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Topic: Pattern Sizing

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Subject: Pattern Sizing
Date Posted: 6/9/2008 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2005
Posts: 152
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I'm trying my hand at clothes construction.  I just want to make a simple a-line skirt.  However, I find that the sizing on the patterns seem to be way off.  I'm a size 14 dress and in a pattern I have to buy a size 22 according to their sizing chart.  Is this correct? 

Help...lost in pattern land.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 3:19 AM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2006
Posts: 157
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I'm not sure what the pattern to ready to wear difference is, but you must measure yourself to get an accurate idea of what size (in patterns) you wear. You also need to notice the ease of the pattern because that will tell you how loose it will be.

Waist measurements are not the "low rider" waist a lot of people think about. Your true waist is above your belly button. Your hip measurement is the fullest part of your hips (no matter where that is located; high or low). You may be measuring your hips and mistaking it for your waist.

 

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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yes, I have found that what I wear ready-to-wear is smaller than what I wear when I have to sew it...

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 2:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 26
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The problem is that there's no standardization in ready-to-wear. Each manufacturer can basically decide for itself what size to put with which set of measurements, and they've gradually been lowering the tag sizes for the same-sized clothes (so people can get fatter and still kid themselves that they're wearing the same size). I mean, when I was a kid, there was no such thing as a size zero! On the other hand, pattern manufacturers have a standard. A size 10 is a size 10, always has been, and always will be. Personally, I have worn a size 8 pattern my entire adult life. Years ago I also wore a size 8 ready-to-wear, then I had to drop to a size 6, and now sometimes even a 4 is too big, but meanwhile, I still wear a size 8 pattern. My body and the pattern sizes haven't changed, but the sizes on ready-to-wear keep dropping.

Last Edited on: 6/14/08 2:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/15/2008 8:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2005
Posts: 152
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Valerie, I did check the sizing chart and measured where they specified.  The problem is that I got a size 22 and most of the patterns I like only go up to a size 20.  So now I'm thinking that I might have to alter the pattern to match my size...a very daunting task.

Julie, you are right about different manufacturers and sizing, it drives me crazy. 

Thank you all for your help.  I'll keep you posted.

 

 

Date Posted: 6/15/2008 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 26
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A couple of suggestions for larger patterns:

Clotilde.com - This is mainly a sewing and crafting notions supplier, but they do  have some basic patterns. I have not used their patterns, but have ordered supplies from them, and it's a very reputable company.

Kwik-sew - This is a pattern company that can occasionally be found in stores, but also has a web site (kwiksew.com).  Also very reputable.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 6/15/2008 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2005
Posts: 152
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Thanks Julie. I'll give the sites a look.

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2005
Posts: 152
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Thanks everyone!  Joanne had patterns on sale, so I bought one for a simple summer dress.  Wish me luck.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2006
Posts: 157
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If you aren't a B cup, tiny waisted person, than generally you WILL have to alter a pattern. Yes, it is a daunting task, I have to agree with you there. I'm still working on how to alter garments because apparently I'm not shaped like what tha patterns are modelled after (which *is* a B cup in the bust). Simplicity has some new patterns out that are in cup size rather than using the standard B cup sizing that a lot of the pattern companies use. I just bought one the other day, but haven't tried using it yet. It is from the Kahliah Ali line, which is a nice flattering line for "plus" sizes or large busts.

Try measuring your "high bust" which is above the fullest part of your breast. It's basically your chest measurement. Then you will probably have to do what is called a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA). You will have to alter your pattern if you need an FBA. Not being nosey, but if you have a large bust and a smaller waist usually you have to do a bit of altering, sometimes by many sizes. Like, you are a size 18 (high bust), do an FBA and then blend the lines between the bust measurement and a 14 waist measurement on the pattern.

I notice that it's been about a month. Have you tackled your dress yet?