The Sewing Place

Pattern sizing


Pattern sizing
« on: February 11, 2019, 09:36:06 AM »
Just doing an aide memoir for some one new to patterns and wondered if you could make use of it.

Sorry cannot seem to upload a word doc so I have cut and pasted

The big four: Butterick, McCall’s, Simplicity and Vogue.

•   McCall’s and Simplicity run larger than Butterick and Vogue.
•   Patterns from all 4 are large through upper chest, from neckline to bottom or armhole. If you select a pattern using full bust measurement you will end up with too much fabric in upper chest area. = frumpy look.
•   Pick a pattern size with a bust measurement that matches your upper bust i.e. measure around the body immediately below the arm pit.
•   If your measurement falls between sizes choose  smaller size if you have small bust and larger size if bust is full.
•   Compare your full bust measurement with that on the pattern and adjust if needed.

New Look, Todays Fit, Stretch and Sew and Kwik-sew

•   Run true to measurements so buy according to full bust measurement.


•   Also run true but they are wide at the shoulder so grade your pattern. Cut one size smaller from neckline to armhole. (2 if you have very narrow shoulders).
•   They also tend to run short in the crotch

Independent Pattern companies

•   All use different measurement so measure the flat pattern carefully or/and make up a toile first.
•   Alternatively pin fit the pattern to yourself. You may need help to do this.

Choose a skirt or trouser pattern by your hip size. It is easier to alter the waistline than the side seam. Add or remove darts to get a good fit.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 09:40:50 AM by sewmuchmore »
It's not easy being this perfekt



Re: Pattern sizing
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 09:52:31 AM »
That's really useful. I'm going to send a copy to my daughter. At the moment she says she doesn't think she can tackle clothing but I think she'll change her mind!


Re: Pattern sizing
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 10:18:46 AM »
According to Palmer-Pletch's 'Fit for Real People' page 249, Vogue and Butterick use an identical set of bodice blocks and Simplicity and McCalls use very similar blocks to the other two.  It's the amount of fashion ease which varies.  In my experience Vogue tend to run big
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.


Re: Pattern sizing
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 10:25:31 AM »
Useful ....thank you


Re: Pattern sizing
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 10:32:06 AM »
Another useful resource I think often gets overlooked is Butterick's ease chart. Sadly the other brands don't offer them but it can be deciphered
  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

The rule is to compare body measurements with finished garment measurements (if the measurement isn't available on the back of the pattern envelope, it's usually printed on the pattern tissue itself).

Finished garment measurement - body measurement = ease

Once you get the hang of what fit you like you can determine which ease value usually works for you. E.g I prefer a closer fit on the bust (about 1-2" ease) but a looser fit on the hips. This helps with choosing sizes.

Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram