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Author Topic: BIG Three Pattern sizing  (Read 5748 times)

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Offline Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

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BIG Three Pattern sizing
« on: May 07, 2008, 04:18:41 PM »
So I decided to make something for my "undergarb" to keep myself decent when at faire. I had a patten of a pirate outfit and the pants were very loose and baggy and I thought that they would make great pantaloons. Looking at the pattern size, I was worried it would not fit but after cutting the two pieces needed out and sewing them I found that I should have gone with a smaller size than they state (Boy I need a dress form). While the package said that X size was Y inches for the waist and I am just a smidge bigger than that. I found that the item is about 4 to 6 inches bigger than the pattern company said.

So I guess it is true that the big three (Simplicity in this case) really are larger than stated. I hope this is the normal trend. ANyone else have that experience. Now I have to take in about 4 to 6 inches on my new pantaloons.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 04:54:46 PM by Lady_Delaney »
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Offline Lady Rosalind

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 04:28:59 PM »
Yep. I find that they are most often off on bust sizing. I am wondering if maybe they are having the waist end somewhere other than the actual waistline to account for such a discrepancy in waist sizing...






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« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 04:29:56 PM by LadyRosalind »

Offline mollymishap

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 04:34:00 PM »
I always figured it's a make-the-person-feel-good-that-they're-a-size-smaller-than-they-thought kindof thing--like infant's clothing actually being made for kiddos in the lower size percentiles so that proud parents can say how big their child is...so it's backwards once you grow up...just my thinking, I have no data to back it up.

Offline mellingera

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 04:37:01 PM »
I have noticed the same thing. I wonder why they do that... except I supose it is easier to alter things to a smaller size rather than the other way around...

Offline gem

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 05:37:27 PM »
Part of the reason--particularly in their garb patterns--is that they add far more ease than is necessary or desirable.

One good tip for things like shirts or pants is to compare the size of the pattern to the size of an actual garment in your closet.  I made Milord some PJ pants at Christmas, and before cutting I pulled out a pair of his own pants to compare the sizing.  I ended up going down by 2 whole sizes (from XL to medium!).  With shirts, you'd compare the shoulder-to-shoulder width to see if the shoulder seams are in the same place.

Offline uhurainmi

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2008, 10:35:21 AM »
yes I have had the same experience. I will lean toward the lower end of numbers from now on. I am a 10-12 at the store and 16-18 on commercial patterns. Then the thing is always huge on me. It's a waste of fabric and time.

Cindy
Fortunately, ah keep mah feathers numbered...for just such an emergency.

Offline PrincessSara

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 09:15:24 PM »
That happened to me too.  I made a pair of bloomers in size 18, and me and my sister could both fit into them.  So I made another in size 16, which were still comically large on me.  For most things, namely the ones that won't work with gem's method of checking sizes, I would suggest making a cotton broadcloth or other cheap material version first to make sure of the sizing.

Offline anne of oaktower

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 10:12:13 PM »
yes I have had the same experience. I will lean toward the lower end of numbers from now on. I am a 10-12 at the store and 16-18 on commercial patterns. Then the thing is always huge on me. It's a waste of fabric and time.

Cindy

Ok, so it's not just me.  I have the same exact problem!
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Offline Lady L

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2008, 12:59:17 AM »
Go by your measurements, not the number size. Sizing was changed some years ago. RTW uses "vanity sizing". The backs of the patterns have a chart with bust, waist and hip measurements. At the bottom of the chart, they usually give the finished size and the length for pants, width for skirts.
Sometimes, the chart is on the inside of the pattern if it isn't printed on the back.
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Offline Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2008, 08:39:55 AM »
I went by the back panel and their sizing was smaller than my typical size I wear (16 to 20 depending on maker). The 20 on patterns is actually sized a few inches smaller than what I typically use for retail. So when I made my pantaloons the size 20 I made would have been in reality a size 24 or maybe even 26 by retail size. So I guess pattern makers 20 is not really a 20 but a 24+ at least on this particular pattern it was.
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Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2008, 11:29:54 AM »
Measure, measure, measure!

There are advantages to learning to draft your own patterns to your specific measurements.  :)

Offline Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2008, 12:37:20 PM »
I did measure and even re-measure and re-re-measured. It's just that Big Three sizings of patterns do not matcch what the envelope says.

Boy I would MORE than love to know how to draft my own patterns, but I don't as I am just starting to sew again since High School... twenty some odd years ago
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Offline gem

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2008, 02:47:41 PM »
Quote
Go by your measurements, not the number size. Sizing was changed some years ago. RTW uses "vanity sizing"

Lady L is totally right!  But that's a whole 'nother issue. :)  I think the thing we're all cautioning each other about is that many commercial patterns often run large, even if you do go by your measurements.

If you buy by your ready-to-wear size, the pattern will end up being too small, so I think the correct fit often lies somewhere in the middle.  This is the nice thing about commercial patterns, though--they're multi-sized and CHEAP (gotten on sale), so if you need to fuss with sizing and mockups, its pretty easy.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 02:48:49 PM by gem »

Offline Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2008, 03:31:34 PM »
Quote
Go by your measurements, not the number size. Sizing was changed some years ago. RTW uses "vanity sizing"

Lady L is totally right!  But that's a whole 'nother issue. :)  I think the thing we're all cautioning each other about is that many commercial patterns often run large, even if you do go by your measurements.

If you buy by your ready-to-wear size, the pattern will end up being too small, so I think the correct fit often lies somewhere in the middle.  This is the nice thing about commercial patterns, though--they're multi-sized and CHEAP (gotten on sale), so if you need to fuss with sizing and mockups, its pretty easy.

That's where it went funny. I went by measurements not ready to wear size and it came out to big. Ready to wear I wear a 16 to 20 depending on the store. The patterns size 20 (largest they had) was 2 inches smaller than my waist size that I use to buy ready to wear. After the pattern size based on measurements sizes not ready to wear it was to loarge.

I used to work in a womans clothing store and even then one size was different per article. One style of pans might be to tight, another to loose and yet another just perfect. It all depends on what the clothing is. Tops and dress's are ths same. On ready to waer it's ALWAYS best to try before you buy.

In this cast the waist on the pattern was 34" which is smaller than my waist size. When I cut the pattern out just to see (cheap material and all) the Pattern ended up being 44" which is way larger than my normal size.

I agree mock-ups are best, and having a dress form is even better. And making own patterns even better. But in this case the pattern sizeing when finished was WAY bigger than what they stated on the envelope
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Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2008, 05:35:31 PM »
I did measure and even re-measure and re-re-measured. It's just that Big Three sizings of patterns do not matcch what the envelope says.

Boy I would MORE than love to know how to draft my own patterns, but I don't as I am just starting to sew again since High School... twenty some odd years ago

Measure you, measure the pattern pieces, measure the difference!   :)

For drafting to your own measurements, you could go far and do  lot worse than Drea Lead's corset pattern generator on the Elizabethan costuming Page.  There's also some instructions for converting it to a boned bodice pattern and one for a chemise...

Offline mellingera

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2008, 05:46:13 PM »
I have used both the chemise pattern and the custom smock pattern off the Elixabethan Costuming site. The smock pattern generator makes a perfectly fitting smock, it was fantastic!!! I have not used the corset genrator, but it's on my list of things to do...
I don't see the link up, so her it is... http://www.elizabethancostume.net/index.html

Offline Lady L

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2008, 12:43:32 AM »
Thanks gem!  :)

I see what you are saying, Lady Delaney. That's odd that the garment didn't come out like the pattern said it should. Here's what I do...
First, I determine which size is closest to mine. Next, I make adjustments to the pattern. Sometimes I redraw the pattern on tissue paper, if I need to alter it quite a bit. Then, I hold up the paper pieces onto myself and see if they are close. Sometimes I need assistance, because I can't hold up the back pieces and look behind me in the mirror. If it's close, I then cut out the pieces from muslin and make a mock up. I just baste the mock up together, so it's easier to rip out. I also draw right onto the muslin with a sharpie marker, if I need to recut the armholes or make changes. After several mock ups, I am ready to cut the good fabric. Fitting takes me longer than actually cutting and sewing up the garment.
I have made a tape form of myself, but I need to make a new one.
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Offline Kate XXXXXX

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2008, 01:43:26 PM »
Fitting ALWAYS takes longer than altering a pattern and cutting the fabric.  Even if you use pattern software or a classic method of pattern drafting, you may still find this is so, as the live, squashy (and sometimes saggy!!) body is always a slightly different shape than the hypothetical model.  ::)+

Offline Lady L

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Re: BIG Three Pattern sizing
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2008, 11:09:34 PM »
Ain't that the truth!
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