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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Different approaches to fitting and choosing a pattern size ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Different approaches to fitting and choosing a pattern size
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phillykitty
phillykitty
Member since 1/15/13
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Date: 3/25/13 6:30 PM

I've been doing a lot of reading about fitting methods and the
best way to choose a the correct pattern size.

I was about to jump in and buy a sloper pattern based on my upper bust size but then i came across this article from Threads


Threads article


which advocates picking a fitted shirt pattern with finished bust measurement (as marked on pattern) 1 1/2 to 2 inches larger than your full bust measurement. It's not specifically a bodice sloper as the article is about getting the armhole to fit.

As a knitter I always choose patterns for my upper bust so the shoulders don't end up being too big.

To complicate matters I have been working out a lot for the past nine months and have put on a lot of muscle. So my upper bust is 37 (used to be 35.5) and my full bust is 38.5 which makes me between A and B cup according to the charts except that I am a DD! And yet my shoulders are still on the narrow side. My waist is 30 inches iI know most woman have a lot of different things going up on top but I am feeling overwhelmed. I just embarked on a trench coat and am working through the fitting issues slowly but in the future I would like to have a well-thought out strategy and thought the sloper exericise would work.

Anyway, i would love to hear what others have to say about this topic. I am loving this web site. It has been so helpful as I get back into sewing after a 20 year hiatus.
-- Edited on 3/25/13 7:56 PM --

Learn To Sew
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In reply to phillykitty <<


Date: 3/25/13 7:49 PM

threads article

I have not read it yet, but thought the link would be helpful.

------
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JeanM

JeanM
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In reply to phillykitty <<
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Date: 3/25/13 8:14 PM

You will find many approaches to choosing patterns and to fitting! I've read many books, and done some looking on-line for specific techniques or reviews of specific patterns. (I usually prefer books/printed material over videos; and haven't ever tried classes in person or on-line - just not the resources, really, nor any sewing buddies - local or distance).

I do a lot of measuring - of myself, and of the flat pattern pieces. I should make muslins more than I do, but I have a few patterns that are, more or less, TNT (tried 'n' true) and tend to go back to those over and over again. And I'm not after "absolutely perfect", either!

At any rate, for me it is easier to work from my high bust measurement to choose a starting size - I would rather have the shoulders/neck/upper chest close to correct for me, and then do an FBA and add for waist and hips (given that I start with about a sewing pattern size 16...probably should start with a 14... hips are about at sewing pattern 18 or 20).

I usually trace my patterns on Swedish tracing paper, and for new patterns, I will at least pin-fit the traced pieces (similar to pin-fitting the tissue patterns). That gives me an idea of the fit (I can go back and re-trace/readjust if the pin-fit is really far off), and then I sew a wearable (hopefully!) version - usually in a fabric I don't mind "losing" if the item doesn't come out wearable for me (usually donate ones I can't wear to thrift store).

I do think that it helps to work on one type of garment, and get a good idea of what adjustments are needed for that type. Using one pattern several times (tweak the details so it doesn't get too boring!) helps with learning what adjustments you need. Tho' if a pattern just doesn't work for you, there's plenty more out there, move on!

Welcome back to sewing!

Nancy K
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In reply to phillykitty <<


Date: 3/25/13 10:33 PM

My dd is a rock climber. She is a 32DD but her upper bust measurement is 2" smaller than her full bust because her back is muscular. I made a blouse and used her full bust measurement for size and added a 1/2" fba and added length so that the front doesn't pull up. It was a little too wide in the upper front, which I narrowed easily, but the back fit.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

ryan's mom
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Date: 3/26/13 6:35 AM

I have always chosen the path of least resistance which requires the least amount of alterations. My HB is a size 10, my waist a 14, and my hips between a 10 and 12. I usually choose a 12 which requires a minimal FBA, minimal neck and shoulder alteration, minimal waist alteration, and no hip alteration.

I hate when alterations become so large and unwieldy. A lot of advice says to fit the neck and shoulders and alter everything else because it's harder. I don't think so. I think it's quite easy to alter the neck and shoulders in many, although not all styles. So that's what I do.

Although size blended patterns in 10-14 are my fave. I hate when patterns end at 12 because tracing between the lines is so easy requiring virtually zero alteration work on my end.

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Coverstitch: Janome CP1000. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

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woole bully

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Date: 3/26/13 9:52 AM

i read the article. wow! great information and help. always have a time fitting the armscye.

schmammy
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Date: 3/26/13 1:07 PM

This topic is a crazy-maker! After hearing recently that it's better to choose a pattern based on your shoulder width, I did that and attempted to do a MEGA fba. This is a big deal for those of us whose shoulder width matches a size 12-14, but whose full bust matches a size 20-22! Just once I'd like to see the "best" method of dealing with this discrepancy. It seems to boil down to which alteration you're better at: FBA or neck/shoulder adjustments.

Making/fitting your own bras is complicated also by this problem because designers assume that fuller busted women have broad shoulders (ever heard of Dolly Parton?).

At the end of 2011, I declared 2012 the year of mastering fit. HA!

------
Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

http://chihuahuaonmylap.blogspot.com/

phillykitty
phillykitty
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Date: 3/27/13 10:35 PM

Thanks for the replies, folks. It's nice to hear what people
have to say on this topic. I haven't made enough fitted garments
to know which method works best for me.

jacquiJB
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In reply to schmammy <<


Date: 3/28/13 3:57 AM

Just out of curiosity, did you read sfshaza's discussion of FBAs for the über-busty on her blog? She has good info for both knits and wovens. You might find it helpful. :)

schmammy
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In reply to jacquiJB <<


Date: 3/28/13 8:50 AM

I do follow her blog, actually. She is a marvel! Such a great sense of style.

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Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

http://chihuahuaonmylap.blogspot.com/

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