look again this weekend, (I know the book is there somewhere....) and post some scans on pattern adjustment.
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