We are preparing for a tag/yard/garage sale here at Casa TripChucka, and I found a box of sewing things to put out. Therein lay patterns from my childhood of dresses my mom started but didn’t finish. On the back of the pattern are the measurements for the different sizes, and I was chagrined to see that at my smallest, (34-26-35) I would have been a size 12 in 1977. That’s a 7 now, I think. How would you fit?
That’s exactly why I nearly always buy guy clothes, unless I need some of them fancy-like duds for a job interview or something. I hate clothes shopping, and if I have to try on every damn thing because I need a size 14 at one store, a 16 at another, and a 14 in one article of clothing but an 18 in another in the same store… yeah. Fuck it. You’ll find me rummaging around the 38/30 Levis if you need me.
Pattern sizes are different, even today, from retail sizes. I haven’t looked to see if anyone mentions differences between times, but here is a Vogue/Butterick page about sizing from patterns as opposed to retail.
The sizes on those old patterns may still be consistent with modern Vogue/Butterick pattern sizing…
Just checked this site. For Misses/Misses’ Petites, the sizes are identical.
We all know that sizes have been shrinking over the past years… what was a size 12 ten years ago would be an 8 today, etc.
Well I’ve especially noticed this at the Gap recently. Today I bought a blouse (this one ) in a size 2! In reality I am more like a 6 on top and 8 on bottom… not a 2!! Also, I’ve recently bought some other shirts from there in size XS. That’s just crazy. I am average sized, and certainly don’t consider myself to be extra small.
I was most likely an 8. I was 15 years old, shopped in the junior dept–a 9?
When I got married at 24, I was a perfect size 8-my wedding dress only needed hemming. I guess that is now a 4.
I don’t like to think of the reverse of this–I am now a today size 12, so that makes me, what? an `18 or something? Gah…
I’m not sure. In 1977 I sewed my own clothes and used pattern sizes 8/10/12. The ones we bought were almost always three sizes in one. Good thing too, since so was I! In tops, I’d probably have been at least an 18 or 20 given the bust sizes. (Now, I’m a 34 DDD and the DDD part is well over 40 inches, the band part is now 34, but back when I was slim it was slightly over 31"). Waist sizes I’d have been a 6 to 8, but then to fit the hips I had to go to a 12.
In store sizes I usually wore 8s or 10s. Back then the 5/7/9s were the “junior” sizes, or women and girls that had a very small (or is it large?) hip to waist ratio. Sheesh, I don’t know the right mathematical word for it. Hips about the same size as the waist…grrr Then the 8/10/12 sizes were meant to be the “misses” sizes for all us “baby got back” kind of girls.
Yep. I sewed a lot of my own clothes, and I knew that I’d have to go by the measurements, not by the retail size that I usuallyl wore.
In 1977, I usually wore a ready-made size 7 in jeans, occasionally a size 5, and a size 16/large in tops. I always had to hem my jeans up a good three or four inches, too, thus elliminating a lot of the flare at the bottom.
When I showed him the patterns, my guy said he didn’t think patterns were made anymore as there were so many ready-made clothes now available. I told him patterns will always be around, as there will always be people the retailers won’t make an effort to fit; those who are outside the size ranges in height or weight, those who have a leg or arm or hip a different length than the other leg or arm or hip (like me), etc. I think, too, that there will always be creative people who will see a pattern as the basic idea to make into their own creation. I wish I could be creative like that but…it’s not to be.
I was just talking about this with my husband – I am currently making an adorable retro 1960’s pattern in pansy shantung silk. I can wear size 2/3 in most things store-bought, but I am having to make a size 10 in this dress. I could fit the 8, but I have always had more boobs than hips, and I would rather make the 10 and take it in in the hips than the 8 and have it smush the boobs.