Can't reduce stitches and come up with the same number as the pattern

I’m just taking up knitting again after many years.
I’m knitting a dress for my grand daughter’s Baby Annabel, and I am using a Richard Poppleton 1606 baby matinee pattern. ( .
I am having difficulty with the 1st size only part.IMG_20200514_0001 .
However I calculate it, I cannot get to 81 stitches.
I can get the first and last parts, but the middle section just doesn’t add up.
I’d be grateful for any help that anyone can give me.
Thanks very much.

Welcome to the forum!
I can’t get the first size to add up either. (The second size works but the third doesn’t add up.)
Is this at the waist where the pattern transitions to the upper pattern? If so, you might try working the first and last repeats 5 times instead of 4 times leaving the middle section at 3 times. That’ll give you 82sts and you can easily decrease one more before the first row of the next stitch pattern.

Thanks for your reply, I’m glad it wasn’t just me not being able to read a pattern properly. It is the shaping for the waist so I shall do as you suggest.

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You could also put in a lifeline in case you don’t like the look of this possible work around. You’ll have to see how it looks or lines up.

I don’t think there’s any recourse to help from the designer or publisher since this is a vintage pattern. Let us know how it’s going.