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Forum > Fitting Woes > RTW Big 4 Sizing Conversions? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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RTW Big 4 Sizing Conversions?
Pattern sizing question
cristina mary
cristina mary
Member since 2/12/11
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Date: 1/8/14 9:46 PM

Hi all! I'm wondering - is there any kind of sizing conversion chart floating around anywhere that says if you're X size in ready to wear pants then you are probably X size in McCalls?

This might be a totally ridiculous question, but I'll tell you why I'm asking. I'm hoping to try to make McCalls 3830, the ever-popular pencil skirt. I am, however, right between a 12 and a 14 in sizing - which are two different pattern envelopes. I'm a pretty solid size 4 rtw in pants and skirts. How does one decide which size pattern to purchase? I pretty solid in the waist a 14, but I'm between a 12 and 14 for the hips, and I read that there's a lot of ease built into these patterns sometimes.

I'm kind of a novice, so these sorts of decisions send me into a tizzy. Any advice appreciated! :)

Cristina

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Date: 1/8/14 10:10 PM

I would go with the one that has the smaller sizes if I were you. If you're a size 4 RTW, most Big 4 size 14 patterns will probably be big on you. European patterns such as Burda and Ottobre Woman are drafted for a more precise fit, but Big 4 patterns tend to be all over the place, and you're right, they usually have quite a bit of ease.

You can check the finished hip measurement, if it's on the envelope, then compare it to the finished hip measurement of a pencil skirt you already own that fits well.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

cristina mary
cristina mary
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Date: 1/8/14 10:25 PM

Ah yes, the finished measurements! I always forget about those. That is a great suggestion about measuring a skirt I have. I will absolutely do that.



MrsCharisma
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Date: 1/10/14 10:39 AM

Don't you just HATE when you're in between and the sizes don't overlap!?!?

I'm probably a 12 in RTW skirts and I made this skirt in a 14 in a super stretchy material, 16 without stretch.

My hip is a 43, the 14 has a 42" hip the 16 has a 44" hip.

I'd definitely go with the smaller size.

------
Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

annakeeton
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Date: 1/10/14 2:44 PM

First assess the ease on the pattern pieces. Then you can always cut between sizes.

ItzMePenny

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Date: 1/10/14 3:17 PM

Quote: cristina mary
is there any kind of sizing conversion chart floating around anywhere that says if you're X size in ready to wear pants then you are probably X size in McCalls?




But whose RTW sizing would you want them to use? I can wear 3 different sizes in RTW, depending on the brand/designer. It's been that way for as long as I can remember and I'm in my 70's.

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PennyZ



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In reply to cristina mary <<
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Date: 1/10/14 3:39 PM

There is absolutely no correlation between RTW sizing and pattern sizing. If you wear a size 12 in a Gloria Vanderbuilt Amanda jean you could also wear a size 4 in a Ralph Lauren jean. Ask me how I know! Sizing in RTW is arbitrary with the designer. Sizing in patterns is based on measurements and ease. One has nothing to do with the other. I wish I had a more agreeable answer for you but there really is no magic bullet when it comes to pattern sizing. I have found the best results using the method Nancy Zieman teaches to get the right sized pattern and I suggest her books on fit as they are clear and easy to understand. Use your measurements to decide which pattern you need.

As far as being between sizes, very very few people are able to fit into a pattern out of the envelope. We are all just too different. Anyone sewing, unless they are among the rare few, needs to expect to fit a pattern. If I were between sizes like you are I would go with the larger pattern as you can always make it smaller but vice versa would be dicey. Pin fit those side seams or baste them and try your skirt on. Then decide where to stitch the final seams. Adjust your pattern accordingly. So if you took a 1/4 inch of each side seam of the skirt do the same to your pattern pieces. Now, next time you go to make a pencil skirt you have a TNT pattern that you can just cut and sew. TNT=tried and true. Also be aware that different fabrics fit differently. Bottom line, there is no substitute for fitting the pattern before doing your final stitching. Better yet, make a muslin. I guarantee you it is worth the time and effort.

Nancy K
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Date: 1/10/14 8:47 PM

I agree. It's a pointless exercise in futility. You have to learn to read the descriptions because that gives you the sense of how much ease there is. All of the big four list the amount of ease in fitted, semi fitted, etc. The other thing of course as someone else mentioned is to look at the finished garment measurements. They are often printed on the pattern at the bust and hip. If not it is easy to measure it. Mark your seam allowances and measure between, remembering to double your measurements. Measuring your clothes at bust and hip will give you a better idea of the ease that you like and feel comfortable in.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

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