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Awww, you're glowing already! Pregnancy becomes you well. :-) I am SO excited that you're experimenting with vintage maternity styles!! It's something that's intrigued me for years, but I know so few people who stick with it during maternity. I think the 1930s/40s styles like this were so ingenious and I'll be interested to see how you like it!


I love how you added those buttons...I thought it was part of the pattern...well done.

Best wishes, Dee

Cindy Wilson

Kristen I recently found your blog and really enjoy it. You are inspiring me to sew more. I would love to know how you figured out how to size up vintage patterns. Cindy

Kristen Stoltzfus Clay

Welcome, Cindy! I'm glad you found me.

The proper way to size up vintage patterns is to cut the pieces and spread them a specific distance. There are tutorials online for this. I always cheat by looking for patterns where the back pieces are cut on the fold. I can add up to 2 inches just by moving the pieces 1 inch away from the fold. If I'm going to add more than 2 inches, I'll cut the side seams (including sleeves) an inch away from the pattern edge. I can also sew all the seams 3/8 in. instead of 5/8 in., which gives you an extra half inch per seam. It also really helps when a vintage pattern has very deep "let out" seams, where the pattern is already graded to allow for extra room if you sew the side seams shallower.

I prefer to only size up patterns by 2-3 inches when I can add it all in the back and side seams. More than that means that I might also have to trim the neck and sleeve openings to make it roomier in general, and the darts might need to be moved or adjusted which is more of a headache. If I'm just sizing it up a few inches in the back, the front darts usually still fit fine since there is only a slight difference between dart placement from one size to the next.

Hope that helps!


I just found your blog the other day, and since then, I've been spending too much time looking at all of your sewing projects! you inspired me to get started on a couple of sewing projects I've been meaning to start for the past two months. All your piece are so beautiful, and I wish I could hire you as my personal seamstress!


Great question, Cindy! I have been looking into resizing vintage patterns.

Thanks for the tips, Kristen. I didn't think about making the seams smaller if they are 5/8. I think I read somewhere that older patterns didn't all have 5/8 seams but varied depending on the brand. Maybe in a future post you can give us more sewing tips. :)

Do you wash and dry your fabric BEFORE cutting and sewing?

What about unprinted patterns?

Best wishes, Dee

Kristen Stoltzfus Clay

Hi Dee,

You're right - a lot of old patterns have 1/2 inch seams. Sewing those shallower will only make the difference of 1/4 in. per seam,, and depending on the fabric you may not want to have seams that shallow. However, like I mentioned, a lot of old patterns (especially the unprinted ones) have 1/2 inch seam allowance BUT also 3/4 inch side seams to allow for letting out. If you sew THOSE seams 3/8, you get almost two more inches just like that, and may not need to do any other resizing if the pattern is just a little too small.

One of these days I'll have to do a tutorial on pattern resizing the "cheating" way. :-)

Yes, always wash and dry fabric before cutting it, just in case there is any shrinking or warping - you DON'T want that to happen to a newly finished project! I always wash my fabric the way I will wash the dress - if it's rayon I'll wash it in cold water and line dry it. If it's cotton, I'll wash it in warm water and line dry it, because that is how I'll wash the dress when it's done.

Unprinted patterns are actually my favorites to work with, partly because the perforations make marking the fabric so much easier! They can look scarily blank if you're used to modern patterns, but after using unprinted patterns a lot, the moderns ones look confusing with all those marks for different sizes.

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