Sewing Patterns, Pattern Review, Sewing Classes, Sewing Machines and Sewing Machine Reviews!
Platinum Sponsor: Stylish Fabric
Over 20,000 of high quality reorderable fabric

[SIGNUP - FREE Membership & 1 FREE Sewing Lesson ]
[Sewing Classes|Shopping Bag Your Shopping Bag|Login|Help]
Sewing Review and Pattern Reviews Sewing Knowledge Base Sewing Patterns Sewing Classes & Sewing Lessons Sewing Machine & Embroidery Machinery Sewing Message Boards Sewing merchants Blog Help/FAQ About Pattern Review
Enter your e-mail address:




Advanced Search
Tags
New to PR?
Sewing Machines
Compare Sewing Machines
Sewing Machine & Serger Reviews
Embroidery Machines
Sewing Reviews
Sewing Patterns
Review Gallery
Sewing Books
Sewing Supplies
Sewing Websites
Sewing Stores
Sewing Class Reviews
Sewing Expo Reviews
Sewing Tips & Techniques
Sewing Podcasts
NEW!Fabric Glossary
Sewing Review Requests Add a Review Request
Your Account
Edit Profile
My Page
Favorites
Wish List
Pattern Catalog
Notifications
Friends of PR
Join Friends of PR
Find a member
Deal Corner
Photo Album
Calendar
Chat Room
Chat Schedule
Chat Transcripts
Sewing Classifieds
Add a Classified
Sewing Contests
enter contest
contest report
contest gallery
Favorite Links
reviews with comments
merchant gallery
article archive
newsletter archive
Craft Resources
contact info
shipping rates
returns & refunds
testimonials

Platinum Sponsor - Stylish Fabric
Stylish Fabric
You are not logged in. Login here.



Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Is there really a standard in pattern sizing? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
Go to Page:
Is there really a standard in pattern sizing?
Why do pattern companies' patterns vary?
threadandthumb
threadandthumb
Intermediate
AR USA
Member since 11/8/11
Posts: 7
Login to reply to this post

Date: 12/11/11 10:41 PM

I am an on again, off again, frustrated sewer. I love sewing, but get frustrated at the lack of consistency in sizing. One company makes a pant too large - huge, really. Another makes it too small.
What is the key to knowing which company sizes its patterns on the generous side and which are skimpy? If there is a thread regarding this, please direct me. Thank you!
The Thumb

jannw
starstarstarstar
jannw  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 9/3/06
Posts: 8438
Login to reply to this post

In reply to threadandthumb


Date: 12/11/11 11:48 PM

There is about four pages of Pattern Sizing threads! Hit the search board button at the upper right side and put in "pattern sizing".

The big thing to remember is to use your actual measurements. Forget about your rtw sizes..those have nothing to do with pattern sizes.
Do check the pattern pieces for the finished size of the garment. That includes the wearing ease..and that what can vary greatly in each pattern company.

The body shape each company designs for also varies. Hopefully, you can find one company that fits you well. New Look and Simplicity seem to be for a young body with a lower bust. Butterick and Vogue have a higher bustline, and McCall's seem to be very contemporay designs with lots of ease. That's what I've found with my body!
Good luck!

-- Edited on 12/11/11 11:49 PM --

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

Coconuts
star
Coconuts  Friend of PR
Intermediate
MI USA
Member since 12/2/09
Posts: 1271
Login to reply to this post

Date: 12/12/11 0:16 AM

My theory is that pattern designers know that they're working off of a block from when women wore minimizer bras and girdles, and some designers compensate for that by adding more design ease through the bust and waist, while other designers use those measurements because they're what's printed on the envelope.

But no, there is not a standard that I know of. It seems like the Simplicity Project Runway patterns skew more towards the pattern envelope numbers, but I may have just read the reviews of the ones that are smaller.

Debbie Cook
starstarstarstar
Debbie Cook
USA
Member since 4/11/02
Posts: 9703
Login to reply to this post

In reply to threadandthumb


Date: 12/12/11 9:03 PM

Quote: threadandthumb
What is the key to knowing which company sizes its patterns on the generous side and which are skimpy?

Others may disagree, but I've found the Big 3/4 to be fairly consistent within their own lines (there are always exceptions to anything), but you HAVE to go by both your measurements and the ease chart definitions for fit (or measure the pattern flat, deducting seam allowances to get the ease). Plus you have to know what YOU prefer for ease. One person may think a certain amount of ease is perfect and another may think it's huge or tight. Measure some RTW you like and compare the garment's measurements to your body measurements to get an idea of the wearing ease you prefer, and then pick your size and style with that knowledge.

Burda is also consistent, but more closely-fitted overall.

Learning your preferences takes practice/experience. Make muslins or tissue fit to give yourself a fair starting point.

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

Nancy K
starstarstar
Nancy K
Advanced
NY USA
Member since 12/28/04
Posts: 8078
Login to reply to this post

In reply to threadandthumb


Date: 12/12/11 9:07 PM

Most American pattern companies put finished garment measurements on the pattern. Subtract your measurements from these and that is the ease that was designed into the pattern. Now measure some garments that you like the fit of and measure them at the pertinent points and this is the ease that you like. Start with your measurements, bust for tops, hip for bottoms and then compare the pattern measurements to the measurements you have from your rtw clothing. Don't forget to mark the sas on the pattern(the width of a tape measure is 5/8")
and measure between the seamlines.

------
www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 9/18/04
Posts: 1702
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Debbie Cook


Date: 12/12/11 10:25 PM

Debbie, excellent advice, and excellent advice all around.

I have also found the Big 3/4 to be fairly consistent within their own lines. The advantage is that once you determine the alterations that you need to make, you'll know that you'll need those same alterations on each pattern. Wearing ease can be very different from one pattern to another in the same pattern company, so measure, measure, measure.

The illustrations and photos on pattern envelopes can be misleading. Sometimes the garment is pinned behind the model to improve the fit in the photo, which leads to much confusion if one sews up the pattern without measuring the pattern to determine the wearing ease before you start.

CMC

solosmocker
starstarstar
solosmocker
Advanced
NY USA
Member since 1/23/06
Posts: 1367
Login to reply to this post

Date: 12/20/11 7:20 PM

I've always found these discussions about the differences between pattern companies interesting, mostly because I really don't see any difference among the big four. Its all about correct measurements and forgetting any notion you have about what size you wear if its based on retail.

------
http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

marec
starstarstarstar
marec  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 5/11/08
Posts: 3997
Login to reply to this post

Date: 12/20/11 8:04 PM

I took the advice already posted above when it was offered to me a few years ago. Flat pattern measure is the way to make sure you are getting the ease you want. I don't see a big difference in the Big 4 except for ease due to style. I can "read" a pattern envelope much easier now and see where they may have fudged on fit during photography. I measure the pattern now if I am unsure. I also add larger SA if I am making pants or a skirt.

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

Elona
star
Elona  Friend of PR
Advanced
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 8126
Login to reply to this post

In reply to threadandthumb


Date: 12/20/11 8:04 PM

There is no company that consistently runs generous or skimpy. It is all about your measurements and learning to adjust a generalized feminine pattern that is pretty close to those measurements.

That said, I find that Burda's size gradations are subtler and more finely drawn at key points than those of the Big Four American patterns, and Burda's crotch curve, in my estimation, is about the most anatomically correct that is available for women.

I would suggest you get really familiar with what is called 'flat-pattern measurement,' in which you lay your pattern out and measure six ways from Sunday before cutting into your fabric. You will be comparing your measurements with those of the pattern at critical points.

Since you don't have a ton of experience yet, you might also find it helpful to get out some RTW garments whose fit you like and measure them for width, length, and so on. This would give you some idea how much 'wearing ease' you feel comfortable with. Knowing this, you could compare the hipline width of your favorite pants, for example, to that of a pants pattern.

threadandthumb
threadandthumb
Intermediate
AR USA
Member since 11/8/11
Posts: 7
Login to reply to this post

Date: 1/17/12 12:33 PM

Thank you thank you! To all who replied. I've not measured flat my patterns before so that will be something I do from now on. Now that my desire to sew is greater than when I was in my teens and twenties my concern for "getting it right" is greater as well.
I also think muslins or mock-ups (term used in sewing?) will be part of my sewing techniques.
Again, thank you!
Mary Ann

Go to Page:
Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
printable version Printable Version

* Advertising and soliciting is strictly prohibited on PatternReview.com. If you find a post which is not in agreement with our Terms and Conditions, please click on the Report Post button to report it. Beginner's Forum >> Is there really a standard in pattern sizing?

Merchants on PR
Patterns from the Past
vintage sewing patterns
Deals!
Elliott Berman Textiles
Fabrics for Greater Ideas
Deals!
Gwyn Hug
Fabric Shopping Help!
Deals!
Lanetzliving Vintage Sewing Patterns
Vintage Sewing Patterns
Deals!
Style Arc sewing dress patterns
Patterns That Fit
Web site

Copyright © 2014 PatternReview.com® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.
Conditions of Use | Posting Guidelines | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Online Sewing Classes
Clone Your Favorite Garment
Fee: $19.99
(Regular $49.00)
Clone Your Favorite Garment

Online Sewing Classes
Blueprints to Blue Jeans
Fee: $29.00
(Regular $49.00)
Blueprints to Blue Jeans

Burda 7636
photo
Review by angela80 on 11/19/10
Read Review

Simplicity 1773 Pattern ( Size 14-16-18-20-22 )
Simplicity 1773 Pattern ( Size 14-16-18-20-22 )

Details
Price: $16.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

McCalls 4290 Pattern ( Size 10-12-14 )
McCalls 4290 Pattern ( Size 10-12-14 )

Details
Price: $11.50
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Simplicity 4669
photo
Review by SewLil on 8/16/07
Read Review

Peek-A Boo Yoga Girl Digital Pattern ( Size 3 mo -12 years )
Peek-A Boo Yoga Girl Digital Pattern ( Size 3 mo -12 years )

Details
Price: $7.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Oliver S Roller Skate Dress and Tunic Digital Pattern ( Size 6m-4T )
Oliver   S Roller Skate Dress and Tunic Digital Pattern ( Size 6m-4T )

Details
Price: $15.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Sewing Workshop Siena & Cortona Shirts
Sewing Workshop Siena & Cortona Shirts

Details
Price: $22.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Victory Simone Paper Pattern
Victory Simone Paper Pattern

Details
Price: $19.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Subscribe to PR Message Board Feed Subscribe to the PR Message Board Feed Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe at NewsGator Online Subscribe at Bloglines Add to MyMSN