Help Please

by Chastity on July 9, 2013 · 15 comments

in Vintage Sewing

I was thinking about making Simplicity 0260 and I was wondering about what size to cut out. I usually cut out a 12 with a 34″ bust but the wearing ease on the pattern says it comes out to 41″. That seems like it’s going to drown me in fabric. I looked at a size 6 and the final measurement is 37 1/2. To me that sounds like a better option but I’ve never had to do this before because I usually work with original vintage patterns and there is not nearly as much ease to deal with. Any advice on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

This post was written by...

– who has written 6 posts on

I've been sewing since I was 6; my grandmother taught me and she also bought me my first sewing machine at 12. I love vintage patterns and have a soft spot for playsuit patterns. I also read a lot so when I'm not sewing I'm reading during my free time.

Chastity's posts / Chastity's website

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one } July 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I made this patten, and went down two full sizes from the size recommended for my bust measurement. (16 to 12) I think that left me with 3″ of ease in the bust, which worked out well.

Important: take the hip measurements before cutting! There’s VERY little difference between the waist and hip measurements – like, about 1/2-1″. Which means that if you pick the size that fits your hips, your waist will be swimming in fabric – and if you pick the size that fits your waist, the top won’t fit over your waist. I ended up cutting the size 12 for a 38″ bust, but adding an extra 4″ to the hips and curving in to the original waist.

Note that if you choose to make it more fitted, you’ll want to add a back or side opening. I think they added all the extra ease so you can pull it on over your head.

Reply July 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Whoops. I mean, if you pick the size that fits your waist, the top won’t fit over your *hips*. Sorry!


Katie July 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I second that you need to be very aware of the hip and waist measurements. In my first muslin, bust and waist were great, but the hips were very slim. You can even make it out on the version the model has on.


EmSewCrazy July 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I have not made this pattern but I do know modern patterns have much more ease built into them. I hear you get better luck at fitting if you measure your high bust and use that as the “bust” to pick your size.
Good luck as it looks like a cute top.


Honora July 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I too had to take in this shirt all over. Irritating as all get out.


Katherine July 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Interesting. I always thought the version on the envelope looked tight in the hip.

I hope you don’t mind, Chastity – I’ve added a link to this post to the page for this pattern in the WeSewRetro shop so others can benefit from the knowledge :)


Melanie July 10, 2013 at 12:09 am

I’m about to make this pattern too! I teach vintage dressmaking using retro patterns and yes there is a LOT of ease in them – not authentic at all. Go by the final measurements on the tissue pieces or it will be way too large.
Your bust measurement isn’t relevant if you’re more than a C cup, you need to get it to fit your neck/shoulders first then increasing the bust cup size is easy.
All very complicated! Then if any adjustments needed to hip and waist they are easy to do. Use a book like Pattern Fitting by Nancy Zielman.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out!


Chastity July 10, 2013 at 7:19 am

Thanks everyone for the tips. I will definitely post about it when I am finished and Katherine that’s no problem at all; I hope it helps others so they are not disappointed with their blouse because it is really cute.


Miranda July 10, 2013 at 8:40 am

I’m working on this one right now (View B)! With modern patterns, I normally cut a 12 around the shoulders/bust and grade to the 14 for the waist/hips. But with so much ease on this pattern, I cut the size 10 the entire way. I measured what the final fit would be based on the tissue paper. I didn’t make a muslim (figured IF the waist was too fitted, I could do a 1/4″-1/2″ seam instead of the 5/8″ seam). I tried it on before putting in the sleeves and it fits like a dream! The zipper is great too (used one I found at Goodwill, not invisible, but still works!). And it’s really cute sleeveless, so I will probably make a second version with no sleeves! Hoping to post it up here soon (along with many other things I have made), before my vacation! Would love to see your version and hear how it turns out!


LittleBlackCar July 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I think this depends on the fit you want. Standard wearing ease is not the same as design ease, and my experience has been that design ease in 1940′s patterns runs to more than we’re used to in a modern fit. The fit on the live model looks too tight for a 1940′s style to me–it doesn’t really look vintage–but it would probably seem “correct” (normal) for someone accustomed to modern blouses. The hips, especially, seem to fit awfully closely.

Here’s a picture of me in Advance 4864, which is from about 1948. It’s really blousy. Most modern seamstresses would consider it too big, but it’s correct for 1948 (this is a bust 34/size 16/modern size 12). I’m not sure offhand what the design ease is on this but it’s quite a bit. My guess is that the original blouse pattern was meant to be considerably blousier than most of us would have in mind.


LittleBlackCar July 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Another picture of 4864. It also has enormous shoulder pads, but even with them, the bodice is pretty blousy.


Katherine July 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I dug up some more 1940s blouses for inspiration (btw, anyone noticed how clunky search is on the vintage pattern wiki? I had to give up and go to pinterest). LBC (are you comfortable being abbreviated? :) is on to something with the general blousyness. Also notice most of them are tucked in


Katherine July 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Bottom left corner is an outlier – probably a bit on the early side?


cowgirl24 July 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Chasity, I just finished making this blouse and wore it for the first time. I just put photos on this site if you would like to see it and I addressed the fitting problems. I wish you happy sewing!!!


Bex July 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I’ve made this blouse ( and it is huge! Cut the size that fits your bust the best, and enlarge the waist/hips. I added a back button closure to make an even tighter fit.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: