I found this pattern on Lanetz Living, it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be. Prices for these old patterns are all over the map it seems.
Now let me say up front, even though I'm an illustrator, these pattern illustrations give me pause. I know it's a "fashion" illustration but I look at it and can only see how not like the drawing I am. Is that skirt going to be as narrow as it appears? Will I have trouble walking or sitting down? These girls must mince along on those skinny legs, taking teeny tiny steps and going nowhere fast. In my mind, I bound along like one of R. Crumb's women… at least in my mind and in comparison to these ladies. So there's that.
What encouraged me to enter the contest though, was the certain necessity of having to alter the pattern to fit. We're supposed to follow techniques outlined in the pattern instructions. This pattern doesn't have any really baroque construction details beyond sew in interfacing. Another requirement is to use a pattern with the "old sizing", whatever that is. Generally, I think that means smaller.
I used Linda Maynard's "De-Mystifying Fit" CD to help with alterations. I adjusted the pattern to fit my personal sloper. The old patterns have the advantage of being printed in one size, with the seam line marked.
I was relieved to see, when it arrived, the pattern I picked was pretty basic. It has a side zip, I haven't done that before, and the bust dart has been rotated to the center front.
For the first time, I made a muslin, using an old sheet. I also sketched the design on my croquis. I was not reassured by the pattern envelope that this would work for me. I compared and adjusted first the length measurements and then the circumferences of the pattern to my sloper. I changed the shoulder slope, mine are more square (this girl never carried anything heavier than her purse). I reshaped the hip curve and took length out of the skirt.
The muslin made up, since I used a white sheet, it looked a lot like my croquis drawing. I compared the fit with the apparent fit in the drawing and saw I could add some length to the bodice to achieve the blouson effect and remove some of the ease from the sleeve cap. I shortened the skirt considerably, after that there wasn't too much to do. Could it be female physiology is much the same as it was in 1961?