One of the participants had a bag full of old dress patterns that she was giving away. They are mostly Vogue and Simplicity from the 60's and 70's. The prices on them are 3 or 4 shillings, vintage Vogue patterns will set you back about £12 these days so I am very grateful to the lady who gave them to me.
I knew sizes would have changed but I didn't realise by how much. A 60's size 14 was 34" 24" 36". Today it's 37" 31" 40" not only bigger overall but a lot less curvy. I know people have become a lot more sedentary which might explain the bigger bum size but reason for the tiny waste became apparent when I found these fitting instructions. Seriously - a girdle!
One particularly lovely Jackie O style black dress has a detachable dickie, collar and cuffs. A bit if research was needed to find out that a dickie is basically a false shirt front. They came into being because it was difficult to properly starch a dress shirt, it's the comedy bit that flaps up and catches an unsuspecting cartoon character in the chin! I was intrigued as to how you made the collar and cuffs detachable. Answer, hand baste them on, presumably you cut them off when didn't want them and basted them back when you did. I can't imagine todays Primark shoppers sitting down to do that every time they fancied a change of style.
I am really looking forward to having a go at making some of these. Some things have become easier, like iron interfacing but resizing will definitely need the help of the Oracle. Maybe one day in the far far distant future when I have time....