Oliver + S

Fitting skinny girl-do you lengthen armhole/crotch depth?

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    Tagged by Stephanie @Tagged by Stephanie

    I have a long-torsoed, tall 3 yr old girlie. She measures at 18-24 mo size for chest and barely the 6-12 mo size hips and waist (waist 18.5″, hips 19″). It seems that if you have a tall but skinny child you would obviously be buying smaller size and lengthening, but then would you need to lengthen armhole since she is long torsoed and so much older? And would you need to change the crotch depth because she is skinny but tall? Is the only way to tell by sewing a muslin EVERY time I try a new pattern or new size?

    I consider myself an intermediate sewer – but I never learned about fitting. Any help would be so much appreciated! So many of you gals who have blogs and tutorials have been such a blessing and inspiration!!

    roundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl

    Looks like we have similar fit issues. My 3-year old is the 6-12 mo size for chest and waist, but is almost a 4 in terms of height. I am trying to figure out the answer to the armhole question myself right now, so I can’t answer that for you.

    But I can tell you that I have had success making the Afterschool pants in the 18-month size with 3T length AND 3T rise (crotch depth). The long rise was very important when I sewed the pants because she was in cloth diapers. Now she is potty trained and the pants still fit well (but will be too short if she grows another millimeter – lesson learned on leaving a wide hem). A straight 3T would have been huge on her.

    As far as the armhole goes, I have made several blouses – Class Picnic and Ice Cream – for the same daughter using either the 18-mo or the 24-mo size and just lengthening it, not messing with the arm holes at all. They fit fine. But now I want to make a fancy Playdate and for some reason I have it in my head that I have to change the armhole depth – I have already mucked up one muslin and will need to make another 🙁

    Nicole @motherof5

    This isn’t a ‘proper’ way,but my Liddy is 8 1/2 ,size 8 height and size 5 waist.

    I draft the size 8 length on the pattern pieces for length and size 5 for the width and it works pretty well.

    I find there is generally enough ease in a child’s pattern to allow for this.


    Tagged by Stephanie @Tagged by Stephanie

    Thank you so much! Sounds like you all have exactly the same problem! Then I’m going to try the 18-24 mo size with probably 4t length for the Class Picnic blouse. I’m also going to buy the After-School pants and cut size 4 length and 6-12 mo. width. Nicole, did you do muslins the first time you sewed these patterns for Liddy? Or maybe just when sewing pants?

    Again, thank-you ladies!

    Liesl Gibson

    In general, the answer is that it’s easiest to NOT make changes to the armhole/sleeves/rise/etc.. And we generally leave enough ease in the patterns that you probably won’t need to do anything.

    Just for illustration purposes, S still measures to a size 4 in the chest even though she’s almost 8 years old. Since I would lose some of the nice proportions of our grading if I made the skinny little thing a size 4 and lengthened it so much, I usually make her a 5 or 6 and add length. That gives her a little extra room in the width, and when I add length isn’t so drastic that it changes the look of the pattern like it would if I was lengthening a size 4. Plus, it gives her a little room to grow. And kids grow so quickly, I find that if I don’t make things a little large she’s out of it in no time at all.

    Keep in mind that when children are really thin they don’t need all that extra length in the rise and the armholes (or even the neck) because they’re not filling out the bulk so much.

    Does that make sense?

    Tagged by Stephanie @Tagged by Stephanie

    Yes that makes sense. It’s a relief to know I won’t need to mess with the rise or armholes! So it might be better to go with a bigger size to begin with and then add some length. So maybe size 2T with 4T length for Class Picnic blouse. I could try 12-18 mo. for after-school pants and add some length and see what happens. I think if I go much larger in pants she will swim in them width-wise – which is exactly why I took up sewing again! But I do understand what you mean about trying to preserve the proportions. I’m going to go cut out the Class Picnic blouse now. 🙂

    Thank-you for your “designer-side” input!

    with love Heidi @with love Heidi

    I think with pants you can often get away with adding more length than you could with a shirt without losing the look. I also have a very slim 3yr old I sew for, measuring 2T around but a size 5 in length. I tend to do what Nicole dose and add to the bottom.

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