Oliver + S

Sizing & lengthening help?

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    mlinton @mlinton

    Hi ladies, I’m fairly new to sewing in general and O+S patterns, so I’m hoping to get your advice on sizing. I’m planning to sew a coat for my 2.5 year old son (view A) and 9 month daughter (view B). Measured them yesterday, and they are kind-of all over the chart.

    For my son: chest: 19.5″ (12-18 mo), waist 18.5″ (6-12 mo), hips 21″ (18-24 mo), height 35.5″ (2t). My thought is that I should go with the chest for picking a size, so 12-18 mo, and then lengthening to a 2t. Does that sound reasonable? Would you size up for room to grow, or does the ease give plenty of room to grow anyway?

    For my daughter: chest 17″, waist 17.5″, hips 19″, height 26.5″. I’ve made a few O + S patterns for her and generally find that she fits into 3-6 mo for tops and 6-12 months for shorts/skirts. Since she’s growing fast and the coat is for fall/winter/spring, I’m thinking I’ll sew a straight 6-12 mo and let her grow into it. Again, any thoughts or advice?

    As far as lengthening, is there a “right” way to do it? Any posts or tutorials you experienced sewers can point me to?

    Thanks a ton!


    Liesl Gibson

    Hi Michelle,

    It sounds like you’re right on track! I generally recommend that you follow the chest measure and lengthen or shorten as necessary. And here’s a tutorial to help with that step:


    That’s the great thing about sewing; you can customize the fit to yourself or your child. I’m still sewing a lengthened size 5 or 6 for my 8-year-old, and it’s so wonderful to be able to make pants that fit! Best wishes.

    Kim @kmac0107

    Hi and welcome!

    Here is Liesl’s blog post for lengthening and shortening the patterns: http://oliverands.com/blog/2010/02/lengthening-and-shortening-a-pattern.html

    Others will chime in on sizing but for tops or coats I go with the chest measurement and then I will go one size up if it is within an inch of the actual chest measurement. So if a size 2 is a 21″ chest and a size 3 is 21.5″ a chest and she measures 21″ I will go with the size 3.

    Kim @kmac0107

    Oops, I must have been slowly typing while Liesl replied first!

    mlinton @mlinton

    This is exactly the info I was hoping to find. Thank you both!

    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    Good on you for measuring your kids. I just arbitrarily added some length at the waist and some at the hem thinking mine was probably a bit taller than the average.

    Anyway, here’s the discussion thread about buttonhole, belt loop and pocket positioning when you lengthen at the waist. It may help: https://oliverands.com/forums/topic.php?id=1412

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