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Friday, September 2, 2011

The oldest patterns in my collection... McCall's 1920s gown and dress patterns

I just got one of the bins from my enormous vintage sewing pattern collection and thought I would post them on my blog.  They are both "The New McCall Pattern" - Patented August 16, 1921. They are both unused and seem to have never been removed from the package and are in almost mint condition.  I can't believe how well they have held up in 90 years.

The first is a wonderful "Ladies' and Misses Negligee".  I love this design and I love the hair styles.


What I find interesting is that the sizing for this patterns robe is defined as "Small (16-18 years).  Apparently, if you were of these ages... that's the size you were expected to be? Yet I look at the back and It spells out the next two sizes up:

Medium (36-38)
Large (40-42)


I have to admit, I am a wee bit confused as to how the age thing works, and why the 18 to 36 gap between medium and small, yet only 2 between 38 and 40... otherwise I would have thought this was based on waist sizes.  Hmmmmm....  I also notice that the only two possible yardages/material widths are 36 and 40.

The next pattern is for a "Misses' and Juniors' Two-Piece Dress" which is a Size 18... this is so obviously a 20s flapper style dress with the low non-existent waist and the lack of boobage.


This pattern, however, has a bit more size information on the backside.


Size 12 = 30-33
Size 14 = 32-35
Size 16 = 34-37
Size 18 = 3.5-39
Size 20 = 37-39.5

These measurements are Bust-Hip.  Why only two measurements?  That's right, 1920s! Hee haw!... no need for a waist girls!  I'll bet Barbie cried in the 20s when her measurements were 30-N/A-30...

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