Oliver + S

Sizing for self sewing

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    Maggie @Maggie

    I just bought a Simplicity coat pattern for myself. In taking my measurements, I’m all over the map. I was already planning an adjustment for my, ahem, full bust, but my hip and waist measurements are several sizes apart. If I use my bust and hip measurements, I’ll be in a size which I have never worn.

    I’m usually a 12 or 14. Making a size 20 seems crazy. Is that how adult patterns run? Is it muslin time?


    Nicole @motherof5

    In a nut shell, yes.

    There are some good discussions over here http://www.sewlisette.com/forums/ . When you make a muslin you don’t need the facings and it is actually quite quick to do.

    Most commercial patterns have good ease so you will have some fabric to play with but don’t try and compare your RTW size with pattern sizing. Its not helpful and damaging to your self esteem.

    http://fiveandcounting-motherof5.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/thai-traveller.html I briefly show how I made a super quick bodice muslin for a dress. I am petite but carrying an extra 10-15 kilo, so I would never get a dress to fit me this well in the shops.

    My husband helped me with mine.

    Good luck, and please contact me if you need your hand held!


    Tamara @justsewit

    If you have a dressmaker’s model, they are helpful for fitting also – but other people are far better as they can actually give an opinion.

    I share your angst over the sizing but it can’t be helped. Just remember it is just a number of reference for THEM not you. You just focus on your own measurements to get a great fit. I also have a feeling this set of measurements have been circulating for decades to almost a century worth of pattern making so they (in my book) can be somewhat out of whack with the sizing – so like Nicole said don’t worry about that part.

    Maggie @Maggie

    I’m not so bothered by the number. Since it is handmade, it won’t have a label. I was more worried about making the wrong size or vastly over- or under-buying my fabric.

    I’m sure I have some fabric I don’t love that can be used to make a muslin.

    Nicole, thanks for the offer. I’ll reach out if I get stuck. I’ve made three Sunday Brunch Jackets and two School Days Coats, but this is a whole new project.

    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    Maggie. I recently had exactly the same query. I had considered myself to be a 12 to 14, maybe even a size less for US rather than UK/Aus sizing but measured myself and found I had a Lisette/Simplicity size 20 hip measurement. I erred on the side of vanity, ignored the tape measure, made the size 14 and found it to be far too small around the hips (only just salvageable by sewing a very, very narrow seam). I treated that dress as a muslin and have decided I’m a size 16 up top and 18 around the hips….

    I don’t know when a muslin stops being a muslin as I’d need to test the shoulders, bust, waist, arms and hips and could possibly be up to three different sizes across all of those points. I think a trial run of the whole dress in cheap fabric is a great idea! Good luck

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