Oliver + S

Not sure what size to make

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    KellyNYC @KellyNYC

    I’m about to start tracing up and sewing my daughter’s back to school chlothes: Sailboat Top, 2+2 Top, Class Picnic Blouse, After School Top, Apple Picking Dress, Jump Rope Dress, Sunday Brunch Jacket (whew, this is giving me anxiety just writing out my list here!).

    She turned 3 in June, and is 50th percentile height and weight. I’m not sure if I should do the size 3 or 4. Size 3 will fit perfectly right now, but I’m not sure if it’ll last her the whole fall/winter.

    Do you all generally size up or make their true sizes? I want her to get good wear out of these items, but also don’t want her to be swimming in them.

    Nicole @motherof5

    In a nutshell,I measure well first and then make the closest larger size and add length.

    My girls are small but I find the patterns generally fit well to measurements.

    In my experience(only my opinion mind)

    Sailboat can be slim fitting,length is great.

    Class Picnic perfect.

    After School top,roomy but add length(I added inches)

    Apple Picking,perfect body add a little length.

    2+2 blouse and skirt,perfect!

    Jumprope,perfect add a wee bit of length to view B

    Sunday Brunch,perfect add an inch of length.

    This should give you good growth.

    Have you seen these? https://oliverands.com/free-patterns/measurement-chart so cute and FREE!

    Good luck


    KellyNYC @KellyNYC

    Nicole, this is SO HELPFUL!! I was hoping you’d reply! I’ve never actually measured her to determine size, simply made her age size. I will measure tonight. What handy little cards! These are fantastic, thank you!

    Robin @Robin

    This makes me chuckle. I always make Sophie things that are 1 size to big hoping she can wear them for a long time. It’s to the point now that when something fits perfectly, I think it’s too small.

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Agree with Nicole on all counts. Each style has its own intended lines, some a little more cropped and boxy, some a little more long and slim, but for school, you’re probably more concerned with good coverage during active play and with getting a lot of wearing time out of each garment, so you might be willing to sacrifice a little style to meet those particular needs.

    Jane @jesims


    That was a great list. I need to mark this on my patterns so I remember. How ’bout pants? I made a pair of sand box pants in 2T and they were too big for my 2T wearing 2 y/o. I made a pair of 18/24 mo. after school pants and she won’t wear them long, they are almost too snug now.


    I am making my little one’s fall wardrobe right now. I am making the size that fits in the chest and waist and adding a bit of length. So most tops might be more of a tunic length right now but it will allow for growing room. My kiddos tend to go up, not out.

    beachmom @beachmom

    The very first purchased pattern that I made (Sunday Brunch skirt) I made an 8, reasoning that my daughter was older than that so it should fit fine. Surprise, Surprise….it was really too big. Measuring is a must in my opinion. 🙂

    I typically hold the traced off pattern pieces to my kids or compare them to another piece of clothing that I know fits before cutting the fabric so I can make any adjustments to length that I need to do. With pants and skirts, I tend to make a generous hem allowance so that if they need to be let down they can.

    On another sewing forum I belong to, a lot of the ladies who start their fall/winter sewing during the summer don’t hem the garments until it’s time for the garment to be worn. I’ve always thought that was a smart way to go about it and means any unexpected growth spurts don’t render the clothes too short before they are to be worn.


    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Oh, that’s very clever! And I’m not at all saying that because it allows me to avoid hemming a little longer, haha!

    Jennifer1568 @Jennifer1568

    I made the 2+2 top a little longer, too. I think the sailboat pants are wide but the top (if you make it from a woven) can be constricting. The top is short. The front of the pants are so cute and I think that they look cute exposed. I think part of one button might show on each side if you make the top like the pattern according to directions. I did it that way once and then added an inch when I made it again.I had to cinch up the pants and skirt with elastic and also moved the buttons. I am glad now, though, because I think they will fit my daughter all year this year if I move the buttons and change the elastic. For my daughter the Apple Picking Dress was a generous size. The cut of the AS top is wide and short- that is the way it is designed. I also added length to it. I added an inch in length to size 6 Sunday Brunch jacket and skirt, too. My daughter will not wear the Sunday Brunch jacket. She avoids it. I think it is too confining for her. I think the Sunday Brunch skirt is cut so that it is short and form fitting. I think when Liesl designs stuff to come to the waist, that is where it fits. I like tops to be a little longer because I don’t want my daughter’s back to be uncovered when she bends over. View B of the Jump Rope dress is like a tunic. It is short and form fitting. I added length to it, too. My daughter wears it with leggings and boots. It is really cute. View A is more generous in size. I love both views. When you put them on your daughter to best way is to have her raise her hands above her head and then slip the dress onto her arms and over her head in one movement.

    KellyNYC @KellyNYC

    Thank you so much for this great advice! I have already cut out the 2+2 in size 3 but didn’t add length although should have. I hope it’s ok. Sailboat top is cut out as well and I did add an extra inch, but I do worry about it being constricting since it’s a slimmer fit. We’ll see! I’ll report back! Thank you all!

    with love Heidi @with love Heidi

    If you still need to add length tot he top could you add a band or ruffle to the bottom? I have done this a few times for clothes that are too short.

    Jess M. @mommy2maria

    Also, you could use stretch lace. (Or I guess regular lace too! lol)

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