The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

How do you measure up? Is anyone really 'standard' sized.

So...I'm possibly mad... I mean nobody ever shares their measurements with others!! lol. But... I'm working on a Burda pattern at the moment and it came with this nifty little measurement chart. So I decided to circle my measurements for a quick guide for altering the pattern.

Now I consider myself to own a pretty average looking and rather unremarkable figure... and I already knew that my bust, waist, hip would be three different sizes. But I've never thought much about the other measurements. Wow!! I cover 5 different sizes! Perhaps I'm not so average after all.


This got me thinking about 2 things


1. the push for 'standardised sizing' in clothing retail.

Personally.. I think it's a flawed notion. It's just not possible. Every person is such a different shape that we'll never fit into a 'standard'. I'm glad that while one store doesn't cater for my shape.. I know that there will be another store that does.  And of course... if all else fails.. make it myself!


2. That we all need to give ourselves a break. There is no normal size! Once upon a time, we made clothes to fit our bodies. Now people seem to think their body should fit the clothes.


So how does everyone else measure up? Do you fit the mould? Does it bother you if you don't?

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Well Casey, can I start by saying what a great size chart...if it worked! I too cover three dress sizes and think I am an average mum of three, that means I still have a little stretched belly that hides well!! My desire to make my own clothes comes from not being able to find shop clothes that fit right.

If it fits my waiste it doesnt fit my hips and the length is always too long. In Aussie sizes my bust is a 16, waiste a 12 and hips a 14. As an adolescent I was bothered by my "shop sizing" but now I don't care. If I look good and feel good thats what is important. I don't think we will ever have a standardized sizing system.

Power to the home sewer LOL

Casey, this is such a good question and at the very least I think the conclusions will be that we are ALL different and that actually is the norm.

I don't have a complete handle on how I measure up. I'm reading Rachel's suggested book "Fit for Real People" and learning a lot especially how to work around multiple sizes.

I'm tall, just shy of 6' and have always been tall so pants never were long enough growing up, thankfully that isn't an issue anymore. I describe my figure as a tree trunk (sounds pretty bad doesn't it?) but seriously my bust is 34" and my waist is 29"' and to top it off my hips are about 38", yep a tree trunk! I have very long limbs and my height is mainly from my waist
down. I'm sure I would be circling at least 5 different sizes too...including amazon or chimpanzee!

It's always been a work around but Im pretty determined that with sewing I will get this figured out!
Cathe, I just know how you feel as a tall lady !!!..
Yes but you have a nice breast size, I'm just a tree stump, B cup come on!
Cathe, I think we almost have the same body type! Hilarious! I'm 175cm, 33" bust, 28" waist and 37" hips and have always described myself as a stobie pole (totally an Australian reference, essentially a lamp post) - straight up and down.
Too funny Amanda! We can share notes on successful patterns!

Sizing is an issue that worries so many of us! Standardised stuff still depresses me when I go out shopping so I just don't go out shopping, and make it myself!

Trousers for me are a nightmare!

Its either the waist is too big or the thigh too small, Short is too short, regular is too long!

I could go on for hours! 

But Thankyou for putting this up! As a 21 year old, this really does bug me that if you are not a size that is on the high street then you are not worth catering for. Makes you feel very inadequate and makes it hard for you to accept your body for what it is. No ones body is perfect but I think most of our bodies have served us pretty well. I am starting to come around to the idea that my body is mine and I should love it as it was given to me. But it will take a little while longer I think! 

HI Casey, Here is mine ( on your chart)

Feel like used all the sizes available LOL

nothing avarage about any of us. I always stated I was 12, but on measurements of patterns this genrally means 14/16. My bust 36, I have no waist that makes me look curvy ( more so after having 4 children), so I'm not telling you that, lets just say onec it was cute and boy like now its more pot belly looking, then my hips do match 35/36.  So I can get away with not altering patterns that much, thank goodness!!

We are all different - and that is what makes us all great.  I am trying toconvince myself that sizing "is just a number" and that is doesn't really reflect anything (particularly when you can have 3 different garments in 3 different sizes but they all fit you)

 I sometimes actually take notice of those little charts on the back of the pattern envelope and if I make the size it suggests it is always way too big.  I generally cut the size I wear in (most) readymade (or 1 size bigger) and make adjustments from there - so far..... so good.

its kind of the same approach for me... Cut to fit bust and make everything else smaller.
Oh curse you, standard pattern sizings. Poor Casey, you know better than anyone how much I've struggled with my proportions and standard pattern sizings! If Collette patterns are indicative of American sizing, I'm across sizes 0 and 4. In 1950s - 60s patterns I'm a size 14 bust and a size 16 hip and waist. In 1940s patterns however, I score! Only 1" too big in the bust. Pattern sizing is a massive source of pain to me and grading makes me swear like a trooper!


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