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Need help 'converting' 1964 Vogue Knitting pattern (size 42?) to 2011 Size 12

Have a friend who is wanting to knit a sweater dress from the Spring/Summer 1964 issue of Vogue Knitting (pattern #41 if you have access) ... my friend is a size 10-12, which by 1964 sizing would put her at a size 42 ... and the max size of the pattern is Size 16. Any advice, suggestions, direction? I did contact Vogue and they declined to 'customize' ... I'm only looking for advice.


Before worrying about converting the pattern, I would do a little math to figure out what the actual finished size of the sweater will be, as given in the pattern. Clothe sizing is as much a "by guess and by golly" so I wouldn't get hung up on whether the pattern gives the same clothing size as you think your friend would be.

To calculate the finished size look at the gauge for the pattern. If it says something like 20 st/4 inches, divide 20 by 4 and you get 5 stitches per inch. Then take a look at the number of stitches you cast on. If the pattern is worked in pieces -- back, front, sleeves -- take the number of stitches you cast-on for the back and divide by 5. This will get you how many inches wide the back of the sweater will be, if knit to gauge. Suppose the pattern says cast-on 120 stitches. 120 divide by 5 is 24 inches. If the back 24 inches, then for a typical sweater you double this number and get 44 inches as the circumference of the finished sweater.

From the actual measurements of the finished sweater, you can decide whether the pattern will allow you to make an appropriate size for your friend.