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Childs Sizing

shannonmgarvey | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m wanting to make a summer dress for my friend’s daughter. She’s almost 3 years old and I don’t have her sizes. I can’t ask my friend for them because I want the dress to be a surprise. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to guess-timate a size?



  1. BernaWeaves | | #1

    If you're going to that much trouble, please don't let it be a surprise.   Measure the girl. 

    If you were just buying a dress she could return, then fine, surprise her.  But I'd hate for you to go all that trouble and then it doesn't fit.  Sometimes the anticipation of something special and handmade just for you, is even better than a surprise.

    But if you really must, next time you're over there, give the girl a big hug and sneak a peak at the label of her top. 


    1. rodezzy | | #3

      I agree, that's a lot of work and not have it fit.

      Make something that she will love that isn't an article of clothing.  Pillows with her favorite personality/cartoon character/etc. 

      A purse or poncho. 

  2. Palady | | #2

    Sometimes one has to come-on-through-the -back-door to ready a surprise.  If your friend lives close and you see her and the child, make a casual comment as to how marvelous it is to see the child growing.  Comment about quickly children sprout up.  Then ask what size is she in now?

    Should your friend live a distance away, the conversation might take place over the phone.   Or, through an e-mail.

    Then if you can get your hands on a children's mail order catalog, Land's End - L L Bean - or the like, use the measurements included in these to get a size idea.  Without a catalog, you can consider -


    With the information from mother friend, you should be able to complete your surprise.




  3. ctirish | | #4

    When you are talking with your friend, tell her someone was talking about the percentage charts they have for children. A child is measured by height and weight and then put in a percentage area for her age. If she tells you she is in the 25% percentile for weight and height, then you will know that she is small for her age. If she scores, 75% in height and 50% in weight, she is thin and tall. This will give you a general view of her size and then you can pick a pattern company that corresponds. I find that KWIKSEW patterns run on the large size and McCalls and Vogue seem to be on the smaller side.

    Additionally, you would need to make a dress that is loose fitting and adjustable. A jumper that hangs from the shoulder or a sun dress that isn't fitted. If you are going to make something special then I would try to work the original conversation around to height, weight, what size does she wear in RTW clothing and which manufacturers. Also asking about how that brand fits her and does she have problems with sleeve length and hem length. Then you can go to the manufacturers site and find out the measurements they use to make clothing.
    You can always go with the guise of possibly starting a children's clothing line for fun and she what she likes and doesn't like in children's garments today.
    Good luck and have fun, jane

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