Friday, June 21, 2013

The follow up to the follow up to the follow up...

So I started the post below, three days ago but my life is soooooo busy right now with work and home stuff that I'm just getting back to it!  Can I say I can't wait for next week when I'll have two days off to deal with the last of the basement stuff!  

Anyway, I was intrigued by some of the comments left on my last post...

Blacey wrote:
Ugh, grading up is the bane of my sewing life. I'm in love with the Sewaholic range but I keep putting off buying and sewing because of the extra effort involved. In saying that, Colettes sizing is different from the Big 4: their 18 is B46 W38 H48, very close to a Simplicity 24W, but also designed for a C cup. I will still have to grade up but at least the starting point is closer to my numbers. I suspect other indie designers also have different sizing.

Marsha wrote:
I second what Blacey said. You have to compare the sizing chart of the independent with the sizing chart of the Big 4. Some indies are closer to modern RTW sizes, not the ones developed 70 years ago.

ElleC wrote:
I was very bummed about Sewaholic patterns not being available in my size, then I actually looked at the measurements. My 20 in Vogue is quite close to Sewaholics 16. As a matter of fact I made the Renfrew without alterations and it fits perfectly. Also as Sewaholics patterns are designed for a "pear shape" they would very likely be easy to grade up, for someone who has some junque in the trunque. I remember Tasia writing about the plus size issue, and she said she just doesn't have the knowledge to do it properly. I am sorry, I have tried to find the post where this was written so I could include a link, but alas, I couldn't find it.

So I'll be honest peoples...when I was checking things out I looked at numbers only...not the measurements beneath the size/number.  Being duly chastised for being slipshod with the research, I decided to go back and look at the measurements and compare them to Butterick patterns measurements. 

This is what I found...
Colette Patterns size 18 equals a 22/24 in Butterick

Grainline Studios size 18 equals a 22 in Butterick

Jamie Christina Patterns size 20 equals a 22 in Butterick

Megan Nielson Patterns size XL equals a 20/22 in Butterick

Sewaholic Patterns size 16 equals an 18 in Butterick

Sew Chic Patterns size 16 equals an 18 in Butterick

Victory Patterns size 16 equals a 22 in Butterick

Why did I choose Butterick as the standard?  
Well basically Butterick, Vogue and McCalls sizing charts are very similar.  Also, these are the pattern lines I sew from the most.  However, I did notice that this is on the smaller end of the plus size scale.  While it would fit me and I could work with some of these patterns, I really don't call this a plus size.

Another reason for choosing Butterick is that I need all of that ease that is incorporated in the pattern.  I know for others especially in the smaller sizes, the amount of ease is off-putting.  I have no way of knowing what the ease of the indies is...and since I've made one bad assumption...I'm just not going there again!  *LOL*  But it is a concern for me since I don't like close-fitting garments.  Dayum the trends, I gotta sew and wear what works for my lifestyle and me.

Finally, I'm glad that the patterns do reach a larger base.  If you're teetering on the edge of plus size, or wear a smaller plus size number then you could use these.  If, however, you are more towards the 26-30ish range, none of these indies will work for you without a lot of grading up.

...and speaking of patterns, all of us who still use BMV patterns, they are on sale until Sunday, June 23rd.  Buttericks are $1.88 ($1.50), McCalls are $2.88 ($2.30) and Vogues are $3.88 ($3.10) if you're not a Club BMV member.  If you are a Club BMV member, the prices are in the parenthesis.

+ + +

It's Friday and after a very full work week, I will be spending the weekend putting my sewing room back together!  I went downstairs after the dehumidifers left sat down and realized that even though this is the perfect opportunity to change the room around, I don't have the heart.  I will change a few things but the major set up will be the same.

The basics will go in this weekend.  The fabric will go in next weekend because I've taken two days off to do it.  I really Just.Want.To.Sew!  I'm gonna see if by hook or by crook I can make that happen this weekend. always more later!


  1. The sizing of the independents is sometimes off putting. Peggy Sager's Silhouette patterns are a case in point. I cannot for the life of me figure out her sizing. She has so called real garment measurements on her chart but there is no way to know how much ease that leaves. She also is not designing for the pear shaped woman with bust and hip measurements the same.
    When you have to make a lot of alterations to a pattern it is a lot easier to start with the familiar.
    I'm so glad that you are getting back into your sewing room. You must be going crazy without your sewing!

  2. I am just using the big four from sales-have to take great liberties with the pencil and tracing paper to add bust room and rework the neck and shoulder areas. So not worth $20+ to do that to a non plus size designer pattern. I have bought some in the past but not going to do it anymore. I'm as well off tracing in what I need and sewing muslins .. hope you get your sewing area back in place soon.

  3. If I lived close, I'd help you out so you could get it ALL done in one weekend!

  4. I wish you high energy and speedy feet to get your room back. Good Luck!

  5. I understand what you feel about not having the heart to rearrange the room. Treat yourself to something special after you finish this weekend.

    I hear you about the indy patterns. The only ones that I buy are Hot Patterns and Louise Cuttings. I don't have to make a lot of changes to their patterns.

  6. I am a size 26 AUS which I believe would be bigger in USA. That is the reason I haven't bought any of the above Indie patterns and why I love StyleArc so much. Once you work out your size - they draft it to that size and go up to size 30. And they will do any of their patterns up to size 30 - not just the ones in their plus size range.

    I hope you get to sew this weekend and restore that great mojo.

  7. Indie patterns often have a niche consumer in mind. Like Sewaholic and her pear shape. It's crazy the mix of bust/waist/hip sizing I need, it makes me hesitant to order her pants patterns as cool as they look. That said, I love Renfrew. I get what her mission is, I have a cury bum but my hips are not big enough (and bust too big) to be a true pear. Some paterns I have a hard time visualizing how it's going to work for me based on say Tasia's examples, so that's where seeing what other bloggers with similar shape to me comes into play. It makes me fell better to see what others went through and the end result to anticipate if it's actually going to work for me or not.

  8. Good luck with the sewing room reset. I know your heart isn't quite in it, but whose would be, given the circumstances? Keep focused on the fact that soon you will be sewing again.

  9. Congratulations on being in the home stretch with your sewing room! That has to feel great. ;-)

  10. Hi Carolyn! Just to clarify, my comment wasn't meant as a chastisement, but just to point out the sizing difference in case the patterns would in fact work out for you. In some ways I'm happy that indie designers have different sizing and that they are addressing different sillhouettes. But in others, I am still discontented. I know the sizing of the popular indie designers, and this is because I want very much to sew some of their patterns, but I have yet to attempt any of them because even though they venture into larger sizes, there is still a lot of work involved for me: in standard sewing sizes, I cut a 20 in the neck, shoulders and high bust, then do an FBA which takes me close to a 26 in the bust, a 28 in the waist and a 32 in the hips. I

  11. After reading your post and the comments, I realized how most of us find a comfortable pattern company and stick with it. I'm a great fan of Silhouette Patterns because the measurements for sizes are the finished garment measurements. That really helps for knits that show too many of my bumps if they are too tight. They do have a range of women's sizes (plus for the big 4) in B to D cup sizes. I'm venturing into the big 4patterns now using the Silhouette Patterns as a base. It's just more time consuming, but helps use some of those patterns that I keep buying.
    I bet you are ready to get that sewing room ready for sewing. As I try to tell myself, the patterns and fabric aren't going anywhere and will be there when I get to them.
    Thanks for the follow up.

  12. Carolyn I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering how you are doing and knowing you must be missing sewing. Nice to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you. God bless!

  13. Carolyn, thanks for the rundown on the pattern sizes. This is really helpful info. So glad to hear you will be able to get your sewing space back together soon. Take care.

  14. I am hoping that you are all settled - or getting close to it! Thanks for taking the time out and passing on more very useful info. I also wanted to let you know that I have just completed a great shift dress that I am so pleased with - you kindly gave me some pointers a few months ago, and I have now put these to good use, and I couldn't be happier! Thanks again :)

  15. Now this is a good post. Always measure the patterns and measure again and measure again because the sizes don't mean a thing!


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