The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

For me, its neck and bust alterations... (Small neck and DD) and of course body lengthen (as I'm only 6 foot) and leg length (1,18cm to be exact from waist to floor)

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Oh man - sizing in general is my big issue! I'm always worries about my 3 size difference in the bust and hip (I'm a pear!) and how that translates to the pattern - it's always nerve wracking to cut for the first time.

I have learnt a new abbreviation - FBA! I need a Full Bust Adjustment.... if a full bottom adjustment exists I will probably need one of those too, tee hee

I like that Charlotte! - an FBA for me is definately - full 'butt' adjustment! I have just dragged out the old mannequin after a long stint in storage. hmmm.... if I thought I was a pear pre pregnancy.. well, let me tell you... Her bust is now on the smallest setting and her hips on the largest! - and in all honesty, I probably need to add some padding to those hips. lol.
HAHA! Yes! Ladies - I'm with you on the full butt adjustment big time!

So funny............. My poor ole 'mary Christmas" dress form..looks so deformed..I just know ,she wished I  would make her look more like a Barbie doll,sitting in that sewing room.

   I wish I could too.hahahaha

Do you use Pati Palmers books??
I've never heard of those, do you reccomend them? For my FBA I use a 1963 McCalls book I got in a charity shop. Seems to work though!
 the FBA method sounds familiar...  Pati's and Martha Alto books are fantastic... I have them all...  The best one its FIT for real people. (
I'm with Sarah - sizing in general is my challenge.  I don't know how to measure the patterns in the right places with my measurements - and the size guides on the back of the pattern envelopes don't help at all!
I've used Vogue's Book of Sewing (one that Gertie recommended a few years back!) for a guide on the right places to measure Debbie, some of the vintage ones have great straightforward instructions on how to measure!

Pattern sizes had changed over the years ,i.e. in 1931 a size 16 had a bust 34/waist 28 and today the size 16 have a bust 38/ waist 30... I use Patti Palmer rules and they work every time.

Also measure over the underwear you plan to wear with it and use the same for the fittings.

Measure making sure your fingers are not under the tape - its a skin measurement

Also, never buy a dress pattern by your hip size

There is a difference on pattern sizes: petite, misses , woman’s petite , woman’s.

Ie: size 14 misses have a back length of 16 ½ while size 14 miss petite is 15 ½.  Bust, waist, hip are the same. Size 20 misses vs. size 20 Woman’s – on woman’s pattern the waist is one inch bigger.

Also American sizes differ from European sizes, ie American sizes increase the bust measurement: 1” in small sizes up to size 10 and 1 ½ between size 10 and 12 and 2” between 12 and 14. (McCall’s, simplicity ,vogue /butterick)

European sizes ( Burda) increase bust measurement by even 4cm per size until size 46, sizes 46 to 60 increase by 6cm per size.


I can send a scan copy of Pati's size charts comparision  and body measurement charts as I cannot post it here because of copyrights.


That would be great - thanks.  I was just looking at the Palmer/Pletsch website, is it one of their books you use?


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