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resizing a vintage pattern?
blessedtosew
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blessedtosew
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Date: 9/24/09 1:29 PM

I found a vintage pattern on etsy that I love. However, it is for a size 32 chest and I am a 34-35ish. How difficult would it be to resize this? It is a dress. I really don't want to do alot of hard work Could I just grade it up by adding to the edges? What would be the simplest approach if it is even possible? Here is a pic:
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-- Edited on 9/24/09 1:32 PM --

Elona
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In reply to blessedtosew


Date: 9/24/09 2:20 PM

It's probably not just a matter of girth at the level of the bosom. The chances are that this pattern is designed for a torso (neck, shoulders, and back) smaller than yours, and since women have generally become larger than they were when this pattern was drafted, it's almost certain that the waist and hips would need to be enlarged as well so that the dress would have the 'look' and design ease that you want.

Here's a link to how patterns are graded to allow for all these changes, and as you can see, it's not just a matter of adding the same amount everywhere. In this case, it's complicated a bit more by the gathers at the neck.

Still, you could try your simple approach using a cheap fabric and see how it turns out.

3HoursPast
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Date: 10/17/09 6:36 AM

I don't know how you're proportioned, but sometimes I buy delicious vintage patterns in sizes too small and "get away with it" by doing just what you're taking about. If you're 34 and the pattern is 32, that's a rather smallish difference everywhere else, especially if the pattern is not super-fitted. That said, I wouldn't risk nice fabric on such a thing. Use some cheap cotton and call it a wearable muslin.

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CathrynR
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Date: 10/17/09 7:42 AM

I just bought a vintage coat pattern, in a size too small. I usually only purchase patterns in size 34, as I have so many adjustments to make even with the right sized pattern. But I loved the style of this coat, so what I plan on doing (if I ever get around to doing it) is to first re-size the pattern according to instructions which are readily available, here and on other sites. Then using the resized pattern I will use it as I would any pattern of the right size. That is, trace it out (having traced out the original pattern before resizing - then trace out the resized pattern). Make usual pattern adjustments to the resized traced out pattern, then make muslins and adjust pattern more as needed, til I get a good fitting muslin. More work, sure, but this coat would be worth it to me.

leanmeansewingmachine
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Date: 10/17/09 9:35 AM

I agree with bellelass. Make a muslin and see if you can get away with just adding width, just be careful adding at the bust - make sure it doesn't change the sleeve armscye.

I've re-sized several vintage patterns using the article in Threads and was very successful. However, you have to be in the right frame of mind - lots of pieces, lots of time. I'm waiting to get in that frame of mind since I've got about three more that are the wrong size but I REALLY want to make. FYI - I've been waiting for about a year and a half now!

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DoggyGirl
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Date: 10/17/09 1:08 PM

If you end up collecting lots of vintage patterns or always have to do alterations to get a good fit with modern patterns, you might want to consider making up a Vogue or McCalls fitting shell. Alter it as necessary and use the shell as your guide for resizing/altering other patterns. I *finally* have a shell that fits well (thanks to advice from folks here on PR), and it's proving to be very helpful in that regard.

Beth

RobinMCPA
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In reply to blessedtosew


Date: 10/27/09 5:18 PM

I know I'm very late to post on this thread, but have you thought of making the pattern in a knit fabric? This would provide some additional ease.

leanmeansewingmachine
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Date: 11/2/09 11:10 PM

Well, I think Jupiter aligned with Mars last weekend because I finally decided to resize a vintage coat pattern. Not only that, I documented the process.

blessedtosew, this doesn't really apply to your question but it fits with the title of this thread so I'm going to post it here. (um, is that okay with everybody?)

Here's the link: resizing

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blessedtosew
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In reply to leanmeansewingmachine


Date: 11/24/09 5:07 PM

Thank you so much for that.

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