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Message Board > Sewing for Petite Sizes > petite pattern question ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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petite pattern question
pinkrhody
pinkrhody
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Date: 6/19/12 12:27 PM

Petite sizes in ready to wear used be about proportion and seem now to just be about length. Petites never fit me right anymore especially through the shoulders and torso. Do any of you petite gals find that patterns have gone that way too? I'm just beginning to sew again after many years because I have such a hard time finding clothes that fit and are my style.

unfinishedprojects
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Date: 6/19/12 1:44 PM

Most patterns that have the option to be shortened in the torso do so at a line just above the waist. Obviously, that doesn't work well if you're short above the bust.

This Burda article shows where and how much to shorten standard patterns to maintain the proper proportions: Pattern Alteration for Petites

Of course, you may be shaped differently and need to alter less/more at each point.

halleyscomet
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In reply to pinkrhody <<


Date: 6/19/12 6:36 PM

I have narrow shoulders so I have found that as long as I pick the size for the upper bust and shoulders, I don't have to shorten between the apex and shoulders. On pants I always have to lengthen the back crotch. They never seem to come up high enough. On RTW petite pants, too, the crotch length is too short. I have to buy misses and then hem them.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to pinkrhody <<


Date: 6/20/12 8:59 PM

Totally -- petite seems to mean just shorter length. Very frustrating, since a proper-fitting top or jacket, for example, has to fit properly in the shoulders and neck, too... also the collar, pockets, etc. should be scaled down a bit.

I don't remember, were petite patterns ever truly adjusted proportionally? I know some patterns were just adjustable for petite (just shortening), but there were also Junior Petite and Miss Petite patterns. I have no idea whether they were adjusted for more than length, because they didn't come in the same envelope as the non-petite version.

P.S. What I do now is just use a smaller size for neck and shoulders, and morph out to a larger size for the rest. My torso length isn't petite, so I don't have to adjust that.
-- Edited on 6/20/12 9:01 PM --

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lakaribane
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Date: 6/20/12 9:24 PM

I shorten the Burda Patterns just as it shows in the link above but Burda gives you Bust Depth (shoulder to bust) and Back length in their chart. The Burda Hip Depth (waist to hips) is also much shorter than Big 4, roughly 5cm (2in!!!) depending on the size.

Big4 patterns hide this info rather well. Simplicity's Fit Help includes a PDF that has the back length info.

Vogue' s size chart

I read here on PR's boards that Big 4 use a 26cm Bust Depth and it seems to be true for the most part.

I would suggest buying the fittign patterns each brand sells and comparing the measurements you find on the pattern to you own body. You can then shorten accordingly.


1003 for pants and V1004 for dresses.

B5627 and B5628 for dresses.

M2718

I trace all my patterns, btw. I don't live in the US and it's complicated and expensive so I try to preserve the pattern intact.

What I do now more and more is to trace the neckline/shoulder/armhole line that matches my measurements. So I may do a 10 bust/waist/hips but an 8 neckline and armhole in US sleeve patterns. And it fits.

For Burda, having lost a dress size, I do : 19 (38) shoulder line, 18(36) bust/waist/hips and 17(34) or even 16(32) armhole. Fits me well.

So find a friend to help you measure your body thoroughly. You need concrete information to make the right choice. And wear a good bra when you do this because underwear can change your numbers.
-- Edited on 6/20/12 9:45 PM --

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Fashion Maté, where I blog about what I (eventually) sew : http://fashionmate.blogspot.com
Addicted to Pinterest? Me too! : http://pinterest.com/lakaribane/

DonnaH
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In reply to pinkrhody <<


Date: 6/25/12 4:57 PM

I'm not sure if they used to be better, but I have started tracing all my patterns.

My big thing (in RTW, too) is that my shoulders are not as wide as the size that I need to go around my hips! I used to go out a size (or 2!!) at the hips, but this year, I've been redrafting the shoulder width as I trace the pattern.

Basically, I'll trace the upper portion of the bodice (from about the lower edge of the armhole), and measure the shoulder width (from shoulder seam to shoulder seam) and see where that hits me. If I don't like it (mostly I don't), I'll see how much less would make a shoulder seam where I want it. I have both slashed/pivoted (is that a word?) and just cut off the shoulder seam to get the shoulder width I want. One top worked (well, the pattern I used for One Pattern Many Looks worked - it was actually 3 tops), and the other I tried this on was a size too small all over, so I'm not sure if I'd call it a success, but the shoulders were in the right place, lol.

solosmocker
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Date: 7/3/12 8:40 PM

That is similar to what I do, morphing out from a size 6 neck and shoulder to a size 8 waist to 12 hips. But those are width issues. Petites need to be concerned about length issues for the most part. I have a process I use to "petite" all my patterns as soon as I take them out of th envelope. You can find it here:
Petiting a pattern

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