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choosing pattern size

2tallct | Posted in Fitting on

When choosing a pattern, do you really go by your measurements? I usually wear a size 10 on the bottom in RTW,(I am 6 feet tall and weigh around 150)) but according to my measurements (31 waist and 41 hips)I should be in a size 14 or 16. Can this be right?? According to my high bust I should be in a 14 but I tried that once and it was huge.

How does it work if you are making something out of knit fabric which you want to cling in the right places?? I feel like I will be swimming in a size 16.


  1. starzoe | | #1

    Yes, you go by your measurements. RTW sizes are not the same as pattern sizes - although there are some patterns out there that advertise themselves to be "in RTW sizes". If the pants you tried were RTW 14, yes they would be large, but in a 14 pattern, perhaps with tweaking here and there, they should fit. Let's face it, RTW uses vanity sizes and they vary considerably.

    There are special patterns for knit fabric but don't expect to have any pattern fit you right away. Most people who sew have to tweak patterns to get a good fit, you will notice that most of the postings here are about alterations to patterns.

    You are lucky to be 6'....I always wanted to be 6' tall and was over the average height but now when old age is creeping up, my height is creeping downwards!

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    The rule of thumb is to start with a pattern that is two sizes bigger than your rtw size.  But then, if you check all the posts in the Fitting thread on this forum, you'll find that you need to do lots of alterations to make any size pattern fit you well!

  3. From my Stash.... | | #3

    The other respondents are correct.  When you sew, you quickly learn not to relate any pattern sizes to RTW.

    As to knits, in addition to the measurements, you also have to take into account the amount of stretch in the knit.  Obviously a knit that stretches 50% is going to fit differently than a knit that stretches only 10%.  Therefore, once you have found the right size of pattern for your measurements, check the pattern envelope for a stretch measurement (if I remember correctly, it should be a gauge that a stated size piece of your knit stretches to match).  If your knit doesn't fit the gauge, then your knit won't work on that pattern.


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