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Pattern size
Help with choosing a size
cath1492
cath1492
Georgia USA
Member since 11/14/10
Posts: 3
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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Date: 7/1/12 6:10 PM

I am returning to sewing after 30-ish years. Patterns have certainly changed!! I wear a size 10-12 in RTW. but strictly according to the size charts on Vogue, I am a size 20. So, I swallowed my pride and cut out a 20 in 8669. It is huge!!
I read the review about altering that pattern, but I am not advanced enough to do much alteration.
I also made 1179 and it was loose, but it is supposed to be loose, so I thought it was okay for a starter garment.
Any suggestions on figuring out sizes?
Thanks,
Cath

JEF
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JEF  Friend of PR
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In reply to cath1492 <<


Date: 7/1/12 6:17 PM

You can read the pattern reviews. Although a lot of patterns come out too loose if you make the size indicated on the envelope for you measurements, they don't ALL come out bigger.

You can also measure a piece of clothing you think fits you (and is somewhat similar in style). So, if you are making a dress, find a dress in your closet whose bodice fits you well. Let's say it's 45 inches around the bust. Measure your pattern pieces (excluding seam allowances). If the pattern measures 49 inches, you know that dress will be significantly looser on you than the one in your closet. Maybe that will be OK because of a style difference but maybe it won't be and at least you're saved the trouble of making it up.

HTH,

JEF

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solveg
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Date: 7/1/12 6:22 PM

I'm only a size different than my rtw size, if I use the upper bust measure instead of the full bust measure....for what it's worth.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to cath1492 <<


Date: 7/1/12 7:22 PM

A lot of people are about two sizes bigger in patterns than in RTW, but that can vary depending on what RTW sizing you're used to. It could be three sizes different if your RTW is particularly "vanity-sized." Also, different pattern companies use different ease. European companies like Ottobre Woman and Burda fit more precisely, so you need to follow the sizing they recommend and then adjust if necessary. With U.S. pattern companies, sizing can be all over the map. Your next Vogue pattern might fit much truer to size, but as far as I can see there's no way to know for sure. Which is why I avoid Big 4 patterns.

-- Edited on 7/1/12 7:23 PM --

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Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to JEF <<


Date: 7/1/12 7:27 PM

Quote:
the one in your closet

This might actually be a really good way to get started figuring out what pattern size to use. Measure the finished bust, hip, and waist measurements of some RTW items that fit well and compare these to what the pattern says the finished measurements will be. Not totally precise, but maybe a way to get some kind of guideline.

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Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to cath1492 <<
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Date: 7/1/12 7:41 PM

The "hugeness" can be fixed easily if it's only relating to side seams. But if it is huge across the shoulders, you will need to measure your actual shoulder size and compare it with the pattern.

I can't tell you how many times I've bought a pattern (and I know what size it is because RTW is different), and this has happened. The key is this: measure across your high bust and then measure across your bust. If there is a big difference between the high bust and the actual bust, choose the high bust size and do a Full Bust Adjustment (tips here everywhere on PR) only if the difference is more than 2". If your high bust difference is 2" from your actual bust, and the high bust is what is on the pattern, then choose by the high bust. Then check your shoulder length--that also makes patterns look huge. If your shoulder length is smaller than the shoulders on the pattern, adjust your shoulder length; you have to get this part done first before you move on to anything else--the rest is just at the side seams.

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LynnRowe
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In reply to cath1492 <<
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Date: 7/1/12 9:01 PM

Fit the body part(s) that the garment hangs from.

A dress or top hangs from the shoulders, so choose a pattern size for those garments that is the closest match to your upper chest to neck area. Choose the smaller size if you're smack between two sizes. Shoulder/upper chest areas are very difficult to adjust for, so choose pattern size by that area first, then make the easier bust adjustment(s).

Slacks and skirts hang from the waist, so choose a size that matches in the waist. Then adjust the hip area as needed.


My shoulder/upper chest area matches a size 8 in the Big 4 patterns. If I went by my bust measurement, I'd be a size 12-14, and I'd be swimming in the garment. So I start with a size 8 in tops, dresses, and jackets, then adjust the bust area.
-- Edited on 7/1/12 9:02 PM --

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OhSewSlowly
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Date: 7/2/12 11:42 AM

I'm working on getting myself into the habit of ALWAYS measuring the pattern (rather than relying on the pattern envelope) before cutting my fabric...

marec
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Date: 7/2/12 1:20 PM

I have slowly become more particular about fit, and yesterday altered a bodice shoulder from a 10 to a 6. I measured myself, the muslin, myself, the pattern, tried it on, pinned, measured... I'm mentioning the sizes because there is NO WAY I can fit into a 6. The pattern measurement chart was either off, the draft off, or I shrunk.

It was one of those moments that will stay in my memory file when choosing patterns. Take your time and measure the pattern and the garment as you are sewing.

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cath1492
cath1492
Georgia USA
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In reply to LynnRowe <<


Date: 7/6/12 3:18 PM

Lynn,
What is the upper chest to neck measurement? Is it from the middle of the chest?
Thanks,
Cathie

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