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Message Board > Fitting Woes > Pattern sizes grrrrrr ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Pattern sizes grrrrrr
Sizes not consistant in Simplicity?
HeatherMarie
HeatherMarie
Intermediate
IA USA
Member since 2/29/08
Posts: 11
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Date: 4/18/12 6:43 PM

Maybe it's just me, and thats a very good possibility, but I can't get a pattern size to fit. I have tried 3 different patterns from Simplicity and they don't fit. I'm a 10 and I made a sundress in a 12 and it was huge (mind you according to the measurements I should have made a 14). So I tried making a pair of capri pants in a size 8. Yeah, they looked more like hot pants than anything. I just finished making a skirt using a different pattern and I used size 12 and it's too tight. What the heck Fred?!?!? Am I the only person who has this problem? I just started sewing clothing before that I was a quilter or used quilting patterns for stuff. Please help!

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 8/28/08
Posts: 2914
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 4/18/12 7:14 PM

My best advice: before you cut measure the pattern and compare to the same type garment which fits you decently. I've been sewing for decades and do this on a regular basis.

Don't forget that different styles, as well as designers' interpretations, will affect the ease.

------
I have not yet begun to procrastinate

Update: soon I will decide when I will begin procrastinating.

tinflutterby
tinflutterby  Friend of PR
Advanced
CA USA
Member since 8/9/11
Posts: 273
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Date: 4/18/12 10:39 PM

I sympathize but am not surprised. RTW and sewing patterns have nothing in common so being a size means nothing when you are sewing. Then the flat pattern is a 40"bust or whatever but where is that 40". Broad back small bust, small person but overweight, normal back and big bust.... You see the problem and that is just on the chest measurement.
To get close for a top or dress use your high bust measurement. for pants (really hard to fit well) and skirts use the hip measurement. You will still need to measure, make a test garment (called a muslin) and jigger the pattern for your particular body. Take some of the online classes offered here on fitting or check out books that describe common fitting problems and keep trying. Good luck.

SewPerfect
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SewPerfect  Friend of PR
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NC USA
Member since 1/6/04
Posts: 176
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Date: 4/18/12 11:27 PM

Most of the big '3' pattern companies list the finished bust/waist/hip measurements either at the bottom of the pattern back cover (below the yardage area), or they are printed directly onto the pattern pieces. Also, a clue as to how the pattern might 'wear' is usually in the description, ie: "very loose fitting" is just that, likely to have lots of wearing ease. Or the statement may read: "tailored" which is more fitted to the body. I've learned to measure the pattern pieces themselves if I'm not sure about the sizing, especially with independent pattern companies. Hope this helps.

------
Happy Seams to you....until we meet again!
Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2, Pfaff 6122 Tipmatic, Brother PQ1500S, Singer 15-91, Singer 221 Featherweight, Pfaff serger

MarthaA24
MarthaA24  Friend of PR
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CA USA
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In reply to HeatherMarie <<
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Date: 4/19/12 4:00 AM

I hear your frustration. With patterns it really depends on how much ease or lack of ease they put into them that makes such a huge variation. Some patterns will tell you what the finished size of the bust, waist or hip is. The best way to know for sure is to measure.

A very fitted garment could have as little as 1/2 - 1 inch of ease. More typically around 2 inches to maybe 4 inches. Some patterns might have 6 to 8 inches of ease, which would make it huge.

You might measure some of your RTW clothes that you like the fit of to see how much ease there is over your measurements to help you figure out how much ease you like.

Something that I'm in process of making for my DD is a basic pattern or could be called a "block" using McCall's pattern 2718.

McCall 2718 pattern

I'm fitting it like I would a fitted bodice & skirt and when done will cut it out of something see thru and durable. Then I can simply put to over a pattern I'm working on to see what the fit generally is and it should save some of the measuring. This way I can decide on how much ease it should have. Many patterns come with multiple sizes and with this aid I can choose which size is the best.

Also generally I like to make a test muslin. With some pattern alterations they really need to be made before the fashion fabric is cut. Personally I would rather spend the time working out fitting issues on inexpensive muslin, before starting starting out on the fashion fabric. Once the corrections to the pattern are made, then I cut out the fashion fabric. Depending on the garment, I also fit that before all of the final sewing. Fit is important to having a finished garment that you will enjoy.

I hope you have someone that can help you with fitting.

------
Martha

jennierigg
jennierigg
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 3/18/12
Posts: 27
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Date: 4/19/12 5:15 AM

I've not long been sewing clothing, but I find that having a person to help you do the measuring really helps. If you try and measure yourself, especially the top half, the measurements change due to the positions you get yourself into to hold the tape.

I'm planning on doing this method http://www.leenas.com/English/draw_women_pants.html to help me fit some pants, but I haven't got there yet (standing for election in two weeks, so I have other things on my mind than sewing for a bit ;))

jeanbluecat
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jeanbluecat  Friend of PR
Intermediate
IL USA
Member since 10/4/05
Posts: 338
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Date: 4/19/12 10:58 AM

HeatherMarie, I am sorry you are having such a hard time with sewing garments. It can be so frustrating to do your best and still not have a wearable item!

I cannot add to the great advice you have been given so far except to encourage you to continue learning. Consider the first garments you make as learning tools and don't be too hard on yourself when/if they don't fit properly.

I have been sewing for many years and I still measure the flat patterns allowing for the seam allowances and compare that to my body measurements......which change from time to time, making it even more challenging.

Keep asking and doing and learning. With time and experience, you will get it and begin to enjoy the process and take pride in your well fitted and original, clothing items.

Blessings!
Debra

------
I sew, therefore I am.

HeatherMarie
HeatherMarie
Intermediate
IA USA
Member since 2/29/08
Posts: 11
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Date: 4/20/12 10:52 PM

Thanks Ladies. It's just so frusterating. UGH!!! I'm going to end up selling everything I've made so far. But, I didn't learn to make quilts and such in a day so I suppose I shouldn't expect to this in a day either.

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