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Ah, the dreaded taking of one’s own measurements. Now I just have to keep in mind that these are only numbers because it’s crucial to have accurate measurements to get a good fit.

Marilyn Monroe's measurements

Marilyn Monroe’s measurements

Patterns rarely fit me right out of the envelope, so I almost always have to do some alterations to get the right fit. Finding a particular vintage pattern in my size can often be the impossible quest, so I try to find patterns just one size up or down from mine. But sometimes I just love that rare, difficult-to-find vintage pattern so much, I’ll give in and buy it even though it’s a 28″ bust. Right now my high bust is 34″ and full bust is 36 1/2″, so for many patterns, especially the big 4, I have to do a FBA (full bust adjustment). The Marian Martin pattern I’m using for the Fall For Cotton Sew-Along is a size 18 1/2 (38″ bust). I’m not familiar with vintage half sizes, but what little info I could find on the internet says they are drafted for petite statures, 5’3″ and under, and are for a fuller bust. I read online that compared to regular vintage sizes 18 & 20, the body measurements for 18 1/2 exactly half way between the two. Hence the label half-size. The pattern company couldn’t use size 19 since odd numbers were already used for teen sizes.

Marian Martin 9230 instruction sheet

Marian Martin 9230 instruction sheet

I’m about to find out if all of this true. I’ve traced off my pattern onto Spa Table Paper and am now ready to compare my measurements to the flat pattern’s and expect I’ll have to do some grading down. I’ve just taken Fast-Track Fitting with Joi Mahon on Craftsy, and I must say she simplified the process for me, so now I feel confident to start grading my vintage pattern. Time to break out the measuring tape and curved rulers.

Fast-track fitting

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