Imperial v Metric
10 years agoLisaMM @LisaMM
I’ve grown up a metric girl and while I know how long an inch is, I can’t for the life of me figure out 3/8, 5/8 or 7/8 of an inch are? Are there any future plans for perhaps metric conversions to be listed somewhere on the pattern for those measurements up to an inch? Just a suggestion.
Thanks, Lisa :o)10 years ago
Lisa, we have metric conversions for all our patterns available on the website. Go to the shop section and find the pattern you are using. You can click on the green tab for “size chart” toward the bottom of the page. This will give you the info in both English and metric measurements.10 years agolattemama @lattemama
Lisa – I totally agree with you on growing up metric and I had the hardest time at the beginning of sewing with inches and fractions. It all looked so jumbled.
I would recommend finding a good ruler that has inches and all eight fractions marked and try and not think about if 1/4 inch is 0.6 or 0.7 cm any more.
I found my sewing was a lot more accurate that way.
I also found a throat plate for my sewing machine with inches on it (and luckily it’s easy to switch between the two if I need the metric some day). I highly recommend that.
However once these imperial guys get into talking about yards and 5/8ths of a yard I totally glaze over … and reach for my calculator.
Good luck!10 years agoLisaMM @LisaMM
Thanks for the quick reply Todd. I did see the size conversions. I was more thinking about the actual pattern instructions when it calls to sew a 3/8 inch seam? I had the thought of perhaps putting the metric conversion of that following, e.g. (6mm) – I usually just take a guess. ‘Lattemama’ suggested a great idea above of getting a imperial ruler – thanks. I might have to look into getting one. It is getting easier to understand imperial measurements, just a little more practice I guess.
Thanks, Lisa.10 years agowith love Heidi @with love Heidi
I tend to sew at about 12mm ie half way between the 10mm and 15mm on my throat plate for a 1/2″ seam allowance. I use the edge of my foot for a 1/4″ seam. If I see a 3/8″, if it is a basting stitch (as it often is for Oliver and S) I just do it at my 1/4″, or move it slightly further out. I also use my tape measure as it has imperial and metric on it when I need to convert between the two. I now tend to measure the kids in imperial ( as well as metric) so I’m only using one system (the one the pattern was designed in) and getting better at it.
Keep practising and it will get easier.6 years agoBridget Daykin @Yeppoon4703
Good afternoon Todd,
I see you make note above that you have the metric sizes within the shop area. These are only for the actually fit of the dress.
May I suggest you also include metric version of how much fabric to buy? It would make it so much easier.
Would there ever be the chance to have complete metric versions of your patterns? All this 5/8″ etc is very confusing for me in Australia.
Thanks, Bridget6 years agoRobin @Robin
I find it strange that a simple to use, base 10 measurement system has not been adopted by the entire planet. Quilting, sewing and map making might be the last hold outs.
I learned Imperial for Cartography when I was in university. I find it best not to convert between the two. Too much room for error. I add masking tape to my throat plate to help with seam allowances.6 years ago
@yeppoon4703 Fabric requirements for all our patterns are a pretty simple and straightforward 1:1 conversion.
OK, not really, but pretty close.
When we do our fabric requirements we do them to the nearest 1/4 yard because most stores won’t sell in quantities of less than that. We always use our pattern development software to calculate the exact amount of fabric required (this is if you were absolutely perfect in laying out your fabric to get the maximum out of it) and then add a small percentage because most people aren’t so stingy with their usage. Then we round up to the nearest 1/4 yard.
If you use our requirements in yards and buy the same amount of meters, you’ll get similar results anywhere in the range from 1/4 yard to 2 3/4 yards. After that, just subtract 1/4 if you’re buying in meters. But since most of our patterns call for quantities of less than this, a 1:1 conversion will get you pretty darn close.
And, yes, I have to add that I agree with Robin. Why the US hasn’t gone metric, I’ll never understand.6 years agoNicole @motherof5
I am a metric-baby but swing between the two with the aid of a ruler.
Funny thing is, I trained as a hairdresser in the 90’s and we used imperial in college as well…6 years agoYirg @Yirg
LOL as a child of the sixties in the UK I can work in either with equal ease. I’m sure one day the USA will catch up with the rest of the world and go metric, heck they might even start using the correct size paper 😉6 years ago
Well, as a child of the seventies in the US I remember when President Ford announced we would be joining the rest of the world and going metric. And I remember getting a crash course in metric measurement in grade school.
And then, nothing…. The people spoke and said, “We don’t like change. And we like all this confusing non base ten stuff and fractions. So we’re not going to change.” And all the kids in grade school who had learned the metric system thought, “What the heck? It’s soooo easy.” But since they weren’t old enough to have political say they got stuck with having to remember that there are 5280 feet in a mile and 12 inches in a foot and always needing to rely on a calculator to figure out how many inches there are in a mile.
But I’ll go to the grave arguing that the dimensions of A4 paper are just weird and wrong in all kinds of ways….6 years agoLightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch
Nice one @yirg 😃
@todd that cracked me up, your summation of the American psyche almost sounded like it came from a Canadian or Aussie! 😅
…. And made me realise a way in which metric may just pervade after all. Don’t you measure your guns in millimetres? I know nothing of guns but even I’ve heard of a 9mm pistol. How many sixteenths’ of an inch would that be? And I bet the guy with the 9mil would shoot you before you could begin to threaten him with your seven sixteenths of an inch weapon!
Am I right? Are guns metric over there?6 years agojuliamom2009 @juliamom2009
I moved from the US to Canada after my oldest two kids were born. All I knew was that my two preemie kids were 1150 grams (about 2.5 pounds) and 950 grams (about 2 pounds) at birth. So, when I’d go to the meat counter, I’d have to stop and think – did I want a Nathaniel’s worth of meat, or a Melissa’s worth of meat….I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I was doing!
Once you get used to it, metric is definitely easier and more logical.6 years ago6 years agoBridget Daykin @Yeppoon4703
Isn’t it funny. We are so metric over here in Australia but whenever a baby is born they still always advise the weight in pounds..I was bewildered when they advised the birth weight of my first baby and had to ask the nursing staff to calculate the weight in grams for me.
Metric is so much easier to understand. I can’t believe that the US is still using imperial. Seems so backward for an advanced country.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Unless otherwise credited, all work on this blog is © Liesl + Co., Inc, 2008-2022. You are welcome to link to this blog, but please ask permission before using any text or images.