Vintage Sewing

And introduction and a vintage pattern muslin

November 27, 2011

Hello everyone! My name is Suzy and I blog over at I have been a avid reader from Sew Retro for months and thrilled to be part of it in its new gorgeous format.

I’m currently working on the above gorgeous vintage pattern. I will be using a soft and cozy wool flannel fabric, which so far as been the most expensive fabric I have bought. I have to say I am quite nervous to cut into it and for that reason have done a muslin to assess fit. As per usual the bodice is too big, especially at the back. Any help and advice in how to fit this is more than welcome. You can find more photos on my blog.

  1. I think it’s too long in the back for you, right at the shoulder line. Any way that you could take out a rectangular cross ways section and not mess with the armscye too much?

  2. kimono sleeves can be tricky on a petite frame. I tend to only make the short sleeved versions; the arms tend to be wide. The back part is a mystery; but i do agree that the the middle of the back is too long and it seems like its too wide at the shoulder blade. maybe try detaching the bodice from the skirt and pulling it in till it fits. maybe just taking some of of the CB and shortening the back will fix it?

  3. Perhaps if you started with a pattern size that matched your bust measurement at it’s fullest, the pattern is too big for you. Next time, try a pattern that matches your high bust measurement for a good fit in the shoulders and back. To fix this one, you’ll need to remove an even amount from each pattern segment. See the section on how to resize patterns on the Sense and Sensibility website. An excellent resource!

  4. Thank you all for your help on this!

    I have left it aside for a couple of days to get as many opinion on fit as possible and to also clear my head. I should start playing around with it tomorrow or Wednesday.

    Kelly: I’m keen to not mess too much with armscye although maybe I could as there quite some ease down there.
    Megan: It’s my first with kimono sleeves and yes, I can see they are a bit problematic to fit. The back is too odd and will definitely follow your advice.
    Dee: This pattern is for a 30 inch bust and I’m a 32 inch bust so not sure how much smaller I have to go to get it to fit. But yes, I agree that resizing down might be needed. I’ll have a look at the website you mention, thank you so much.

  5. If you bought your pattern by your upper bust size, the crucial measurement in any pattern, then it might be the amount of ease in the pattern. I bought two books to help with the fit in vintage and retro patterns and in fact in most commercial patterns – Fit for Real People and Pattern Fitting with Confidence. Combined with a book entitled Make Your Own Patterns (all books I bought used on-line after I perused them at my local library) I pretty much can solve most dilemmas for my figure. The most helpful thing I did was to actually measure my figure – not my clothes and not what I usually estimated from there. It was painful but worth it. Hope this helps.

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