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Topic: Patterns aren't in my size?  (Read 468 times)
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« on: October 21, 2007 06:16:28 AM »

I'm a pretty small girl... I'm short and thin. I have the hardest time finding patterns that'll fit me. Is there a way that I can change the measurements so they'll fit me? I'm extremely new to the whole sewing thing so sorry if this is dumb question Tongue

1st posts, wohoo!
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007 07:47:39 AM »

Hi rachelp1024!  Welcome to Craftster!

You may already know this, but I thought I'd mention it because it's a weird thing many new sewers don't know.  You should pick your pattern size based on your body measurements, not based on your ready to wear (RTW) size.  For example, I wear an 8/10 RTW, but based on my measurements my sewing pattern size is usually between 14 and 16 (it is not unusual for the sewing pattern size to be 2-3 sizes larger than your RTW size).  I then look at the finished garment measurements, if I am lucky enough to have them on the envelope, or check places like sewing.patternreview.com to see if a pattern runs large or small.  If it is a fitted garment, you only need a couple of inches of extra room (ease) in the finished measurements over your body measurements.  Often I will make the smaller size, a 14, since many patterns have a lot of ease built in that I don't want.

If you still find that the pattern sizes do not come small enough, I have heard of people making a pattern smaller by retracing the pattern, subtracting the amount between the smallest size and the next size up -- patterns are usually printed with multiple sizes on the paper.  As for being short, you will find petite adjustments built in on most patterns - there are lines where you should fold the pattern to remove some length.  Well, I hope this helps and isn't too confusing!

My sewing message board: Sew What's Up
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2007 12:22:17 PM »

Another thing that I would suggest is to check the children's and junior size patterns.  A girl's size 16 actually corresponds to a woman's size 12 or a junior's 11/12 in patterns (which would be close to a 2 or 4 in regular clothes).  That means that junior sizes should fit you because they go all the way down to a 3/4. 

If you are short and thin, there are some girl's patterns in sizes 10-16 that would probably fit you.  As a bonus, they are cut less curvy than the womens patterns, which is nice if you are flat like I am.  I also find that girls and juniors patterns are often somewhat MORE fashion-forward than the women's.  I especially like Simplicity and some of McCall's.  Hope this helps! 
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007 07:11:34 AM »

There are a number of  books  describing how to alter patterns to fit your body. You can find them easily at your favorite online book outlet just by doing a search. Simplicity has one that seems to get good reviews and there are others. Or just check out your local bookstore. But where I live selection is limited so I prefer online shopping.
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007 09:28:37 PM »

Look in the very back of the pattern books, almost every brand has a "custom fitting guide" type thing that looks like a really generic long sleeve fitted dress. This is a special pattern you use to tailor your own clothing and future patterns.

What you do is make it in something like muslin, making all appropriate adjustments so that it fits perfectly, then take it apart. For everything you do after that, slap your perfect fit muslin down on the pattern & the tweaking is already done : )
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