Vintage Sizing Charts

vintage sewing pattern size charts

Why a size 14 is not always a size 14.

By now, you may have noticed that it seems like no two sewing pattern sizing charts are the same!

This is just a natural result of the passage of time. Over the years independent companies, designers, and regions have made their own systems and regulations for measuring and marketing sewing patterns.

As time has gone on, body measurements have become larger and the size numbers smaller. This is simply the known marketing effect of vanity and people feeling happy to see they fit a smaller size.

As with much of the fashion world, it’s all illusion and delusion.


Timeless Templates are proud to be part of the body positivity movement.  Everyone should be able to love their body, regardless of Shape, Size or Symmetry …AND look damn good while doing it.

Don’t ever be put off a pattern, because according to its measurements chart, you take a size 3 or 4 times larger than your modern local equivalent. 

Take accurate body measurements, love who you are and enjoy making clothes that fit you well.  

The Vintage Charts

Below are a few vintage sewing charts from some of the major pattern companies. Complete with the dates and eras they relate to.

They are useful for reference but nothing will ever replace getting out the tape measure and measuring yourself and your pattern pieces! 

The amount of ease a pattern allows between garment and body also varies over time and pattern company. 

Mcall Size Charts 1939

Mccall 1939 free vintage sewing manual
Mcall Ladies and Misses 1939

Ladies’ and Misses sizes were most often on the first pages of the sizing guide, with Junior (for the youthful figure) and Girls’ Sizes following. Finally, finishing with Children’s Sizing.

useful size charts for vintage sewing
Mcall Junior, Girls and Children's Sizes 1939

Vogue Size Charts 1948

free vintage sewing help - size chart
Vogue Ladies, Misses and Juniors 1948
vogue vintage sewing pattern size chart 1940

Femme D'Aujour'Hui (French) Size Charts 1950

femme d´aujourd ´hui taille patron 1950
Femme D'Aujour'Hui Womens Sizes 1950

Patron Modele (French) Size Charts 1969

patron modèle size chart 1969
Patron Modele Womens Sizes 1969
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