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Pattern Measurements/Sizes
Anyone else get upset?
SheilaAnn

SheilaAnn
Intermediate
Maryland USA
Member since 3/28/08
Posts: 393
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Date: 7/19/08 11:48 AM

Everytime I look at a new pattern I get depressed. I know the numbers don't corilate(sp?) to RTW, but still. How can I not get upset when using my HB and BW measurement I'm a size 14, my FB is a size 18, my hips a size 20, and waist a 22?
It makes me feel I must look like a freak? Yet when I look in the mirror, I don't think I look that out of proportion, just curvy! Does anyone else feel this way? I wonder how we would shop for RTW, if these measurments were listed on the tags of all the clothes in department stores? There would probably be women running out of the mall screaming!
If no one agrees, I'll really be depressed, especially now that I've shared my personal measurments with half the world, and I will never look at another pattern envelope, and will go back to sewing for babies, and quilting.

Please feel free to move this to appropriate topic; wasn't sure where to post.

------
Sheila

God's love is infinite!

servantofclio
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servantofclio
Advanced Beginner
Massachusetts USA
Member since 3/20/08
Posts: 68
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Date: 7/19/08 12:11 PM

They are just numbers. They don't mean there's anything "wrong" with your body. All people are not the same shape! I don't fit the pattern companies' ideal either, and I suspect not many of us do.

NancyDaQ
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NancyDaQ
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New Mexico USA
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In reply to SheilaAnn


Date: 7/19/08 12:14 PM

I may not be the best person to respond to this, because I actually look on the websites of RTW to find out what measurements their sizing corresponds to. Really! I really appreciate it when stores do this because I do both brick-and-mortar and internet shopping.

So, seeing a number on a pattern doesn't get to me. It's not like anyone's going to know what size I used unless I tell them. Also, it's custom by the time I get through with my personal alterations.

Please don't feel like a freak, you're not! It's disturbing to read so many postings on these boards where people are hating on themselves.

------
Now blogging at http://sewwest.blogspot.com

Michelle L
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Michelle L
Intermediate
Missouri USA
Member since 1/20/08
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In reply to SheilaAnn


Date: 7/19/08 12:33 PM

Is what bothers you that the numbers are higher than RTW?

Or that your measurements fall through such a range of sizes?

Becuase I find that I wear anywhere from a 10-16 in RTW on the bottom and 8-12 on top. Dresses are very difficult for me, and I can only buy suits if the pieces are available separately because of the disparity between my top and bottom.

I think it is a common issue for women, especially pear-shapes like me.

One of the reasons that I sew is so that I CAN make a nice dress with a straight skirt for myself that doesn't bag and hang on the top, but still fits nicely on the bottom, I certainly can't buy that in the stores.

I don't pay any attention to the numbers on the pattern lines I am tracing. By the time I am done with my muslin, I couldn't tell you what size I am using for what anymore...it is simply MY size, and that is all that matters.

------
Michelle

http://cheapandpicky.blogspot.com/

EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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Michigan USA
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Date: 7/19/08 12:42 PM

First, there was a time when I was pretty unhappy with a weight gain and pattern sizes. I actually gave up sewing for myself for many years. Under my doctor's stern orders and hoping to minimize the dosage of medications, I did lose some of that weight but doubt I will ever get down to what I weighed when my DD was born 30 yrs ago. After sewing for DD and my Mom for the past many years, I am returning to sewing for me. It is a struggle with fitting, but worth it I think for a host of reasons, many of which are about how things fit.

SheilaAnn, Nanflan put it so well. None of us have matching bodies. You can even take two people of the same height and weight and they will wear different sizes because they measure differently in places.

One thing I really like about What Not to Wear is that they focus on the individual's body assets and remind us to dress the body we have. If you are thinking about accentuating the positive, you might focus on the positive in yuor sewing and dressing and not on the numbers and being out of sync with "one" size.

PS Do you find that there is any RTW size that truly fits your perfectly? If not, there's your answer.

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
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In reply to SheilaAnn


Date: 7/19/08 12:42 PM

Quote:
How can I not get upset when using my HB and BW measurement I'm a size 14, my FB is a size 18, my hips a size 20, and waist a 22?


You can NOT get upset by ceasing to judge yourself based on someone else's ideal numbers and/or measurements. Life is more than a dress size (who's quote is that?). And really, it's just a number. They have to be differentiated somehow. Even if letters were used, we'd all eventually know that A = small and G = large, or whatever.

Quote:
I wonder how we would shop for RTW, if these measurments were listed on the tags of all the clothes in department stores?


Faster. Because I would be able to tell from the tag if it was going to fit or not, instead of trying on. Most people don't fit in RTW across the board/body either, but they just don't realize it because they don't know better. Clothes that fit are more flattering, no matter what number is used for sizing.

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--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

cgHipp
cgHipp  Friend of PR
Beginner
South Carolina USA
Member since 11/8/06
Posts: 872
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In reply to Michelle L


Date: 7/19/08 12:45 PM

Quote: MLoyet
...Becuase I find that I wear anywhere from a 10-16 in RTW on the bottom and 8-12 on top. Dresses are very difficult for me, and I can only buy suits if the pieces are available separately because of the disparity between my top and bottom.

Same here - I find myself trying on dresses that stretch across my thighs and hang loose on top, because I have a small cup size but very muscular thighs and a full "seat" (and some fluff on top of that). Same when I buy jeans - if they fit in the thighs and rear, they're gaping in the back, if not all the way around. Thank goodness bathing suits are often sold as separates now; I love some of the long tank tops with a skort or board shorts - I can get a bathing suit that fits for the first time since junior high.
-- Edited on 7/19/08 12:46 PM --

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I rip what I sew.

Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
Advanced Beginner
USA
Member since 9/14/02
Posts: 2707
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Date: 7/19/08 12:56 PM

Oh, how I wish RTW would put the measurements on the tags! I hate shopping for clothes because I have to try everything on. On any given day I can wear anything from a size 4 to a size 12, depending on the brand.

The more I sew, the more I'm "desensitized" to my measurements or the size numbers. Sure, I think my clothes would look much better if I lost some weight, but it's not about the numbers; it's about whether something fits me and drapes over my shape in a flattering way.

mary in FL
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mary in FL  Friend of PR
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Florida USA
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In reply to SheilaAnn


Date: 7/19/08 2:31 PM

I use Nancy Zieman's Pivot and Slide method to create patterns that fit me when using a major pattern company (EX: Simplicity, McCall's, etc). My shoulders are usually size 8 or 10, my bust is usually size 14, my waist is usually size 16 or 18, and my hips are usually size 18 or 20. What I end up with is a pattern that does not have a numbered size. It is therefore a custom pattern, and it fits me - nobody else!

More important than size is fit. If it's too tight, you usually look like you don't know what to do with your body, and you always look bigger. If it's too big you look like you just want to hide, and you look frumpy, to boot. If it fits just right, maybe just slightly loose, it looks like it fits, and that often means you look slimmer and more self-assured.

That's my take on it.

------
from Daytona Beach, FL
http://mary-sews.blogspot.com/

Fictionfan
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Fictionfan  Friend of PR
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Vermont USA
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Date: 7/19/08 5:03 PM

Pattern sizing is Consistent! I can use patterns older than me and I will be able to tell what size to use. I can nearly always make my normal FBA and crotch curve alterations and get something that looks better than RTW without doing a muslin or a lot of tweaking. When I was young, I could pick out a size that was the same as my pattern size and expect it to sort of fit, except for the pull across the bust and the not-so-great fit of the crotch curves. But nearly all manufacturers used the standard measurement charts, so what brand I looked at differed from others by design ease, not dramatically different sizing criteria!

I really hate shopping these days because I don't know what department to look in, what size to try on, or what sort of vanity sizing system is used for any particular line. It's even worse that a manufacturer may use different sizing for the same line! ARGGH! I can look in the petite's, the women's, the junior's, the misses', and the men's departments to find clothes, and I might, maybe, with hours of searching, find something to fit as I want it to fit.

As well as the misery of RTW clothes shopping with regard to sizing, it is very frustrating to see the style trends with maternity tops everywhere and pants so low that my belly hangs over (and I really can't bend over or I'll be breaking decency laws). Like all the young people seem to be wearing and not minding. (Maybe they've never seen their back views? heehee) I don't see many people with the twiggy figures that can actually carry off the present styles. At least with my patterns, I can find clothes that flatter my figure and fit, and look stylish.

I am very thankful that I learned to sew.

------
Fictionfan

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