How To Pick Out A Pattern From Your Measurements

This is really part two of yesterday’s post: How to Pick Out The Right Sized Pattern, picking out pattern according to shoulder measurement.

In most cases, patterns are multi-sized and this can really help us in more ways than one – mostly in that we can pick out a correct shoulder measurement then come in or out as we need for he rest of the pattern.  That won’t/doesn’t solve all the fitting problems but most of them.

So you start with your shoulder measurement, then you can go to the standard measurements from the pattern companies.  Here they are (each graphic is linked so you can go visit the site individually if you like, but here are their charts all together!)

Burda

sizechart-burda

Vogue, Butterick and McCalls

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26
Bust  29½ 30½ 31½ 32½ 34 36 38 40 42 44 46  48
Chest  27½ 28½ 29½ 30½ 32 34 36 38 40 42 44  46
Waist  22 23 24 25 26½ 28 30 32 34 37 39  41½
Hip  31½ 32½ 33½ 34½ 36 38 40 42 44 46 48  50
Back Waist Length  15½ 15¼ 15¾ 16 16¼ 16½ 16¾  17 17¼ 17½ 17¾  18
Petite Back Waist Length 14 14¼ 14¾ 15 15¼ 15½ 15¾ 16 16¼ 16½ 16¾ 17

Vogue & Butterick are owned by McCalls and they don’t give a shoulder measurement, but it does give a chest measurement.  A typical chest measurement is from upper armscye to armscye across the chest above the bust.  This is a hard measurement to get, but at least this can give you a place to start without having to take out the pattern piece of each pattern.  Once you purchase the pattern, then take the shoulder from the back piece and cut out according to your measurement.  At least this chest measurement can get you in the right, multi-sized ballpark of sizes.

 

Simplicity

Sizes 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26
Bust 29½” 30½” 31½” 32½” 34” 36” 38” 40” 42” 44” 46” 48”
Waist 22” 23” 24” 25” 26½” 28” 30” 32” 34” 37” 39” 41½”
Hip – 9” below waist 31½” 32½” 33½” 34½” 36” 38” 40” 42” 44” 46” 48” 50”
Back Neck-to-Waist 15½” 15½” 15¾” 16” 16¼” 16½” 16¾” 17” 17¼” 173/8 17½” 17¾”
Petite Back Neck-to-Waist 14¼” 14½” 14¾” 15” 15¼” 15½” 15¾” 16” 16¼” 163/8 16½” 165/8

NOTE:  Simplicity doesn’t give shoulder measurements, but you can compare bust with other patterns measurement charts and get a good idea what is a good size.  For example, Vogue/Butterick/McCalls chest of 34, the bust is 36.  So go to the Simplicity and look at bust 36 and you’ll see that’s a size 14, so that’s the size you should buy.

Now – here’s something interesting to note:  See on the Simplicity chart how all the sizing goes up, but on the Burda chart, the shoulder stops increasing at about  size 16, and for that matter, it doesn’t increase a lot throughout the Misses Measurement chart?  Well, that’s for a reason.  This is my biggest beef against RTW sizing and that goes for some pattern companies.  Just because you increase the girth doesn’t mean you necessarily increase the bone structure and the shoulder is mostly (almost exclusively) bone.  If you are a large-boned person with broad-shouldered genes, then you will have broad shoulders if you weigh little or a lot.  Shoulder has nothing to do with girth.  Most American sizing doesn’t get that.  We as sewists, not only get it, but we also understand why….because bones and muscles and fat all appear differently on EVERY body, and the variations are infinite.

Ease Chart

While perusing through the pattern companies looking for these, I found this which is just as great as the measurement charts themselves.  This is a typical ease chart.  Now, an ease chart is a place to start, not the law of the land.  That means that ease is a very personal thing, and if you like more or less, that’s what sewing is all about.  But this does give you a place to start if you aren’t yet familiar with what you like.

Misses’ Ease Allowances
Bust Area Hip Area
Silhouette Dresses, Blouses, Skirts, Tops, Vests Jackets Coats Shirts, Pants, Shorts, Culottes
Lined or Unlined
Close Fitting 0 -2 7/8″ not applicable 0 – 1 7/8″
Fitted 3 – 4″ 3 3/4 – 4 1/4″ 5 1/4 – 6 3/4″ 2 – 3″
Semi-Fitted 4 1/8 – 5″ 4 3/8 – 5 3/4″ 6 7/8 – 8″ 3 1/8 – 4″
Loose Fitting 5 1/8 – 8″ 5 7/8 – 10″ 8 1/8 – 12″ 4 1/8 – 6″
Very Loose Fitting over 8″ over 10″ over 12″ over 6″

 

Here’s the amazing thing about all this:  This shows how fitting can be really personalized for you, and once you get into the habit of what size you usually buy with Vogue, Butterick, McCalls, Burda, New Look, or any other pattern company, then you’re set.  Remember to ALWAYS check the back shoulder measurement on your pattern to be sure, but this is how you buy patterns.  From the shoulder measurement, you may or may not need to make further pattern adjustments, but the good news is that they will be much easier than doing the shoulder/armscye alteration!

closing

 

 

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