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Today’s Fit patterns

stitchmd | Posted in Patterns on

I am working on a blouse from this line, which is supposed to be more realistic about shapes, especially those of aging women as opposed to the Barbies they must size for in designing.

To be on the safe side I cut one size up from my measurements and made the pattern from pattern cloth for a trial fit. It was still too small, I had to go up yet another size. This blouse is described as loose fitting on the envelope, yet is a very close fit.

Who else has tried or is considering trying these? What has your experience been?


  1. SewingSue | | #1

    I have only tried a couple of them as on the envelope I believe it says designed for 5'8" and I am 5'2". I didn't have that problem but had to petite it. I have learned from several projects gone bad "always measure the pattern" regardless of description or written measurements on pattern. Mistakes happen, probably more often then we think they should. After all most patterns go for around $20 these days. I don't know how many times I have found the measurements or description just don't add up. Good luck. Sue

    1. stitchmd | | #2

      I am half an inch taller than you Sue, so of course I always have to shorten everything too, that is a given. The only patterns that approach $20 that I know of are the small, independent companies. For the big pattern companies there is always a sale or a coupon somewhere. There is an awful, dirty, messy Joanne's here with crappy, cheap fabrics, where all patterns are always half price. Hancock's almost always has one company's patterns for $2 or for 75% off as a loss leader. You are absolutely right about always measuring and adjusting, I guess I was just disappointed that something with Betzina's name on it and something that promised to be a realistic fit was really no better than the other pattern lines.

      1. SewingSue | | #3

        I guess your area has more competition so reduces more often. About once a month Jo-Ann's puts them on sale. Simplicity one time, McCall's the next etc. Maybe three or four times a year Vogue will be on sale. Other than that it is WalMart's and I don't ever remember them on sale. Wild Ginger had a software sale before Christmas. I bought the casual pant and casual blouse software. I am still playing with them. I finished one top and pants and was very happy with the results. I have printed a pattern for a more fitted outfit but need to prewash the fabric first. If this outfit turns out as well I will invest in the larger software package and be able to make all my own patterns. Sue

        1. stitchmd | | #4

          I'm glad to hear you like your Wild Ginger software. I have the complete program, but cannot rope anyone into doing the full set of measurements, so haven't used it yet. Someone has expressed interest, so I hope it will happen soon. Until then I struggle along with making all the adjustments by hand. Same goes for making a custom dress form, it takes a willing buddy. My husband has theoretically agreed to do both of these things with me, but so far hasn't gotten around to finding the time.

          1. SewingSue | | #7

            I considered having my DH help me with the measurements but thought better of it. I wasn't sure that he could be objective and might not try to protect my feelings instead my dear neighbor agreed to help me. We made one small boo-boo but that was corrected with no harm done. I thought I was gonna get the new outfit cut out this past weekend but time disappeared. Maybe I can start cutting it out tomorrow. For some reason I feel exhausted this evening and will go to bed early. Maybe you could ask at one of your local fabric stores if they know anyone who could help you take measurements. Just a thought. Sue

          2. stitchmd | | #11

            Should have made one post to you Sue...

            My local fabric store closed, we are still in mourning here. The bigger regional one here has fitting sessions for about $60, so I will wait for the person who wants to share the measuring and get patterns for herself in exchange. Again, thanks for the suggestions.

          3. SewingSue | | #12

            $60 would be a little stiff for getting measurements. What about family or friends? I understand that measuring gets a little personal but if that's what it takes. At first I felt a little uncomfortable asking my neighbor but she was great. I just looked at it as numbers are numbers. If my figure was average I wouldn't have a problem to begin with. Now I can see why my adjustments weren't quite right. It's a little more then bust, waist and hips. Getting the shoulders right is real important. I was close but not quite there. Good luck. Sue

  2. sewshable1 | | #5

    When I bought these patterns, I didn't read them thoroughly, and so I didn't notice until after I had cut that the measurements on the pattern are for finished garment size, not body measurements like all the others. I haven't had the courage to make another-because I'm not sure what I like in finished garment size-or what will look good-I am short and round.

    1. stitchmd | | #6

      Where does your pattern indicate the measurements are finished rather than body size? Mine don't say that. I have Vogue 7281 and Butterick 3016.

    2. SewingSue | | #8

      If you have some ready wear garments that like the fit of measure them at key points; bust, hip, etc. and compare these measurements to your pattern and adjust accordingly. It is very hard to tell from a tissue pattern if you will like the fit. The best we can do is figure out our own personal ease preference. If you want the look to conform to the designer's sense of ease add or reduce your personal preference. For example, you measure a blouse you really like the way it fits and find out there is 3 inches of ease but the designer has included 8 inches of ease. If you like the looser look but think you will feel lost in 8 inches of ease decrease the ease to 5 inches of ease. The finished garment will be a little looser but you shouldn't feel like you have room for another person to wear it with you. Or, go to your stash and use one of those fabrics that now you don't know why you bought and make a trial garment. Try to keep the fabric drape compatible to what you want to use. If all else fails try going shopping and see if you can find something similiar and try it on at the store and decide how you feel about it before you go through all the work of making the garment. Good luck. Sue

      1. sewshable1 | | #9

        Oops-sorry I got "today's fit" confused with "fit rules"- I have both, and didn't remember that I cut the latter, not the former.

      2. stitchmd | | #10

        Thanks, that is an excellent suggestion.

  3. SUSANWHELAN | | #13

    Pasdenom, I'm surprised that you found the Today's Fit pattern too small. Most people I've heard complaints from have had the opposite problem. Can I ask which one you used?  I measure and fit an "H" right out of the envelope in 7022 and have made it twice. I've also made the princess-line pants 7129, found they were too big in the H and ended up pretty close to the G by the time I took them in. A very slimming pattern. 7025 is one of my favourite skirt patterns. It's sooooo flattering. The only adjustments I had to make were to lower the front waistline, a common issue for plus size women. Two versions of the skirt went to Paris with me in 2000, as did my blue tweed jacket (7022) and navy 7129 pants.  I also made 7022 in grey raw silk, lengthening it by 4," and have the matching tailored pants pattern ready to cut out for spring.  My patterns have all had the bust, waist and hip finished garment widths printed on the pattern pieces. I don't rely on the pattern envelopes widths or lengths as I've found too many errors. But so far, the finished garment measurements on the patterns I've used have been right. 

    If you don't mind sharing your measurements, maybe we can figure out which size would fit you best. These patterns really are drafted to a more realistic figure than the standard Vogue/McCalls/Simplicity. There are so many pattern choices available today. Have you looked at Petite Plus patterns? http://www.petiteplus.com  Kathleen Cheetham has a really informative website (nayy) with pictures of herself in her patterns. I recently bought DressShop and have had great fun playing with it. Have only made slopers (bodice and pants) so far, but they came out nearly bang on.  I can draft patterns for everyone in my family - even DH, DS and DGS - with the DS4Pro.  Next project will be golf shirts for DH ;-) Have to use up some of my stash!

    1. stitchmd | | #14


      I used Vogue 7281, an asymmetric, long sleeved top. My measurements fall between D and E for bust, right about F for hips. I cut it from the E for shoulders and bust and extended the lines beyond F for hips. I am very pear shaped, so usually end up with things in a combination of too loose on top and too tight at the hips. This ended up too tight everywhere. I haven't tried Petite Plus because they appear to be sized for women who are more substantial above the waist than I am.

      I have Pattern Master Boutique from Wild Ginger softwear which I have yet to use in over a year because until recently I have not found anyone interested in doing the measuring with me. There is someone who lives right near me who I "met" at another online sewing forum and we are trying to coordinate our schedules to work on this project. I'm hoping to solve most of my fitting issues with patterns and slopers made with this software. Then the next step is to make a custom dress form, though duct tape won't be easy to find in the near future.

      1. joress | | #15

        Hi, Judy--

        I'm so curious about the duct tape forms--and now people are talking about paper tape forms. I have an old dress form that I'm pretty sure can't be stretched large enough for me, but I hope you'll help me try. It's a metal basket-type contraption. When it fit me (you won't believe the size it is now!), it was very handy. Maybe you and I can do a duct tape or paper tape thing together. (If we can find duct tape anymore!) At least we'll have some fun. Let's see, a measurement party, a sofa cushion party, a dress form party--we've got our work cut out for us! (Couldn't help the pun.) The computer is put back together and working. (Yay! I remembered where all those plugs go.) This weekend is unpacking time and then, I hope, we'll be good to go. I'm going to use your expertise for the Sandra Betzina patterns, too. You're going to be a huge resource for me--thanks!


        1. stitchmd | | #16

          Likewise, I'm sure. I've seen some of your advice on this and the other forum and I know you will be a resource for me too. By the time we've measured and wrapped each other we're going to be very close friends!

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