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Patterns can be confusing because the preponderance of numbers, fabrics, and designs can baffle sewers new to pattern-reading. Even those familiar with sewing patterns may find it hard to determine the best size for them. Fortunately, here are some tips for choosing the correct pattern size when sewing your next garment.
Since choosing the correct pattern size relates to bodily measurements, you must know yours for accurate sizing. The three main sizes to know are hip, bust, and waist. When measuring, keep the measuring tape straight and parallel to the floor. Do not pull too tightly or you’ll skew your measurements.
Next, study the size chart on your pattern. Compare your sizes to the pattern information and find the ones closest to yours. Don’t be alarmed if your measurements fall between two sizes. Most bodies are not designed like those in a magazine. Also, patterns are typically multi-sized to allow you flexibility with body proportions and fabric blends when you fall between sizes. Notably, recommended pattern sizes are usually what the pattern company used for their own design. These numbers account for fitting ease—otherwise known as movement flexibility—and style ease, which is the item’s intended design.
Use a tape measure to check the amount of ease in your garment. Hold the measuring tape around your body when checking the waist or hip. If it is too loose or too tight, adjust it. Sit, walk, and move in your garment for a completely accurate account. You can also measure an existing garment’s dimensions to see the amount of ease you prefer.
One final tip for choosing the correct pattern size is finding the hip-to-waist and back-to-waist measurements. Skirts and pants patterns use the hip measurements, whereas upper-body proportions rely on bust measurements. Find something that fits across the neck, shoulders, and upper back while avoiding gaping necklines. This might require using a full bust measurement rather than a high bust measurement.
With all that, be sure to choose the right fabric for your garment. That’s where we come in. Here at Fabric Wholesale Direct, we’re a wholesale fabric store focused on providing the best fabrics at a fair price point for any project. Whether it’s event décor fabric, apparel fabric, printed fabric, spandex, or other fabric, we have it all. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, call us and our expert team will be happy to assist you.