As I continue to work my way through the pieces, envelopes and instructions sheets of my new old patterns, I am blown away. What beautiful antiques.
But they're so clear. Seriously, peeps, if you can understand the arcane instructions of a modern pattern, you'll have no problems working with those of ye olde ones. They haven't really updated the technical language in about a hundred years, from what I can tell.
From 1965, Butterick 2674 is a ubiquitous sheath with a gored skirt. The jacket is optional! (I imagine that piece of marketing is somewhere in the instructions, complete with the exclamation mark.) This pattern is a size 16 1/2 (original pattern sizing), which means the envelope measurements show the bust is 37", waist 31" and hips 41". Unless the thing is small i.e. no pattern or fabric ease allowed, I'll probably have to do a bit of amending of the hips at least. But gotta love a bust measurement on a close fitting garment that will, theoretically, fit right out of the packet.
Awesome update: The woman who owned this pattern previously, put tons of notes all over the place, including one, faintly, on the front of the envelope which - if I'm interpreting it correctly - indicates that the finished garment measurements are: bust 37.5" to 38" (perfect for me!), waist 33.25" (gonna have to grade down) and hips 40" (also need to take a little bit away, but not as much as the envelope measurements would have me believe). Ya'll know how relatively easy it is to alter a waist and hip width vs. fixing a bodice for a full bust. I'll take that trade off.
OMG - other awesome update!!! - the woman left a remnant of the fabric she used to make her garment. It's a blue and brown geometric floral!!! And she either updated her facing pieces to suit herself, or she lost them and recut them - OUT OF NEWSPAPER PIECES. The journal used was "The Rural Lifeline". There's a small add that talks about the Dayton Power and Light Company, so this woman must have lived in Ohio! Oh, other update: She was from Fletcher, Ohio.
Let's reflect on this. Another real person with a real life expressed her sartorial perspectives with this dress, a good 5 years before I was born. We will wear it as relevantly as one another.
I feel overwhelmed. I want to make all of these gorgeous garments so much but I don't know where to start.
Have you ever had this sense when working with vintage patterns? Have you ever felt sublimely connected to another person on the basis of finished garment measurements and her lady-like script from another era?
I have to reflect and recuperate. More patterns tomorrow.