Don't DO That!

I love going through blogs to get ideas for stuff.   Since I’m going to actually sew a wardrobe for myself, I’m looking at colors, fabrics, ideas and what have you on blogs.

I’ve noticed several complaints along the same order.  Someone buys a pattern according to clothing size and is astonished when it doesn’t fit — commonly the complaint is about the hips.  Now, these are people with sewing-specific blogs, so I confess at being a little surprised that this has happened.

Someone who is new to sewing wouldn’t know this, but clothing size in ready to wear clothes is vanity sized.  Every few years, they’ll make a size 12 a little larger.   You know the famous line about Marilyn Monroe wearing a size sixteen dress?  That’s about a size 10 in today’s fashions.

Well, sewing patterns are not vanity sized.  To get the right size, you take your measurements.  No sucking in your gut to get a number you like better.  The point is an outfit that fits you, not the numbers.  You look better in clothes that fit, anyway.

When you buy patterns, look at the back.   Check out the bust, hip and waist measurements.  That’s the size you’ll choose to make.   Yes, your measurements might not match up exactly.  Ideally, you’d choose the size on the largest measurement and make pattern adjustments for the smaller one.  As a beginning seamstress (hem! hem!) you’ll wanna just make the outfit.  Trust me.  Bespoke tailoring is a well-paid profession for a reason.

It really astonished me that people who sew regularly were choosing pattern sizes according to ready to wear dress sizes.  I could see someone who is learning doing it (once!), but if you’re into it enough to have a blog about it and you’ve managed to accumulate a big stash and are showing off pictures of fancy sergers, it would seem to me you’ve been sewing long enough to know better.

And if your excuse is that you usually draft your own patterns, that’s even less of an excuse!  You know measurements are the important bit.

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