I enjoy perusing vintage patterns, but it became quickly apparent I’m fortunate enough to fit the tinier sizes of yesteryear with minimal, if any, alterations. Many people I’ve met with a similar interest in recreating vintage duds are often frustrated by the lack of larger sizes, giving them the choice of attempting to reshape a garment, potentially losing its vintage appeal, or doing the math and resizing, itself a time-consuming effort.
Ladies and gents in past years were generally shorter and trimmer overall, with bodies shaped by a variety of different undergarments to fit the popular forms of the time. Even during the free and easy ‘flapper’ era of the 20′s, garments were intended for the idealized ‘boy’ body- small chest, narrow hips, and slender overall. In my digging at the NYPL, I came across several volumes dedicated to larger sizes, sizes which translate to a modern size 8-14.
I must apologize in advance for the grainy photos and occasional thumb appearance- scans would have been far too costly for the volume of works I was rustling through, so I opted to take photos with my digital camera. This had its pros and cons, but at least all the text is legible. I hope. Also, does anyone know how to PDF this stuff? As much as I’m sure people enjoy clicking and waiting for a million photos to load, the ease of a PDF would be preferable.