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Our Size Charts: A guide to measuring yourself correctly for sewing patterns with Sheer Stitchery | Stitch Société

Women's Missy Chart

Women's Missy Size chart

Women's Curvy Chart

Women's Curvy Size Chart Plus Size Size chart

Are you ready to take your sewing game to the next level? If you’re planning on tackling a new sewing project, it’s important that you know how to measure yourself correctly for patterns. Luckily, the team at Sheer Stitchery is here to help! We’ll give you a step-by-step guide to taking your measurements so that you can get started on your new sewing project with confidence. Read on to learn more!

How to measure yourself

What are size charts and why do you need to use them when sewing clothes for yourself or others?

Sewing clothes requires precision and size charts are the best way to achieve that. You cannot just use the ready to wear (RTW) size, as manufacturers vary significantly, even though there are industry standards in the fashion world. Whether you are sewing clothes for yourself or others, size charts make it easy to get the right measurements every time. Each pattern designer uses a different size chart and grade rules so be sure to check sizing for each pattern designer. From detailed size tables that cover everything from under bust to full bust size, waist, hips and height, size charts have all your measurements covered. That means fewer adjustments later on and a perfect fit! Not to mention without size charts, you may end up with a lottery winner kind of outcome…you know, total hit or miss! So when you’re ready to put thread to fabric, make sure to have our size chart handy. We also include all our size charts right in the pattern instruction booklet so it is always handy.

How to measure yourself correctly using a tape measure

With the right supplies and a bit of patience, measuring yourself is incredibly easy. All you need is a flexible measuring tape and a few minutes. From there, you simply measure around your full bust, underbust, waist, hips, and inseam for an accurate measurement of how your clothes should fit that particular area. Just make sure to keep your clothing fitted but comfortable—you don’t want to feel like an over-restricted sausage! As long as you get the measurements down pat, you’ll be looking fabulous (and comfy!) every day.

measure your bust for sewing

Top tips when measuring yourself

  1. Use a flexible measuring tape specifically designed for body measurements.
  2. Wear fitted clothing, but make sure it’s not too tight or restrictive. Wear the foundation garments (like bra or corset) that you will be wearing in your finished garment.
  3. Take your time to ensure accuracy when taking each measurement – be precise!
  4. Double-check all of your measurements before you begin sewing the garment to avoid costly mistakes later on in the process
  5. Consult with size charts from the pattern designer to determine what size is best suited for you. It is unlikely you will be exactly the right size in each category (bust, waist, hip).
  6. Measure around the fullest part of your bust, waist and hips for an accurate fit.
  7. For pants and other garments that require a proper inseam measurement, measure from crotch to ankle bone.
  8. When measuring a circumference (waist, hip) don’t pull too tightly as this can lead to inaccurate results. Keep the measuring tape parallel to the ground and do not slant it an angle or you will not get an accurate reading.
  9. Write down any notes about how certain areas fit differently than others; this will come in handy during adjustments later on
  10. And lastly – always ask for help if you’re unsure!

Using a size chart to find the right sewing pattern size. We have a women's regular and plus size chart

Sewing patterns can be intimidating when it comes to selecting the right size. Keeping track of women’s regular and plus sizes becomes even more pinpointed when it comes to getting the perfect fit. But don’t let that scare you – with our size charts, finding the right size pattern for your project is easier than ever! Women’s regular and plus sizes conveniently exist in their own charts with the upper size range of the Missy overlapping slightly with the lower size range of the Curvy Plus Size providing even more nuances for fit. Our size charts feature measurements in both inches and centimeters on the same chart. The women’s size chart also has cup options for EVERY size creating more customization on the patterns so there are not as many Full Bust Adjustments (FBAs) to do. So take a deep breath and get ready to whittle down your selection and find the ideal sized sewing pattern for you!

Notes about the garment ease and final garment measurements for each pattern

Garment ease and final garment measurements are important when selecting the right sewing pattern size. Garment ease is the extra space that has been added to a pattern to allow for movement and breathing room in garments, while final garment measurements refer to the finished size of an item after it has been sewn together. Both factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a pattern as they can greatly affect how your clothing fits on you. Most knit garments have a negative ease, meaning they are smaller than your body measurements enabling the fabric to stretch and tightly form o your body. While most woven garments have a positive ease so you are able to easily move. Be sure to consult the individual pattern regarding the final garment measurements when deciding on your final size. Understanding these concepts will help ensure that you end up with a perfectly fitting garment that looks great!

Tips for adjusting a pattern if it doesn't fit quite right

Figuring out how to adjust a sewing pattern when you are between sizes, such as if the bust and hips are in two different sizes, can be challenging; but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Start by understanding that the measurements given on the pattern and what the ease is (finished garment measurement). In some instances you do not need to make any adjustments at all. Take a circle skirt for instance, since the ease in the hips is so large, you can cut the pattern based on your waist measurement and it will not affect the overall fit of the skirt. On the other hand, if your hips are two sizes larger than your waist size, you will need to grade between sizes. Taking accurate body measurements is one of the most important steps you can take towards ensuring successful adjustments for varying fit after your adjust your sewing pattern. After marking all the points of measurement comparing them to the pattern sizing chart will tell you what type of adjustments need to be made; after that it’s time to get creative and make those changes unique to your body shape!

be sure to adjust your pattern to fit

Why it's important to make a muslin before cutting into your fabric

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Measure twice, cut once”? This age-old adage reminds us of the importance of muslins: ensuring that all your hard work in sewing doesn’t go to waste. Making muslins is a great way to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes; they enable us to try out different techniques and test our ideas on cheaper alternatives to fabric. The invaluable muslin step brought forth by our foremothers should never be skipped – it can save you a lot of heartache! Besides, muslins always make us look twice as polished when we eventually make our garments with beautiful fabrics. Basically, a musling is test garment made of cost effective fabric that has similar properties to the fashion fabric you plan on using (typically it is muslin – hence the name). This allows you to work out minor fit issues and translate them to the working pattern for a perfect fit before cutting into that expensive fashion fabric. So if you’re planning on making something fabulous this season, don’t forget your muslin!

How to alter a pattern if you're between sizes or need a custom fit

If sewing patterns were people, it would definitely be recommended to try them on for size first before taking them home! After all, a great fit is key – but what if the sizing set by the pattern isn’t right for you? Thankfully, it’s easy enough to create your own custom fit – without having to resort to sewing your own sewing pattern! Start simple, like adding / removing or adjusting darts or pinching seams (or slashing if too small) to begin the adjustments. If your sewing project requires precision you may need to make several muslins (personally, we do about 3-4 bra muslins, as the fit needs to be very specific, but for a boxy tee, it might not even require a muslin). Remember, being between sizes doesn’t mean altering your sewing pattern is forbidden – grade between the sizes, do an FBA or a SBA, slash and spread, sway back adjustments and more. Examine carefully which parts are adjustable and give yourself some extra space when sewing up tight-fitting patterns or highly tailored patterns. Besides making sure your project looks great, with the right adjustments health hazards can also be avoided, for instance with an ill-fitting waistline.

how to alter a pattern to fit your measurements

Now that you know everything there is to know about size charts and how to measure yourself, you’re ready to sew some clothes that actually fit! But even the best measurements can’t always guarantee a perfect fit. That’s why it’s important to learn how to adjust a pattern if it doesn’t quite fit right. And finally, always make a muslin before cutting into your fabric – this will save you so much time and frustration in the long run. Interested in learning more about pattern altering and fit adjustments? Be sure to check out our course on it or any of the live fit clinics.

Enrol in the FREE Fit Clinic course

and level up your garments today!

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