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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > An Investigation of the Sizing, Grading, and Fit of Commercial Sewing Patterns

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An Investigation of the Sizing, Grading, and Fit of Commercial Sewing Patterns
Interesting Masters thesis
andye
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Date: 10/31/12 3:50 AM

I found this recent thesis which aimed to sort out the size issue once and for all-- testing various patterns against Industry standard size and ease standards, as well as the pattern companies' own stated standards.

An Investigation of the Sizing, Grading, and Fit of Commercial Sewing Patterns (spoiler: most of thepattern companies failed miserably at some point or another)

It's also got a neat chapter on historical development of patterns, if you don't care for nitpicking about ease and fit.

-- Edited on 10/31/12 3:54 AM --

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Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

lyndle
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Date: 10/31/12 4:53 AM

Very interesting, thank you for posting. Interesting that for some brands esp Burda, the bust point was lower than the mannequin. IMO this is likely to better reflect a real figure, esp in larger sizes and age 35 plus. I haven't read the part about selecting and verifying the mannequins so this may be discussed there. Meantime, i'll stick with Style Arc and Burda, and keep adding fit insurance on those Burda hips!

blue mooney
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Date: 10/31/12 10:22 AM

Thanks for posting this interesting reading. My take is that for me, New Look might be worth another look.

I'm not sure I agree with the researcher's recommendation to classify sizing into straight and curvy. Curves can be distributed anywhere on the body - to say a pattern is sized for a curvy figure really doesn't give enough information. I really do think the apple/pear dichotomy is a better split.

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--Robyn
sewing blog: http://bluemooney.wordpress.com/
illustration blog: http://storybooky.wordpress.com/

Noelle Mac
Noelle Mac
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Date: 10/31/12 12:05 PM

andye
Thanks so much for posting this! Really interesting reading. I especially enjoyed reading about the history of patternmaking in the US. It is nice to have this kind of academic discussion of garment sewing among all of our other topics.

Deb Fox
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Date: 10/31/12 2:16 PM

Reading this interesting document reveals what I have felt all along...the patterns are not standard...grading is inconsistent, ease is inconsistent and printed measurements do not accurately correspond to actual finished measurements...no wonder we have so many problems getting patterns to fit us!

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Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

Sanibelle
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In reply to andye <<


Date: 10/31/12 3:54 PM

Thanks so much for posting this!

Elona
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In reply to andye <<


Date: 10/31/12 5:02 PM

Great article--and suspicions confirmed! But congratulations to Burda for apparently having modernized their sizing fairly recently, and for being somewhat closer to 'true' to measurements.

nancy2001
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Date: 10/31/12 7:23 PM

Very interesting. Thank you for posting this.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

sings2high
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Date: 10/31/12 8:57 PM

The author recommended the pattern companies re-size closer to RTW. I disagree. It is a moving target and will continue to be so. I think it would be sensible to make a complete break with RTW sizing (how can you standardize to something that HAS NO STANDARD?) and instead make it very straight-forward. A 38 inch bust would be a size 38. And if today's women are mostly C-cups, that also should be the stated standard. If a company wishes to supply different cup sizes for a size 38, when looking at the patterns we would see the shoulders getting narrower in inverse proportion to the cup-size getting bigger.
Oh, and for sizing pants maybe something REALLY radical, like using hip and inseam measurements, the length of the rise being proportionate to the length of the inseam. It's no wonder men's pants have always fit me better than women's.

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Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 1 - woohoo! finished my oldest UFO - an apron cut out in the mid-80s with a pattern from the mid-40s! and the bias binding promptly disintegrated in the wash! Ok, it was from my Great-Grandmother's stash, which means it was bought anytime from the 1910's to 1970's.
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 2
New Projects started in 2014: 3
Stash:
sewn in 2014: 0
bought in 2014: 17.25

I know...I'm procrastinating.

tigergirl
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tigergirl
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In reply to sings2high <<


Date: 11/1/12 0:10 AM

Quote: sings2high
The author recommended the pattern companies re-size closer to RTW. I disagree. It is a moving target and will continue to be so. I think it would be sensible to make a complete break with RTW sizing (how can you standardize to something that HAS NO STANDARD?) and instead make it very straight-forward. A 38 inch bust would be a size 38. And if today's women are mostly C-cups, that also should be the stated standard. If a company wishes to supply different cup sizes for a size 38, when looking at the patterns we would see the shoulders getting narrower in inverse proportion to the cup-size getting bigger.

Oh, and for sizing pants maybe something REALLY radical, like using hip and inseam measurements, the length of the rise being proportionate to the length of the inseam. It's no wonder men's pants have always fit me better than women's.

Yes, but maybe it should be the upper bust measurement instead of bust measurement to allow for different cup sizes.

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Brother BM-2600
Janome 693
Lumina Overlocker (Serger)
http://tigergirladventures.blogspot.com/

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