I am returning to apparel sewing after 10 years and losing 100 pounds. I boned up on some new techniques, especially concentrating on fitting, since I am a new size. I was puzzled that I am a 12 or 14 in ready wear, but by measurement am an 18 for patterns. Today I had a terribly frustrating day.
I had bought a cute moose flannel for a blouse pattern. When I went to cut it out, the sleeve width did not fit the selvages. When I measured the flannel, it was only 40″! I went back to the store to get another yard
and measured the original – it was 41″ (before washing)! Nowhere was it tagged that it was this smaller size. First question….Since when did they start making fabric so narrow??
Second problem. I picked Simplicity 9181, which is a “loose fitting” blouse. The picture shows a typical, comfortable blouse – nothing special. I need a 40″ bust, so I got a size 18 (of an 18-20-22 pattern). After I sewed the front facings and shoulder seams, I pinned basted the side seams and tried it on – It was GARGANTUAN! Stunned, I measured and found the bust was 54 1/2″. I checked the pattern, and there written on the front tissue was “Finished Garment Measurements (for size 18) – 54 1/2″! Now I understand about fitting ease, but 14 1/2” of fitting ease???
Is this normal? And why isn’t this measurement printed on the outside of the pattern so that I could either pass on the blouse, or buy a different size. Any comments and answers would be greatly appreciated.