Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Vanity sizing

    This week I've been working on a piece of clothing, a 1950s reissue from about 4 years ago, Simplicity 3673.

    It came together really well, and I had a perfect dress. Except I had one a size too small. Zip won't do up.

    Why? Vanity sizing. A 12, 14, or 16 in the 1950s now equates to a 10, 12, or 14 in 2014. You sell more clothes if people trying them on think they're a size smaller, so manufacturers have shifted the sizes upwards over the decades. And I didn't check the feet-and-inches(Dressmaking's not like engineering folks!) before cutting, so ended up with a 1950s sized garment. Modern Simplicity clothing fits me at the right size, this one didn't.

    We can all cock up our measurements whether we're making spacecraft or clothing. But at least a millimeter from the '50s is the still a thousandth of a metre in 2014.

    (This post was first made a couple of days ago to my local hackspace list. I'm not the only one hereabouts afflicted with the delusion that they can make clothing.)


  1. So what now? can you alter it or do you have to find somebody exactly one size smaller than you? Shame because it looks really nice.

  2. What a pity, Jenny. It looks like a proper job, too.

    I admire your skills. I've yet to make a start on my first rag rug - what could be simpler? - although I'll take the plunge any day now.

    I hope you'll make another dress, adjusted to realistic measurements!


  3. If the pattern is a true 1950s cut, you have to wear a waist cincher with it, because the nipped waist was part of the design. Modern reproductions let the waist out to a more natural size so that they fit a lot of women without cinching...

  4. It's not the waist at issue but under bust. A bit difficult to squeeze yourself into something that relies on ribs.

    I'll unpick the side seams and let in a long thin triangle each side. And chalk it up to experience.

  5. I wouldn't know where to start! At least you made the garment. Your next one will be better I'm sure.

    Shirley Anne x