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Tips & Techniques > Sizing help for "Today's Fit" by Sandra Betzina

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Posted by: NancyDaQ

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Member since: 1/12/02
Reviews: 69 (tips: 6)
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Posted on: 2/15/03 4:11 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 11 people   Very Helpful by 32 people   
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Sandra's website no longer provides detailed information on how to select your size. This is some information I have gleaned, based on her handouts at seminars I have attended and experience.

Generally, she recommends to pick the size in tops that matches your full bust size. This is not always true. I will explain further below.

The cup size changes in each size range. ABC is B cup, DEF is C cup and GHIJ is D cup. So, rule of thumb: if your bust cup is different than the pattern, choose the size that corresponds to your high bust instead of full bust. You will probably have to make a bust adjustment but you will get a better fit in the shoulders. You may also need to adjust the side seams to get the width needed. Neither alteration is hard to do, compared with shoulder and neck alterations (in my opinion).

If you are buying the pattern for the skirt or pants, purchase by the hip size, comparing the pattern with your hips at their largest point. I find that for me, the waist on the pattern is usually very large compared with the hips, so I size down the pattern at the waist and blend the pattern line from waist to hip. You can also adjust the waist further by increasing the width of seams, darts, or pleats.

The pattern sizing is also designed for different heights, according to the size chart I have. ABC is designed for 5'3"-5'5"; DEF is basically 5'6"; GHIJ is 5'6-1/2". I mention this because this is a little shorter than the standard for the major pattern companies. If you are short and it's a toss up between size ranges, this might be another reason to choose the smaller size range. Vertically, things may line up better on your body.

Like me you might find that your top and bottom are 2 different size ranges, and of course, they are not in the same envelope (grrrr!). Joann and Hancock sales come in handy for this ($3.99 or 75% off) and I will buy both sizes. If you don't want to do this, I would recommend you buy the size that works best for the more complex garment, then adjust the more simple one. Complex and simple are relative terms and depend on your own shape! For me this would be the top. Also, the top usually has the more unique design, and if necessary, the pattern for the bottom can be adapted from another pattern that fits you.

I hope this is helpful!

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Annette1 said... (6/22/08 10:23 PM) Reply
What a GREAT review, with a wealth of information I would have no way of knowing otherwise. Thank you.
Marrs said... (6/16/06 9:49 AM) Reply
This really helped. Explaind perfectly all my struggles with these patterns.
lornakismet said... (4/30/06 11:15 PM) Reply
Thank you for going into such detail for such an important issue with all sewers. -LornaKismet (Lorna A.)
flowermama said... (5/22/05 8:21 AM) Reply
Wow, I wish I had found this tip earlier! Thank you!
Lou05 said... (5/21/05 8:37 PM) Reply
Thanks again for your helpful info. I could no longer find the info (I haven't used her patterns for a year or two) when I got ready to sew clothes again. I couldn't find it on Vogue's site either. You are a lifesaver!
bobbieg said... (6/11/03 10:52 PM) Reply
this will be a great help
HH said... (5/22/03 10:32 PM) Reply
I noticed today that the Vogue website/articles has one by Sandra on choosing the right size.
Everyday Sewist said... (4/6/03 11:38 AM) Reply
P.S. If you have a flat derriere, you might want to go down a size in the back inseam starting right at the crotch line, not below it. (I don't usually make that adjustment--did not mean to confuse).
Everyday Sewist said... (4/6/03 11:34 AM) Reply
I have just finished fitting a pair of narrow tapered pants from this pattern line. I noticed the same problem as Mary T with the back pants pattern. And I agree, the alteration needed is to go down a size on the back inseam only, perhaps an inch or two below the crotch line. The front thigh is fine, but there is a lot of excess fabric in the back thigh area. Another thing--if you are making narrow pants, be sure to measure the flat pattern at the calf. I never thought of myself as having large calves, but these pants were so tight in the calf, I had to let them out 1" in the below-knee area.
SouthernStitch said... (2/17/03 0:55 AM) Reply
Nan, I am almost done with them, and I am pretty excited. I may have a wearable muslin!! But I must say, I knew going in that trousers with pleats is not the most flattering for me. Hope to have the review online by the end of the week.
NancyDaQ said... (2/17/03 0:06 AM) Reply
Mary T, I am looking forward to your review as I also wear a size E in Today's Fit for my bottom half. My measurements are pretty similar to yours too.
SouthernStitch said... (2/16/03 12:06 PM) Reply
I have cut and am preparing to sew my first Today's Fit pants. She does say that the flat derriere alteration is "built in" but I still had to go down one size in the back inseam on the muslin, and then they were perfect. My waist is 35 and hips 42, so the size E is what I picked. But, still I had to make a slight tummy increase (not waist). I will report in my review how that alteration turned out, using her instructions. I plan to buy more of her stuff, especially tops, so thanks so much!!
Elona said... (2/15/03 6:59 PM) Reply
Thanks! This really does help.
starlene said... (2/15/03 6:00 PM) Reply
Yes indeed, very helpful.
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