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Why are patterns so huge when I buy them from measurement chart
JustineSewcountrychick
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JustineSewcountrychick
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Date: 2/10/11 3:14 AM

Hi. My measurements are 34,28,37. According to the pattern envelope i'm between a 12 and 14 and they are always big when I cut out the garments. But I wear a 4,6 in street clothes Should I ignore the pattern and sew up a 6? I've seen reviews where women look my size and cut out a pattern in size 6 but according to the pattern envelope you would have to have like a 22 inch waist or something to wear a 6.

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Justine

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In reply to JustineSewcountrychick


Date: 2/10/11 3:51 AM

You really need to see the finished size of a pattern to determine it's fit. The problem being that you need to buy the pattern to work that out... experience helps. Best always to look at the pattern pieces and either measure the bust/ waist/ hips or see the finished size printed on the pattern (usually next to a circle with a cross through it) and determine if it suits you. That is, your measurement plus your preferred amount of ease.

Others can probably explain this better. The big pattern comapnies vanity size their patterns and (I find) have too much ease. However having said all that, RTW sizing is no indication of pattern size.

Hope I haven't sounded too confusing!!

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Sue (Toowoomba Qld)
Love to sew....

http://quiltsewsewsue.blogspot.com/

AnneM
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Date: 2/10/11 5:34 AM

A size 6 would most likely be too small for you without a lot of adjustments. However, you can't believe those stupid size charts either. You are similar in size to me, & I've found that a size 10 in patterns tends to work best. I sometimes have to add a little space for my hips, but many patterns have more wearing ease than most people actually want so I don't aways.

Part of what might be throwing you off is the bust measurement. You need to measure the 'high bust', basically just under the arm, and compare that to the pattern. And then you will do a full bust adjustment (FBA). This is because most patterns are designed for B-cups. FBAs aren't that hard (not that I would know; I don't have to do that, but that is what I've read). Check out this old thread that links to probably more information than you want.

A number of patterns out there now have different cup sizes. Simplicity has a number of patterns that do the FBA for you. Vogue has some, marked 'custom fit' but they make them harder to find. And Silhouette Patterns have this.

I think once you get comfortable with starting slightly smaller & doing the FBA, you will have less fighting with the patterns.

BTW, in my opinion, Burda tends to have less wearing ease. Vogue varies but tends to be on the lower size. The other 3 large names (Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick) tend to have more.

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

JTink
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In reply to JustineSewcountrychick


Date: 2/10/11 5:50 AM

You have gotten some great advice here. Your measurements are similar to mine(36-29-36). My bra is 34 D cup. And I'm about 5'2. I've never really found that the patterns are too big(there are times, I wish they were...LOL). Each person is a different story. You can have three people, with the same measurements, and their pattern needs will be different, because of their body shape, height, comfort zone. I start with a size 12. I really like it when I can get a 10-12 multi-sized pattern. That way I use the 10 around the neck with an FBA. I add a bit to the waist line and some for upper hip fluff, make a petite adjustment at the waist line(I'm high/short waisted) and some times make a petite adjustment above the bust line. The only time I'm any smaller than a 10/12, anywhere, is when I'm making pants. I'm about an 8 leg.

ryan's mom
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Date: 2/10/11 7:00 AM

My measurements are about 37/29/37. I try to choose patterns that are a 10/12/14 size range like JTink. It just makes things so much easier. I'm also a 4/6 in RTW. My neck and shoulders are a pattern 10, my waist and hips are around a pattern 14. I alter for a C-cup in a 12, altering for a smaller neck/shoulders and up for the waist OR...use a 10 at the neck/shoulders, 14 at the full bust and waist, and a 12 at the hip, if the pattern is multisized.

If I can't get a multi-size pattern, I pick a 12 and alter up or down from that. Although some people don't like altering the neck and shoulders, I find it easy and won't drop down to a 10 and alter everything up.

Do not sew a pattern 6 with your measurements. It reminds me of when I was in high school. My pattern size has never changed--always used a 12. My body measurements are close to my high school ones. I was used to "vanity" sizing and used a pattern size 8 one time because the large pattern numbers made me feel "fat" in a sea of friends who were making pattern 6's and 8's in class. They were tiny 1-3's in RTW Juniors while I was a "big 'ol" 5 lol. So much time invested into a project which was a fitting disaster! It's not like I didn't know to use a 12 either.

I think the biggest problem with pattern sizing in the Big 4 is pant ease. The legs always seem to be huge on me, and like JTink, I probably have pattern size 8 legs. I'm really like Burda drafts for pants though.

Or you could try different fitting methods like Nancy Zieman's for pants. She has you drop down something like two pant sizes and alters for a larger waist and hip (pivot/slide method).

-- Edited on 2/10/11 7:03 AM --

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3, Singer Model 99, Singer 221/Featherweight. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Embroidery/Sewing Combo: Brother Dream machine. Coverstitch: Babylock BLCS. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

Ejegmama
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Date: 2/10/11 8:42 AM

You're getting lots of great advice but since I did this wrong for years I wanted to share anyways. Big 3 patters have a 5/8in seam allowance not .5 nor .25. I was in the habit of doing .25 and everything I made came out huge. I switched to 5/8 and while I still check final measurements and what not things are much closer to start with.

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Stephaine
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nicegirl
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Date: 2/10/11 11:06 AM

I will echo QSSS and say to ignore the pattern size and go solely by the finished garment measurements. This is the size the garment will be when cut and sewn with a 5/8" seam allowance.

The Big 4 used to print at least the finished bust measurement on the pattern envelope, but unfortunately they now provide no finished measurements on the envelope. You have to unfold the tissue and find the pattern pieces.

The finished measurements are generally printed on the front piece(s). There is a circle with a plus sign in it which indicates bust apex, waist, and hip, with a set of measurements printed next to the circle/plus for each size.

To get a sense of how much ease you like (and be sure to take the style into account), use a measuring tape to make a loop the finished garment size and hold it around yourself at the bust/waist/hip. Unless it is a knit, you do want some ease--if the measuring tape is snug on your body, you won't be able to move once the garment is on. For close-fitting wovens, I find that I prefer about 1 inch of ease in the bust, 1.5 at the waist and 2 at the hip, but it is all about personal preference.

Once you've found the right finished garment measurement, then make that size. Although I think it has been improving the past 3 years or so, the Big 4 (especially Simplicity) have been guilty of putting in way, way, way too much ease, much MUCH more than you'd see in RTW. Lately, however, I find I often choose the finished measurements that corresponds to my alleged size. I was as frustrated as you are for many years before I started going by the finished measurements rather than the pattern size.

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http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com
=================
2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far

Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95

2009? I give up

JustineSewcountrychick
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In reply to AnneM


Date: 2/10/11 12:11 PM

Thanks Anne,
I do also have to do a FBA because I Have a 3 inch difference between high bust and bust but I have a hard time with it. I bought a shell pattern so I could make a sloper and its on my to do list. Thanks so much for the threads. And I do find Burda patterns are much better fitting. 38 seems to fit perfect. That's also the street size you would buy in clothing there. The clothing sizes are more precise in Europe.
Justine
sewcountrychick, blogging about sewing, vintage living, and frugal style

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Justine

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In reply to ryan's mom


Date: 2/10/11 12:17 PM

That is so funny about vanity sizing.Have you noticed how clothing sizes keep getting smaller? I found a box of clothing from the 80's and I wear about an 8 but if I go shopping at Old Navy I wear a 4 now. It must be so people can feel thinner! I am posting a review on some knickers I made that turned out like hilarious clown pants because of all the ease and I didn't bother to make a muslin first. I'll end up using them for an 18th century boys costume in a play!

Burda 7463
-- Edited on 2/10/11 12:23 PM --
-- Edited on 2/10/11 12:25 PM --

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Justine

ryan's mom
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In reply to JustineSewcountrychick


Date: 2/10/11 5:15 PM

Yep. For at least 15-20 years I was a Levi size 6. And now? I'm a Levi size 4 (for about the past 4 years)! Although vanity sizing is also probably known as changing demographics/target market, whatever.

------
Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3, Singer Model 99, Singer 221/Featherweight. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Embroidery/Sewing Combo: Brother Dream machine. Coverstitch: Babylock BLCS. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

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