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Selecting Correct Pattern Size (Tip/Technique)
Viewed 5318 times
Review rated Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 11 people   
Posted by: monijo
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About monijo star
Member since: 7/5/08
Reviews written: 25
Sewing skills:Advanced
Favored by: 4 people
tips added: 23
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Posted on: 11/9/11 6:42 AM


Since a garment hangs from the shoulders, it must fit correctly at the shoulder, neckline and armhole areas. These areas rarely change if weight is gained or lost. The bust and waistline are easily altered, but the upper body is very difficult. Therefore, it is best to purchase a pattern by front armhole width.

1. Stand braless wearing a camisole in front of a mirror and look for your armhole crease. Where your arm meets your body, a crease forms in your skin (the place where the side of your chest joins with the side of your arm. A crease will be there, right at the top of arm/chest separation).

2. Place the 1-inch end of the tape measure ABOVE this crease. I mark my body with a felt marker. You can tape the tape measure to your body if you have no one to help you.

3. Measure across the front of your chest to the 1-inch mark ABOVE the crease on the other side. This is the normal stitching line in the garment.

4. Round off to the nearest half inch.


The sizing chart changes every half inch. The key to remembering your size is that 14 inches happens to be a misses' size 14.

Front Width: 12 inches; use Misses' size 6, Junior size 5.
Front Width: 12 1/2 inches; use Misses' size 8, Junior size 7.
Front Width: 13 inches; use Misses' size 10, Junior size 9, Half-Size 10 1/2.
Front Width: 15 inches; use Misses' 18, Half-Size 18 1/2, Women's 38.

The Sew/Fit Manual by Ruth Oblander and Joan Anderson. Available at, "My Favorite Things" page.

The Busy Woman's Fitting Book by Nancy Zieman with Robbie Fanning ( A new edition will available at her website.
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9 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Gildarose said...
This is good, thanks for the time you spent posting it.
11/9/11 10:55 AM
G.Petunia said...
Thanks. Good to know :)
11/9/11 3:33 PM
knipster said...
thanks for this tip ! it is sometimes very difficult to know where to put the measuretape exactly.
11/10/11 5:41 AM
Gildarose said...
Thanks this is very helpful!
11/10/11 11:14 AM
Gildarose said...
Thanks this is very helpful!
11/10/11 11:14 AM
ginniesstitchin said...
This makes much more sense than anything else I've found. Thanks, I'll try it.
11/14/11 2:11 AM
tatica said...
When you say 1 inch end, do you mean to say that you add 1 inch to both sides? Can you please post a picture? I'm very interested. this is an area I have difficulties with.
11/18/11 6:21 PM
Liz29 said...
Thank U
9/22/12 3:57 PM
PureJoy said...
Thank you! Adjusting the shoulder and armhole position is VERY hard for me to get right. I will try this instead of spending hours trying to adjust that part of the body
2/27/14 2:52 AM

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