Vintage Sewing

sizing accuracy

November 7, 2011

hello! I was hoping that some of you who are familiar with SImplicity patterns from the 60’s/70’s could tell me how accurate their sizing is? How is the ease? Do they run big or small? Thanks!

  1. in my experience, simplicity patterns from the 60s run HUGE. i mean, it could be the whole style of the period, to have so much ease, but i was extremely unhappy with the pieces i made using 60s simplicity patterns and needed to take them in (by multiple inches) and add a lot of shaping before i was satisfied.

    if you’ve got a couple of killer patterns you’re itching to try, definitely make a trial version first!

  2. i agree, they run big! I made a dress with a 32 bust and it was a 38 bust easy. the dresses always are dumpy on me if i don’t take them in a lot. make a wearable muslin, use like a quilting cotton or a sheet first.

  3. I agree that they often run large, but you will most likely want to measure your pattern and compare the measurements to your own. Most often I end up sewing with early 60s patterns, and though I usually remove ease at the bust (I am small up top), back and shoulders, I often don’t remove much from the waist and hips. You will get a more “authentic” 60s look if you don’t overfit the bodice- most dresses were not worn as fitted back then as they are today. But, it is all about your preference and the occasion. I generally prefer a little closer fit in a dress, but I sewed an early 60s pattern for my sister’s wedding recently, and I was very comfortable and felt appropriate for the occasion because the dress was a little less snug in the bodice.

  4. anyone has info about the 70’s 80’s sizing? i understand 60’s run big what about 70’s or 80’s? thanks

    1. I just made a muslin for a mccall’s shirt pattern from 1977. I graded it myself, and am fairly certain it’s accurate, it certainly hangs the right way, but I plan to take it in by about two inches to suit my taste. I always feel that overly loose bodices make me loose my shape visually. Point is, I find that my 70’s patterns run a little large.

  5. I’ve sewn from a lot of misses’ 70s patterns. I find they are a bit longer in the body than previous decades, pretty fitted and drafted for a more “athletic”/slim figure: B-cup, small waist, not much room for a stomach, although often flattering if you have a little bit of a booty. I’m guessing if it is a junior pattern it is going to be even more slim.
    I’m short, busty and have a bit of a tummy, but love the 1970s so I find the 1970s “half size” patterns, drafted for a “short mature figure” work prefectly.

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