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Topic: Simplicity Pattern Sizing  (Read 3656 times)
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« on: April 08, 2009 01:31:17 PM »

Hi everyone Smiley

I have a wedding to attend in May, and I think I'm going to save some money by making my own dress rather than buying one. I think I've decided on Simplicity 6699 (http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=6699, white with black sash design...different colours, of course Cheesy).

However, I'm a tad bit worried about actually making the thing, because the sizing chart on the back of the envelope says I'm a size 12 (I'm actually a size 4).

So, my question to all you fine crafty dress-making ladies out there: Which size should I cut the pattern to? My actual size, or size 12?

Thanks so much Smiley

« Last Edit: April 08, 2009 01:55:19 PM by pinkie_poh » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009 01:52:48 PM »

Very cute dress! Forget about the size numbers! I usually have to make a Simplicity garment 2-3 sizes bigger than my "retail" size.

Keep in mind that Simplicity patterns are based on a 5'6" model with a B cup measurement. If you're top heavy, go with the "upper bust" measurement (measure around yourself under the armpit and above the bust), go with a size smaller, and plan to do a full bust adjustment. There are lots of tutorials on the internet on how to do this.

You're going to need to do a little homework. First, you need to take your actual bust and waist measurements. Because the dress you've chosen is loose around the hips, your hip measurement is not important.

If the pattern does not say (and it often doesn't) measure the actual pattern horizontally at the bust and waist, subtracting 5/8" at each seam. Add them up and compare them to your circumference measurements. Based on the picture, there should be some, but not a lot, of ease at the bust and waist. If you need to add some width, do it now. Most of the time, you just need to add a fraction of an inch because that fraction will be multiplied by how many seams there are. In other words, if you add 1/4" to the front and back side seams, your are actually adding 1" to the circumference of the dress.

Next, make up the dress in a cheap fabric, similar to the final fabric. Believe me, this is worth doing! You don't have to put in facings, hems, etc. because you just want to get the fit to be right. Of course, if it looks good, by all means, finish it and have another dress to wear!

Make any adjustments to the test garment, then make those same adjustments to the pattern.

There are lots of schools of thought on fitting. Do what makes sense to you and don't be afraid to experiment - on your test dress!

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.

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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009 02:01:10 PM »

For Simplicity, I usually cut a size or two smaller than what my measurements would indicate (which is still a size number or two larger than my RTW size) and it works out alright, for the most part.  That's with practice, though.  For a better guide, though (and especially because this is a very fitted garment) look at the finished garment measurement at the bottom of the envelope back.  It shows a finished bust measurement.  Pick whichever size has a finished bust close to, but no less than, your bust measurement.  I'd mock that one up.  And watch your seam allowances.

Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

My wist!  http://www.wists.com/aislynn
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009 03:53:18 PM »

Thanks so much for the advice! I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to sewing clothes, so it didn't even occur to me to make a mockup Shocked

After a long adventure in my friendly neighbourhood Fabricland today (wherein I spent an extra half hour browsing the pattern catalogues because I didn't realize the pattern is New Look and not Simplicity  Embarrassed), I emerged victorious with the pattern and some lovely dusty rose woven silk.

I'll definitely post pics when I'm done...this will [hopefully] be my piece de resistance for the season!

« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009 07:29:00 PM »

Alright! So I've completed the mock dress -- time to start in on the real one!

*Please excuse the terrible sewing (I pretty much just basted everything together), the horrible horrible mess that is my room, and my delightfully clashing black kneehighs Tongue*

« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009 08:16:11 PM »

Nice job!  How did the pattern treat you?  I know most patterns are nowhere near the size you think you will need.  Hopefully you'll be able to use the information you learned from this dress when you sew other dresses in the future.

« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009 09:56:15 PM »

Nice job!  How did the pattern treat you?  I know most patterns are nowhere near the size you think you will need.  Hopefully you'll be able to use the information you learned from this dress when you sew other dresses in the future.

Thanks! The pattern was actually quite simple to follow; I did as Aislynn recommended and cut to size according to the finished garment measurements, and it fits beautifully Smiley Before sewing on the zipper, I was positive that I'd need to add an extra inch or so for it to fit :S but it turns out I just suck at holding stuff closed behind my back Tongue So, even though it does fit well, I'm so glad I did the mock dress first, because I learned a few things: a) the straps are fiddley, and need to be sewn carefully; b) when the pattern says to match up the top (instead of the bottom) of the skirt panels before sewing, it says so for a reason; and c) I have to be careful not to sew the wrong edges together. Yeah.

« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009 10:23:21 PM »

Good job! That's gonna look great when it's done! I can't wait to see how your silk version turns out Cheesy

« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009 07:32:04 AM »

The dress looks great! I'm glad you took the time to do a test garment. I have learned to ALWAYS do a test first on a new pattern. I had to learn this the hard way, of course. I discovered it takes less time to do a test than to try to re-fit a final garment.

Hope you post pictures of the finished dress!
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009 07:36:32 AM »

BTW, if you like Simplicity patterns, there's a way you can reduce your pattern adjustment time.

Make up the sloper garment dress (usually at the back of the book somewhere) out of gingham. The gingham will show you where there are fitting issues when it pulls off grain.

Make note of all the changes. For example, if you need to change the slope of the shoulders by 1/2", you'll need to do this on ALL simplicity patterns. Same thing if you need to make a bust adjustment.

It will at least get you started in the right direction so you'll only have to do a couple of tweaks here and there - depending on the style and fabric, of course.
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