Pattern Size: Why You End Up With An Oversized Garment

Okay, really quick I need to share this because I see a recurring question/frustration “I have an issue” problem that can easily be addressed for those new to sewing with patterns. 
I get asked why when sewing a pattern folks end up with a huge wadder  o_0
So check to see if this applies to you:
When you go to cut your patterns do you cut according to the size on the BACK of the pattern envelope?
If so there is your error, the Big 4 pattern companies include a LOT of ease into their patterns so I NEVER cut my pattern size according to what is printed on the back of the envelope, I cut according to the “FINISHED MEASUREMENTS’ Printed on the PATTERN PIECE. This way I can see exactly how much ease they added and cut according to the FINISHED size closest to my measurements. That way if you have to make fitting adjustments you are not trying to take in 5” of ease after the fact, LOL
Example: On the back of the envelope my measurements fall in the size 8 category but on the printed finished measurement on the pattern piece that size 8 finished is going to be HUGE on me so I may cut the size 6  or take out the added was before cutting my fabric because the FINISHED (key word here) measurements are closer to my measurements. I like my clothes fitted well so I don’t need 3″ of ease at the bust and I def don’t need 5″ of ease at my hips, lol
get it?
Would you (newbies) be interested in me doing a video where I walk you through sewing with a pattern,  What the markings mean, how to read the instructions etc.?
mimi g.

88 thoughts on “Pattern Size: Why You End Up With An Oversized Garment

  1. You are so sweet,and down to earth. Thanks for taking the time to address newbie questions and concerns. I would love to see a tutorial on pattern sewing. I LOVED your pencil skirt tutorial.

  2. That is correct and also remember that most patterns, unless they are specialized, are sized for a A/B bra cup. If you are a full bust, you should use your high bust measurement for the pattern and then do a full bust adjustment. Patti Palmer Pletsch has an excellent video out for that called "Full Busted."

  3. You are always very gracious and informative and explain things that may be simple but in a manner which is always understandable to new sewers and experienced ones. I am just curious but would you ever think teaching would be in your future, meaning teaching a class? I am sure that between raising a family and working you probably have no time for that but you would probably have large waiting lists. Again thank you for this post it was an eye-opener I am sure to alot of people. Also, would you maybe be able in the future to explain what a full bust ajustment is and how to go about that in terms of ajusting patterns? Just a thought. Thank you.

  4. Can you also give suggestions for those that are smaller in the bottom half, but have bigger boobs..Like I could be around a 10-12ish up top and a medium 8ish on the bottom. Thanks!

  5. Can you also give suggestions for those that are smaller in the bottom half, but have bigger boobs..Like I could be around a 10-12ish up top and a medium 8ish on the bottom. Thanks!

  6. Could you also offer suggestions for those who are proportioned different. Like I could be a size 10-12 up top because of my boobs, but an 8sih in the bottom. In the past when I tried to make dresses especially; it fits awful.Thanks in advance!

  7. Yes OMG, I'm a 2 or 4P and the patterns always have me in the 12 category. WHAT?!? And it's always HUGE…but like the maniacal instruction-follower that I am, I always cut the 12 hoping to get a different result :/ lol…HELP! Thx, G

  8. That would be great if you could do a video! I am a plus size gal, but I love alot of your tips already. I have read most of your archives and printed out the measurement sheets (Which I need to get on with already!). You give great info and really explain things well. THanks for the help!!!

  9. I use to teach several years ago but that took so much time away from home which why I started the blog, I figured I could teach online and still make my kids dinner, LOL I am thinking of doing a "conference" type weekend with an intense 3 day workshop etc..

  10. I would love a video! I'm a bottom heavy petite lady, and the pattern size on the package always ends up way too big in the shoulder and bust area.

  11. What I meant to post was….A video would awesome. I am an hour glass plus size so I get frustrated let the "girls" out or taking in the waste and easing the hips so my stuff does not look like a maternity dress 🙂

  12. I'm new to using patterns and it seems in shirts they are really loose in the arms but then SUPER tight in my hips…. BTW I love your clothes you make, their super cute! Any tips on using thin sheer material that frays for a newb? ;p

  13. Please do it. I'll be anxiously waiting. I'm just finishing a cute blouse that will be too big, but I'm learning right? I want to sew just like you when I grow up, ops, I have grown up already and I'm far from sewing like you. Lots of work to do. Love your blog.

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