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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Pattern size ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Pattern size
PhaVic
PhaVic
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Member since 9/16/11
Posts: 136
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Date: 12/10/11 2:47 AM

Hello everybody !
I need help ! I still sew only for my children but would like to sew the first outfit for myself.

I'm 5.5, 128, have a 32c bra size. So that puts me officially between size 12 or 14 for the big 4 (finished garment). When I read reviews, people who look like me, have same weight, same height, same body type as me, sew size 8 to 10. I'm dragging my feet to draw, cut, sew 2 or 3 times the same outfit just to find my size. It would put me off sewing for a long time...
So my question is : Do you usually sew also 1 or 2 size smaller that your official "finished measurements" are telling you with the big4 ?
TIA!

------
Always a novice

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 12/10/11 3:51 AM

I have to sew a size bigger than what I usually buy in retail wear. This is complicated by the fact my body is not the same size all over so some parts need to be graded up to the next size (or two for my waist!).

I notice you said you a C cup. May I suggest (to save you having to potentially worry about a full bust adjustment) you consider looking at patterns where they have different cup sizes included?

That way you can look at what size you are more easily. The answer to your question also depends on how tight fitting you like your clothing. I know a lady who cant stand to have a tight waist band, so what she makes will need more "ease" (space) than how someone else would want their pants/skirt.

If you really want to investigate your size though, I recommend trying out a fitting pattern (designed specifically to find your shape and size in detail). I made one and found it very helpful. I am a lot more comfortable/confident now - I still have much to learn but the main starting blocks are there. Best of luck.

PhaVic
PhaVic
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Date: 12/10/11 5:30 AM

Ok, thanks. I have an "Amazing Fit" pattern w. different cup sizes, I'll try this one first. I see that you're in the UK. Usually with British retail, I'm a size 8 ( marks&s), so a 10 w. sewing patterns should be around my size (weight&cup size are slowly going down bc of "sensible" dieting) if It's like for you. My midsection is still not what it used to be before kids, so I might have to grade to a larger size in the tummy area though.

------
Always a novice

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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In reply to PhaVic


Date: 12/10/11 9:29 AM

Before cutting and sewing the final garment for yourself, take a little time to make a quick muslin. You can use an old sheet, or unwanted fabric. You don't need to add in all the style details...just get a rough idea of the fit. Include darts, and waistbands.

I have been sewing for myself for a few years and am totally amazed at the variation between women in shape and size.
I am narrow through the shoulders, a 36B through the bust, and 39 in hips. I sew a 10 through the shoulders, a 12 through the bust, and a 14 (sometimes a 16) through the hips. In addition, I have learned that I need to make some alterations for muscular areas like my thighs/seat, and biceps (I train and ride horses).

Make a muslin...it will save you time in the long run.

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/10/11 9:41 AM

First consdier your actual body measurements, then consider individual areas like is your back wider or more narrow, what is your bust like in terms of cup size.

I buy a medium to a large in a sweater or knit RTW top and am moving from a 12 to a 10 in skirts and pants. Pattern size is iffy because I can usually use a 14 for the bottom pieces but the waist is like an 18!!! YIKES!!!

As others have said, please consider sewing a muslin. Use just the main pattern pieces and you will be able to get a better idea as to how the pattern will fit. It will save you $ on your fashion fabric and give you peace of mind that your time is going to a more likely successful finish.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you are sewing for yourself, there is only one correct size ~ the size that fits you well. It's a mind set or perhaps it is mind over mater ~ if you don't mind, it won't matter what the pattern size is. What matters is how it fits you.

------
"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

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to PhaVic


Date: 12/10/11 10:53 AM

Quote:
Do you usually sew also 1 or 2 size smaller that your official "finished measurements"

The finished measurements are just telling you how much ease is built in to the pattern. You can compare them to finished measurements of other similar patterns or to your RTW clothes to get an idea of whether you'll need to adjust down or up.

But the finished measurements aren't the "size" -- even RTW sizes have ease built in (except in stretchy knits etc.)... so that we can move around in our clothes.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Photo: A long time ago

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to PhaVic


Date: 12/10/11 11:19 AM

I totally agree with the Muslin first. I'm 5'2 and 128, (34D), Bust 36-Waist 29 1/2- Hips 36 1/2, narrow/slightly forward shoulders, I'm also short/high waisted. Not knowing all your measurements, here's what I do: A little forward shoulder adjustment, 1" narrow shoulder adjustment, 1" petite waist adjustment, sometimes have to make a petite adjustment between bust and shoulder. I start with a 10 around the neck and shoulders, morph to a 12 at the bust, and between a 12/14 a the waist. I like things to fit loose over my hips, so I usually keep the 12/14 all the way down(for blouse). I also do a 3/4-1" FBA(Full Bust Adjustment) to accompany the D cup.

I would start with the larger size when doing the first muslin. You can always "take in", but it's harder to "add to".
If reading what I just wrote looks like a lot of adjustments, once you know your body, it makes sense. You may not have to make the adjustments I do(you are taller) and you may have broad or square shoulders, you could be long waisted. We are like snow flakes, no two are just alike

Amy-may
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Amy-may
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Date: 12/10/11 11:47 AM

I'm only 5'2", 115, 32D, carry all my "extra" weight in my hips. By the pattern numbers B12, W12, H16....but, I sew a B8, W8, H14. So, yes, I'm sewing 2 sizes smaller than the numbers would indicate, with a small full bust adjustment.

The other direction to look at the measurements is to use your high bust rather than full bust. It is more a reflection of your frame size (a 32 bra band would make you small framed) and should therefore be a better reflection on your shoulder width. You'll want to buy the size that fits your neck and shoulders correctly, then alter as need be through the bust and waist.

Once you figure out your pattern size, it will be fairly consistent. I start with an 8 for tops and dresses and a 12 for bottoms from the Big 4.

PhaVic
PhaVic
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Member since 9/16/11
Posts: 136
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Date: 12/10/11 12:20 PM

Thanks for all your replies. So, no way around it, I have to order and sew a sloper, I'm just so lazy these days.
But I see the wisdom of what you say ; I have no more the "easy" shape I had before kids : some parts of my body are still wide and/or big, and some others are bony ; I need a proper fit.

------
Always a novice

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Date: 12/10/11 3:37 PM

You'll also find that the fit with European patterns like Burda and Ottobre Woman is usually more precise than Big 4 patterns, so someone who has to go down a size or two n Big 4 patterns may not need to go down in Burda etc.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Photo: A long time ago

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