Vintage Size vs. Modern Size

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe | Source

Marilyn was not a size 14

Marilyn Monroe was NOT a size 14. She was a size 8. Let me clarify, by 1960s sizing Marilyn Monroe was a size 14, which would be a size 8 in modern ready –to-wear sizing. Today size 14 is more like size 20 in Marilyn’s day.

Don't panic! It's just a number.

When purchasing clothes whether they are vintage treasures, or off the sale rack at Dillard’s the only thing that should matter is how well it fits. Don’t get too hung up on what size it is. If it looks great, you love how you look and feel in it, then why does a silly old number matter? No one has ever walked up to me and said, “Fabulous dress! What size is that?” If anyone did, I think I might just punch him or her right in the jaw!

Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow | Source

Sizing up sizing

Trying to understand how women’s clothes are sized is like trying to figure out trigonometry with only an elementary understanding of math. A basic rule of thumb to follow is vintage sizes are at least four sizes smaller than modern sizes. The further back in time you go the smaller the clothes get and you have to adjust up another size or two. Say you wear a size 10. You spot a lovely, Jean Harlow worthy evening gown from the 1930s, hold-on chica! Unless that dress is marked size 16, I am very sorry to say this, but it’s probably not going to fit you. On the other hand, if it is marked size 16, don’t be put off by the “larger” number. Like I said, it’s just a silly number. Who cares? Now if you see the perfect 1970s gold lamé disco dress with a plunging neckline and leg slit, which is totally in this spring, and its marked size 12 or 14, try it on! It might just fit, and you will look stunning.

Vanity Sizing

Clothing sizing has undergone what is called “vanity sizing” in the past 20 years. It is true, gentle reader, as the American public has become larger, so have our clothes. Clothing is now at least two inches bigger in each size than they were 20 years ago. Does that explain why your size 10 wedding dress from 20 years ago no longer fits, but your new dresses do?

Have you also noticed you have to try on dresses in several sizes to find one that fits, only to become frustrated and give up? You can thank vanity sizing for that too. Some manufactures use it and some don’t. Then there’s catalog sizing which uses yet another standard. No wonder we can’t find anything to wear! Every time, I try to purchase something that is ready to wear, I am reminded why I started sewing my own clothes -- because nothing fits me. This has always been a problem for me. Even at my skinniest. My top half is much larger than my bottom half. I was often encouraged to “go for separates.” But, I love dresses!

McCall's Pattern #5927 comes in various cup sizes for the perfect fit.
McCall's Pattern #5927 comes in various cup sizes for the perfect fit. | Source

Pattern Sizes vs. RTW

Pattern sizing has remained pretty consistent since the 1950s. Remember, that six size difference, I mentioned. It applies here as well. Because of my broad shoulders and ample bosom my top half is a RTW 14, which means I need a pattern in a size 20. Now, to add insult to injury, patterns are sized to B-cup. There are two exceptions to these rules, some patterns offer lines in “modern sizing.” It is important to always check the sizing chart on the back of the pattern to make sure you purchase the correct size, and more importantly cut out the right size as many patterns are multi-sized. Some pattern companies also now offer patterns with cup adjustments. I learned the hard way when using such a pattern you need to go down a size or two. Use your under bust measurement (you know, the number your bra is…i.e. 38) to determine the proper pattern size.

Getting the perfect fit.

Time to face the truth, most of us are not the perfect size 8, 12, 14, or even 20. If you want your clothes to fit you as if they were made for you there are a few options. Your first option, if you have access to tons of disposable cash, is have a seamstress custom make your clothes. Option 2, if you know how to sew, make them yourself. If you think this is going to save you money, think again. Patterns can cost anywhere from .99 cents on sale to $20 regular price. Fabrics, nice apparel fabrics start at $10 a yard and a dress takes a minimum of three yards, if it has a very slim skirt and no sleeves. I’ve made fabric hungry dresses that take up to eight yards of fabric! Then there are the notions, thread, zippers, buttons, etc. Figure another $5. Plus there’s the time you have to spend making it. It takes me at least 16 hours to make a dress from cutting and marking to sewing and finishing. Oh, and did I mention the sewing machine. You are going to need a very good one. Plan on $800 to $2,000.

Option three, make friends with a good alterations shop. Buy good quality pieces that will hold up through the test of time and repeated washings. Get the size that fits your largest part best, and then have it taken in on your smaller parts for the perfect fit.

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Comments 80 comments

tedcampbell2792 profile image

tedcampbell2792 5 years ago from NY

Interesting and useful information!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thank you Ted Campbell. I carry a tape measure in my handbag when I shop. I can measure clothes and eliminate those that are pointless to try on, or know whether I should grab a size up or down. It saves time.

DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

And then there are the Amazon women like me who have to add five inches to everything! Good info and probably stuff alot of people didn't know!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

I am thinking about writing one for tall gals, but you know what they say about writing what you know...

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Great hub and useful information. Welcome and thanks for researching this.

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

This is a truly fascinating Hub - thanks for writing it! It sure is strange how sizes have changed over time. Heck, I don't even look at sizes anymore... I just pick something up and if it looks like it'll fit me, I try it on! Even when we do check sizes, we're all working in the dark.

Sunshyne1975 profile image

Sunshyne1975 5 years ago from California, US

Loved this hub, thanks!!

pmccray profile image

pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

Excellent subject matter. When my dad was stationed in Germany in the early sixties we learned of size difference. Our rule of thumb for buying clothes in this country was to remember they were 2 x larger than American sizes.

My biggest complaint with clothiers is not really caring about us full figure gals. I wear a significantly smaller size below than on top. I wish more would sell suits separately so we can get a better fit. Very well written, voted up, marked useful.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

pmccrazy The best place for suits if you are curvy gal, as long as you don't need bigger than a 14 on top is the Limited. They sell everything separate and the offer free hemming on pants if you have a limited card. I personal feel to restricted in a suit jacket so I usually go the cardigan route or occassional cropped swing coat.

Also their clothes are wash and wear for hte most part, whichi really like giventhe cost of dry cleaning. The clothes are little costly, but they have good sales, and the quality and style hold up well. Thanks for the vote.

And to Simone measure the clothes the fit your best laying flat. Meausre the clthes in the store you thing will fit the same way. If it matches up you should be good to go and be able to spend less time in the fitting room.

GypsyWillow and Sunshyne- Thanks fo rthe comments/compliments.

Short and Curvy Girls Unite!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Yikes! Sorry about the typos in my comment. I was excited about all the new comments and followers.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Really, I have to saw screw sizes and even the numbers on the scale - all they do is set us up for stress and unhappiness! My current size is undoubtedly 2-3 sizes larger than it would have been in Marilyn's day, but I can run marathons pretty fast and qualified for Boston. Oh, and I've had 4 kids. Numbers? Not so much use for me these days....

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Stephhicks68 - My point exactly! Thanks for the comment.

calliemorris profile image

calliemorris 5 years ago from London

Very interesting hub (and useful for when vintage shopping!) but wow size 8 or size 14, doesn't really matter - Marilyn was beautiful..! Thanks for a great read! Voted up

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thank you calliemorris. Yes, she was indeed very beaufiful. Women are SUPPOSED to have curves. I don't know how we got to the point in society where "rulers" became the standard of beauty.

graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 5 years ago

Stunning photo of Marilyn! I'm remembering why I had lots of Marilyn pictures back in high school. Great hub1 You're off to a wonderful start!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thank you Grace for the compliment and the support!

hunysukle profile image

hunysukle 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

Why does everyone worship Marilyn Monroe? She was a drug addict. Who really cares about what size of clothes she wore?? She's dead people. There's more important things to care about TODAY in how Republicans are trying to take away health care and abolish women's rights completely.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Those are important isssue, but the purpose of my writing is to empower women to be proud of the body they have and not focus on what the size label says. Marilyn was a troubled young woman who nowadays would have been given a diagnosis and proper treatment, but not having that she may have done what many people do, self medicate, and there is no substantial evidence that she was a drug addict. One should not talk ill of the dead, anyway. Do not judge someone unless you have lived their life. Also I used Marilyn as an example because people like to say she was a size 14, so those of us who are size 14 can feel like we are just as well shaped as Marilyn, but the fact remains she was an 8. I needed an example to clearly illustrate how sizes have changed. If you read the whole article, you should have seen that it wasn't about her at all. It's about finding vintage clothes in your size and not worrying about numbers. Thank you for your comment and I hope you read my other hubs as well.

bryanps profile image

bryanps 5 years ago from Australia

very informative post, which begs the question. Is the reason why American women are larger today because of diet?

trust me 5 years ago

its a little informally written, it might be stronger if it didn't say you would punch someone in the face, but, ehhh...I know you are going for humor but it's not that funny. no offense.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

bryanps, I do think our diet and mostly sedentary lifestyle has something to do with it as well as all the growth hormones in our milk, beef and poultry. Women are also getting taller and have bigger feet.

Trust Me, if someone is rude enough to ask you your dress size they are taking a risk. I thinks its funny, but if you don't that's ok today. Doesn't offend me. Thanks for reading.

Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 5 years ago

I was having this very conversation the other day when I was comparing dress sizes to some I bought a few years ago and it seems that the number inside the collar is waaay off and I was wondering about it, because I knew that my size has stayed pretty much the same, no extreme highs or lows.

But as you have mentioned it depends on the designer and time period, it sad that society still thinks stick thin is best, while curvy is not. Hopefully this will change and more clothing designers will make clothes in a greater variety, for each womans shape.

nice hub, thumbs up!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thank you Research Analyst. I hope designers come around too.

DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

Just curious, but where are trust me's hubs...I'm just sayin'....

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Did I tell you today, DIY that I absolutely adore you?

hunysukle profile image

hunysukle 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

I mean seriously, you couldn't have used a woman with a little more class and respect for an example? Monroe makes all women look bad and still influences women today to just be dumb housewives and eye candy for men. I really don't care if I'm "judging" because I'm not a Christian and I just say it how it is. As far as speaking "ill" about the dead, once again **don't care** she's just a ghost.

calliemorris profile image

calliemorris 5 years ago from London

Absolutely agree with your response to my comment Tess, curvy women win! Also... Don't worry about hunysuckle - I think she's a spammer..?

AnnieRoseVA 5 years ago

Great information - thank you. I'm going to try your suggestion of altering good clothes to get that perfect fit.

2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I am so pleased that I read this. I have not sewed myself anything for 30 years. In desparation I bought a pattern and material last week. Now that I have read this, I will check all the measurements before I start cutting. Thanks so much - it's possible that you have saved me time, money and tears. If I could vote this up twice I would.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

AnnieRose, I am glad you found this useful. 2patricias I am so happy you decided to sew again! I hope it turns out fabulous, and even if doesn't please don't get discouraged. Your comment made my day!

Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 5 years ago from Cape Cod


I think I can clarify the 1950s size issue for you. During that era, many young women aspired to be a "NINE".

This size was so desireable that there was a whole chain of stores devoted solely to it. Lucky was the woman who could shop at "The House of Nine."

I know this because I was fortunate enough to go 'steady' with a "NINE".

Marilyn Monroe was probably a "NINE", not an eight.

For decades the ultimate compliment to a girl was to call her a "NINE"...although this changed in 1979 when

Blake Edwards hired Bo Derek for a film called, "TEN."

dina loehmanns 5 years ago

Thank you SO much for posting this hub! I love to shop, but it can be incredibly frustrating to try and find the right size. I normally have to bring three of the same piece into the fitting room with me, because you never know what sizing the designer is following.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Excellent article! When I was in high school, nearly everything in my closet was handmade or vintage. Imagine my surprise when I ordered a skirt according to my pattern size and ended up with this huge mess of material that didn't even come close to fitting!

I really hate the vanity sizing... It makes it so hard to find something that fits, made by the higher end companies, for a smaller person. I am a vintage 8-12, and to have modern skirts, size 4, be 6-8 inches too big in the waist is ridiculous!

Oh, and Marilyn would probably wear size 3-4 curvy jeans.

amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL

Thanks for putting this out there. I personally hate 'vanity' sizes. It just makes shopping all the more frustrating. I am apple shaped and shoppping is hard enough. My hips are riddiculously small and I am heavy on top. So this means I wear anything from a 4 to an 8. Sometimes I can fit in size 2 pants if they are cut low enough and I know I'm not that thin. I would love it if the designers went by actual measurements (like they do with mens clothing). Why they don't is a mystery to me.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Amymarie, it's a mystery to me too. I tried to find more information on that but there is none. I am an apple, too. I like to say I am hourglass with too much time at 12 and not enough at 6. I guess that makes more of an hour and half? One cool thing about being an apple, most apples have FANTASTIC legs.

C'est La Vie profile image

C'est La Vie 5 years ago from Florida

This was a very interesting hub! I was always wondering that.

Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

Up, awesome, useful, beautiful, funny --- the whole however many number of yards (afraid to say "nine" right now LOL).

I've always wanted to know about this stuff. I'm neither an apple nor a pear, but some weird hybrid fruit in between. I don't know. Maybe I'm the whole smoothie.

My main issue is: long torso, short legs.

But, that's only the beginning. I do like to sew, but I don't like to shop.

When I do shop, it's usually at Goodwill or St. Vinnie's. Every time I spend serious money on clothes, I'm always so sorry later on.

Bryanps: That's not "beggin the question". It's bringing up the question.

anabrea profile image

anabrea 5 years ago from North Andover, Massachusetts

Nice piece! Useful information and delightful to read as well. Perfect blend of form and function if you will.

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 5 years ago

Great information, esp. for anyone buying vintage clothing. Sad truth is many of us are well aware of the changing sizes. If you are an old size 8, 6, or 4 they no longer make clothes for you. (well, at least none that are age appropriate)

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hunt Goddess.. I have a long torso too and short legs. I'm 5'2" and my back waist measurement (base of neck to waist) is 16 inches. My shoulders are also very wide. I find a wide belt "balances" my torso and gives me a waist and I keep my hem line right at my knee to two inches above. I also wear heels - always. The combination makes my legs look long. People often mistakenly think I have long legs. It's all smoke and mirrors!

And to Ce La Vie, Anabrea and Mulberry thank you for the comments and support.

JLClose profile image

JLClose 5 years ago from OreGONE

This was a fun read! After having my third baby two months ago, I don't care what numbered size I am, I just get excited when I fit into non maternity jeans!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Congratulations on Baby Number 3! I am so glad you enjoyed reading this. I hope you enjoyed it as much as being able to wear jeans with zipper flies again.

chinasexlingerie 5 years ago

very useful, thank you for your share.

thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

thoughtfulgirl2 5 years ago from East Coast

Being a curvy girl myself, I am constantly flumoxed by the sizing of fashion. Myself, I don't pay attention to the numbers at all since they have become almost meaningless. I start at size 12 and go up or down depending on what I'm buying. Good article.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thank you, thoughtful girl. I wear anything form a 10 to an I don't get too flumoxed over my size anymore either.

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

Ack! I've known about this issue a long time. As you point out, not only have sizes changed over the years, but no two manufacturers size alike. (There is a similar problem with shoes!)

As for the 'punch someone in the jaw,' comment, I thought it was funny...and...right on! I'd proabably have the same reaction. At the very least, I'd make a comment along the lines of, "Oh,honey, I'm so sorry for you that you mother didn't teach you proper manners to function in polite society."

I sewed clothes for my kids, and a few things for myself over the years--until the kids reached an age where they "wouldn't be caught dead" in home-made clothing. (I'm no 'designer seamstress'; just a plain seamstress.)

I saved money on making the kids' clothes only until they outgrew the sizes that could be made from the remnant table: after that, as you pointed out, it is just as expensive or more so than buying RTW.

Vanity sizing, indeed! BAH, humbug! There was a time, if you go back farther than Marilyn, where "full-figured" and voluptuous women were the 'sexy standard.' There was the era of Queen Victoria, although then, they shunned the body, and even mention of any of its parts: people did not have legs and arms, they had 'limbs.' Tables were draped to the floor lest anyone catch a glimpse of the table's legs---errrrrrr----'limbs.' OY!

But go back even farther in time...the standard of beauty is seen in the sculptures of the day. The Venus de Milo is no Twiggy!

Voted up and useful.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Yes, But in the Victorian era you had to smash you waist and internal organs into a tight corste to have that itty bitty waist, plus wear a bustle. Also women were expected to have tiny feeet so even if you wore and 8 or 9 you had to cram your foot into a 6. Oh, and on top of that you had to be athletic! They actually played tennis with all that stuff on. And all that covering up the body and table legs led to an explosion of the porn industry, albeit underground!

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

All very true! (No wonder women did so much 'swooning' back then--no air could get into their lungs!) But bustles were because men liked big butts in those days. But heaven forbid anyone should see a REAL one! It all makes me ill.

cpvaughn1983 5 years ago

I love it!!! I love Marylin, I love her curves, and lets not forget the The Renaissance Woman

In the age of Chanel Iman and Kate Moss, imagining voluptuous equating to sexy is well, to put it simply, unimaginable. But in the Renaissance, the Christina Hendricks and Beth Dittos of the world would’ve reigned supreme. In fact, the women revered at the time for being gorgeous are what we would consider over weight in today’s scenario. In short, full figured women were the epitome of beauty. Paintings of artists from the time evidently depict this. Quite possibly as the only time in history, women were lauded for their natural, god-given bodies. So the Renaissance ladies were free to stuff their faces as and when they pleased. Can you spell e-n-v-y? Fairer hair was put on a pedestal at the time. The lighter the hair, the more gorgeous the girl. Pale skin, as most know was the order of the time and red lips were considered sexy supremo. Edward Cullen-esque much?

Curves freakin rock!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Being plump and pale meant wealth, i.e. you did not have to toil outside (which would make you tan) and you never had to go without food (which would make you thin.) Studies have shown when men were given pictures of curvy women vs. twiggy women, the majority found the curvy women more desirable. I am not saying one is better than the other. I am saying be proud of the body you have whether you are an hourglass, pear, apple, ruler, whatever...just love yourself.

cpvaughn1983 5 years ago


Uriel profile image

Uriel 5 years ago from Lebanon

Tess this is really interesting and informative. Thanks for the hard work and keep up the great work!!

Always a fan,


Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

thank you, Uriel!

mysisters profile image

mysisters 5 years ago

Great Hub. I never knew that vintage vs. modern sizing was so different. Very useful information.

aheil 5 years ago

wow that's weird that the sizing from different times is so different. I wonder what I am in the old days :p

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

aheil, take you current off the rack size and add 6,For example: If you wear a 10, 10+6=16. !6 is proably your vintage size... it's also most likely the size you would purchase if getting a sewing pattern.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

I know that. Thanks for the comment, and for appreciating us the way we are.

rachelsholiday profile image

rachelsholiday 5 years ago

Thank you so much for writing this! Irony of ironies, I always buy my clothes to fit my body and don't pay attention to the number, but my husband does not. I wish I could sew my own clothes, but I've never really learned how. Maybe I should take a class.

Amie Warren 5 years ago

I admit, I am hung up on size. I was a size 7-8 for most of my life, then I started gaining mostly around my middle. I can never find anything that fits my bottom that isn't too tight in the waist. I tried a lower waisted style, but even that is too big. Then to top it all off, I have skinny legs, so the size shorts that fit my waist and butt makes my legs look like two string beans hanging out of them.

I used to sew, and I'm going to start doing it again, just to get something that actually fits!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author


Sounds like you might be an apple. I don't like how shorts and pants look on me so I stick to skirts and dresses. A wide stretchy belt is your friend. It creates a waist. An empire waist on a dress that comes right at or above your knee would be very flattering showing off your two smallest parts - your legs and the area right under your bust. If you are a bit busty go for a v-neck. (Also, SPANX are your friend! Or Flexees or even Target's Assets.) I hope you do start sewing. Don't get discouraged if it's a little frustrating at first, you will get better and it will get more enjoyable.

brookelynn26 profile image

brookelynn26 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Great Great post! As a recent grad with a degree in fashion, sizing is one of the topics that come up the most with potential clients. I constantly have to explain that size does not make the garment or the woman. Our dressforms in school were all at least two sizes smaller than the size marked on it, and many people still don't understand why. In my business now, I like to list garments according to measurements as opposed to size. This is because some clients are so caught up on that number that it ets in the way of their personal style.

danthehandyman profile image

danthehandyman 5 years ago from Maryland

Great article, Tess. I studied trigonometry but still can't figure out clothing sizes for my better half. At one time I thought I had it, and then all the sizes were wrong again. Men's clothes have gone through something similar, as I have a closet full of shirts, all the same size and only 25% fit correctly. 10 years ago I didn't even know where the fitting rooms were, but now I don't buy my clothes without trying 'em on first.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author


I think that is an excellent Idea.

AshleyRB profile image

AshleyRB 5 years ago from United States

Marilyn had such an amazing shape!

leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 5 years ago from Western New York

This is why I love Hubpages - I had no idea sizes had changed so very much over the years! I had always heard that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 and never really thought about the difference in sizes over time. I can't ever get anything to fit, and I despise the new "low rise" jeans, since they give anyone over the age of 12 a muffin top!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

I know! You can barely find normal waist dress pants, either. I have completely quit wearing pants. When I show my daughter where her actual waist is, she doesn't believe me.

aheil 5 years ago

@tess45 omg my mom does that to me all the time and i dont believe her either haha

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

See, Aheil, your mother does know something!

Julia 5 years ago

Whatever size she was, she was incredibly beautiful!

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I always thougth Mariylne Monroe was a size 12... although she never looked at it. But I was curious as to why the sizes kept getting bigger and bigger. Useful information.

I always wanted to try sewing my own shirts or outfits. Got a nice sewing machine, made my kids a few horrible looking pajamas and then tried to make myself a nice tank top. Yep.... still in working progress and that was over 7 years ago. I can not figure out the sewing thing to save my life. LOL

Great hub!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author


Have you tried taking a class? I really sucked at it at first too. I am still not great, but good enough to please myself and I made my friend a kimono top for Christmas and she really liked it. If you like sewing stick with it. You will improve. Try looking for "Learn to Sew" patterns (usually found on vintage pattern sites). They can be quite helpful. You Tube is a good place to go for help too. That's where I went to learn how to do a blind hem and a French seam. Now, if I could only learn to do full bust adjustments...

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I think my main problem is I really have no patience. I want the product in like 30 minutes from cutting material to going to the sewing machine. Unfortunately, it usually takes me 30 minutes to get the bobbin going and then I have about 2 minutes of sewing and then I am out of thread and have to do the whole bobbin thing. My mother in law tried to teach me. I might take a class one day. We will see! :)

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

It takes me about 12-16 hours to make a dress. You do have to exercise patience. I always make 3 or 4 bobbins before I start.

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Hiya Tess45! I just want to let you know that this Hub was the first Hub to be featured in HubPages' new podcast series! Props to you!!

Here's a link to the blog post where you can find the podcast:

Thanks for writing such a great Hub!

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Wow! Oh my gosh, what an honor! Thank you so much!

kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

Hi Tess. I'm listening to the podcast now, and came over to see the hub. Very interesting. Thanks.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks Kim. When I wrote it I had no idea it was going to be so popular.

yukitokyo profile image

yukitokyo 5 years ago from 51 Great Portland Street London

Really great hub, it's nice to re-create vintage styles, I often find I do not fit genuine vintage clothes so i appreciate trends that are vintage inspired. I've actually just posted about it if you check my profile some of these looks may be helpful to your readers who have the same trouble finding modern sizes in vintage clothes.

Neldas profile image

Neldas 4 years ago from San Antonio, TX

Great hub and useful information.

Tess45 profile image

Tess45 4 years ago from South Carolina Author


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