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Tips & Techniques > Choose correct pattern size-eliminate gaping neck & armholes

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Posted by: stitchit
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Posted on: 5/28/04 2:54 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
Choose correct pattern size by your neck measurement? Sounds bizzare? Try it.
Take your neck measurement with dressmaking measuring tape by placing it around base of neck and over front neck bones as for jewel neck. If neck measurement is 14" your pattern size is size 10. For every 1/2" larger or smaller, you go up or down a dress size i.e. 15" neck is size 14. This does not apply to small, medium , large category patterns.

Multile size patterns are very helpful for bust,waist and hip adjustments.
For instance: If you are a size 10 pattern size because your neck measures 14", you must have a size 10 in your pattern. i.e 8 10 12 or 6 8 10.

You can add up to 1 1/2" to your side seams without distorting your pattern. If more circumference is required for large bust you will have to slash pattern from mid armhole through waist dart and spread required amount.

It is very important to have a good set of recent measurements as we always change in size, don't we?

The first personal measurement to check is your square shoulder adjustment. Please refer to "tight armholes" tip of 05/27/04.

In the correct pattern size you will not have any adjustments to neck, shoulder width or armhole depth as a rule.
These areas are the most difficult parts of a pattern to adjust, right? Collars and facings wouldn't need adjustments,

You can use you correct pattern size in any style and your adjustments will always be the same unless you lose or put on about 12 lbs. and then you will go to the next size.

Your comments Please.

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10 Comments
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oressak said...
I tried this tip and what a difference. I need a size 6 around the neck instead of a size 10 or 8 that I was using,
7/4/09 3:44 PM
drsue said...
well, I measure 13 so I'm a 6. But I already knew that! The problem is many patterns aren't made that small so I have to alter these problem areas anyway.
6/11/04 6:04 PM
katieb said...
seemed to work for me. I measured 15" and I usually cut a size 14. very interesting. I also like your tight armhole tip, but haven't tried that yet.
5/31/04 5:51 AM
CarolynGM said...
Fascinating theory -- I just tried it and came up with a neck size between 13.5 and 14 inches. I usually cut a 12 in the bust (34 inch bust, 32 inch chest) and a 10 in the shoulders. In other words, it worked for me. Nancy Zieman's cross-chest measurement puts me between an 8 and a 10 in the shoulders.
5/30/04 11:35 AM
gabrielle said...
I tried it again, using a shoelace so I could get a closer fit (gurgle). I think my neckbones are set lower, or something. I have a long neck and slightly sloping shoulders, which might affect things. If I just measure straight around, and don't try to bring it down to my collar bone, I come up with 14.5 inches, which equates the size 12 I normally use. But based on my experience, I'd have to say that variance in skeletal structure and body shape make this a difficult formula to apply.
5/29/04 2:48 PM
Gigi Louis said...
I always thought I had a small neck, apparently not, it measures 14.5" yet I always start with a size 8 pattern.
5/29/04 8:00 AM
SewVeryTall said...
This is interesting, I've never heard this formula before. Nancy Zieman's formula is based on the measurement across upper chest, between that 'line' in your skin that's dividing your arm from your chest...12" equals a size 12, and each 1/2" up or down, is a size up or down respectively. Both these formulas may be equally correct, but the neck measurement is subjective, or harder to know if you're in the right place. The neck measurement didn't work on me.
5/29/04 6:24 AM
Kathryn said...
It works for me...I measure 13.5 inches in the neck and also have a 33 inch upper bust measurement. I almost always cut a size 8 pattern in the Big 4, altering for a full bust and increasing the waist. My measurements are 37-29-35. It was fun to verify the reason that the size 8 works best for me based on the base of the neck measurement. Thanks, stitchit!
5/29/04 5:44 AM
stitchit said...
gabrielle: This has to be a close measurement with measuring tape just above to vertebrae at back neck to just above neck bones in front. Hope it works for you.
5/28/04 9:31 PM
gabrielle said...
I gave it a whirl, it doesnt seem to work for me. If i measure at the base of my neck as for a jewel neck (right above neck bones) I come up with a bit over 17 inches. According to the formula, I should choose size 16. However, my high bust measured under the arms is about 33 inches. I have a D cup, and find that size 12 with a full-bust adjustment is the way to go. Anything larger, and my chest and shoulders just swim in it. FWiW, my measurements are 36.5-29-38, and I'm tallish. Kind of a generic build, I guess.
5/28/04 7:51 PM
 
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